How Undocumented Immigrants Survive in Europe

Hey guys,

This podcast was recorded a long time ago, when I got on the phone with guest columnist and African Bulletin writer, Carol.

I initially wanted it to be a series about how undocumented immigrants had survived in various parts of the world but unfortunately getting the other interviews proved impossible.

So now we have the great pleasure of having one interview that we can sink into and truly appreciate.

Hope you learn a little something.

The Podcast

icon for podpress  Mwangi and Carol Discuss Immigrants in Europe [29:25m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


  • By DreamActivist, December 22, 2008 @ 5:32 pm

    Thanks for this…

    I can hook you up with undocumented youth in the United States to interview.

  • By Mwangi, December 23, 2008 @ 12:10 am

    @DreamActivist: Sure, thanks.My contact details are at the top, and they can find me at masmilele[at]thedisplacedafrican[dot]com and we can organize a time.

    Lemme know…..

  • By Caustic Blonde, December 29, 2008 @ 9:59 pm

    This is a curious subject and one I have seen in the United States first hand, though I am sure some things would be different from the European experience I would imagine the long term effects would pretty much be the same. Maybe I will expound at a later date.

  • By Mwangi, December 30, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    @Caustic: Looking forward to the expouding :)

  • By Carol Achieng Otieno, December 31, 2008 @ 1:32 am

    Hey Mwangi,

    Hope you enjoyed your Christmas. Mine was ok, and I’m hoping for better things for the New Year. It’s today that I finally got to hear the podcast. I’m hoping that someone somewhere learnt something.
    I got into a discussion group recently for women who are undocumented and had children here in the Netherlands and I was really mortified to hear what some women have gone through. Many undocumented women who are pregnant do deliver the child at home just because they are afraid of being arrested!! I met a lady who delivered all her three children at home, and another who keeps her 4 year old child at home because she is scared the police will arrest her if she takes the child to school. These women did not know the rights they had to give birth to the children in a hospital or to take the child to school which is free. It was good to have this information passed on to them, and as well get them connected to social or church-based organizations that can further assist them. I as well realized that here if you do not know what rights you have no one is going to tell you, you just have to keep on asking and pushing.

  • By Mwangi, December 31, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

    @Carol: Indeed, if there is one idea that is absolutely cornerstone as far as I’ve seen for immigrants to adpot is, ” If you’re abroad and nothing is happening! Absolutely no one will make it happen for you. They are too busy with their own problems in their corner.”

    Feel free to take the recording and send it to people who might not be so aware of their rights or just keep doing what you’re doing i.e. telling folks what their rights are.

  • By solomonsydelle, January 6, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

    Happy new year to you!

  • By Mwangi, January 6, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

    @solomonsydelle: And an even happier one to you

  • By Darius Stone, January 23, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    Thanks Mwangi and Carol…

    I took the liberty of sharing the podcast. I know for sure the story in the Netherlands is not unique, and the one thing that is common is that many undocumented folks don’t have a clue of the rights they have even though they’re undocumented.

    Access to housing, healthcare and education (for immigrant children) is a fundamental human right that supercedes immigration status – but unfortunatley, not many people understand this or even know how to access these services. Being “underground” has the unfortunate consequence of Keeping you in the dark.

    I’d be happy to give you a UK perspective on the subject areas you cover – both from the point of view of my experience of what people encounter, and what help is actually out there.

  • By Mwangi, January 23, 2009 @ 9:03 am

    @Darius: The idea that ignorance is no defense takes on a sharp new meaning abroad. If you don’t take the time to learn what you have access to, can do, are capable of doing and so on and so forth, sadly no one abroad has the time to tell you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • By Samuel, February 15, 2009 @ 5:09 pm


    We have a small web series looking at people of African descent in Europe(Paris and Berlin now, more to come). You can find it at:


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