E.g., 09/23/2014
E.g., 09/23/2014

Cities and Regions: Reaping Migration's Local Dividends

Cities and Regions: Reaping Migration's Local Dividends

November 2013 Meeting

The eleventh plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration examined how policymakers at all levels can work together to help cities and regions get more out of immigration. While national governments hold the reins of immigration policy, managing the details and dealing with the consequences of national policy typically fall to the local level. Cities and regions must attract and retain the workers and entrepreneurs they need while developing innovative ways to integrate newcomers and disadvantaged groups. On both of these tracks, their goals and interests sometimes align with national policies—but sometimes diverge. Basing its consensus on several key principles for improved multilevel governance of migration, this Transatlantic Council Statement provides a set of recommendations that foster cooperation across national and subnational levels, and allow cities and regions to maximize their competitiveness and strengthen community cohesion.

An extraordinary meeting of the Council, convened in Rotterdam in April 2014, focused on “urban citizenship” and its potential for building a new “we” at the local level. Read the Council Statement resulting from the Rotterdam meeting.


Individual reports prepared for the meeting and published by the Council are available here:

Giving Cities and Regions a Voice in Immigration Policy: Can National Policies Meet Local Demand?
Employer-sponsored immigration and subnational visa programs are the two major routes to channel new immigrant arrivals toward particular destinations where their labor is thought to be in high demand. This report assesses regional nomination programs in Australia and Canada, and the efficacy of employer-sponsored immigration in meeting the needs of cities and regions.

Revitalizing Detroit: Is There a Role for Immigration?
Immigration alone cannot save Detroit, which has become a byword for urban decline and economic decay. But if carefully managed in the context of a broader economic development strategy, immigration may be a promising tool for boosting Detroit’s economic prospects, stemming population decline, and replenishing diminished city resources.

The Human-Capital Needs of Tech City, London
This report analyzes the importance of human capital to the development of London's Tech City and sets this discussion in a broader framework linking cities, digital sectors, and highly skilled immigration. Skilled migrants can play critical roles in economic development in high-tech clusters, but policies sometimes make it difficult for firms to make the most of immigration.

Policies to Support Immigrant Entrepreneurship
Although immigrants are more likely to start businesses than their native-born peers, immigrant businesses have significantly lower survival rates. This report examines the obstacles facing immigrant entrepreneurs and offers policy recommendations for local and national governments looking to more fully reap the benefits of immigrant entrepreneurship.

The City Brand: Champion of Immigrant Integration or Empty Marketing Tool?
As global demand for talent and human capital increases, cities are becoming more innovative in their efforts to attract and retain residents. Many cities in Europe and North America are now turning to branding strategies to build inclusive identities that appeal to both new and existing residents. This report examines branding strategies and challenges.

Building Inclusive Cities: Challenges in the Multilevel Governance of Immigrant Integration in Europe
As the initial point of contact for most immigrants, cities see firsthand how both local and national policies affect newcomers and minorities. This report explores the steps cities across Europe are taking to be more inclusive of immigrants and minorities and how these efforts relate to national policies.

Immigrant Civic Integration and Service Access Initiatives: City-Sized Solutions for City-Sized Needs
Large immigration flows challenge destination cities to find innovative ways to meet the needs of immigrant residents and promote their integration. This report examines the successful integration strategies of five U.S. cities—Cupertino and San Francisco, CA; Littleton, CO; New York City; and Seattle—and offers lessons for local governments looking to implement their own initiatives.

Residential Segregation: A Transatlantic Analysis
Where does residential segregation come from, and why does it vary significantly across minority groups and country contexts? This report explores these questions and examines the policy tools that lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic have used to address the segregation of immigrant groups. 

Rotterdam: A Long-Time Port of Call and Home to Immigrants
A port city connecting the Netherlands with major trading partners, Rotterdam is, and has long been, home to migrants from around the globe. But the recent rise in temporary forms of migration presents new challenges for Rotterdam’s integration policy.