Immigrant integration and receptivity policy formation in welcoming cities

Document Type


Publication Date

March 2019


Amid a broader context of immigration federalism and debates over immigration policy in the United States at the national level, states and municipalities in recent years have been pursuing their own paths on local immigration policy. One example is the welcoming cities movement that has formed a growing network of municipalities across the United States that are encouraging efforts for warmer receptivity and more efficient immigrant integration. Through a qualitative methodology including systematic content analysis of primary documents and key informant interviews, this article examines when, why, and how recent local receptivity and immigrant integration initiatives and policies formed and coalesced and how different places are implementing those policies. We examine 3 case study cities—Nashville, Dayton, and Chicago—through Kingdon’s multiple streams approach analytical framework to demonstrate how multisector forces at multiple scales (i.e., municipal, state, and national) facilitate or hinder the formation of local receptivity and integration initiatives and policies.

Journal Title

Journal of Urban Affairs