Theses Master's

Is There a Municipal Role in Immigration Policy? Examining Case Studies in Four Cities in the United States To Build A Typology of ‘Immigration Localism’

Arellano, Vicente

This research seeks to understand the landscape of local immigration policies in the United States and asks, what role do municipalities have in immigration policy? To what extent can municipalities be involved in the cooperation or noncooperation with national immigration laws? Specifically, what kind of municipal actions or inactions are associated with the classification of certain immigration policy responses and is this generalizable? The aim of this thesis is to establish a typology of municipal responses culminating in the production of a static four quadrant – matrix model within which cities can be located. In order to test this model, case studies will be systematically examined for internal validity across samples, and for external validity in the replicability of the exercise. Four US cities will serve as case studies: Detroit (Michigan), San Francisco (California), Hialeah (Florida), and Mesa (Arizona). These municipalities were selected because they have not been previously studied in this regard and because they represent the multi-dimensional nature of factors affecting local immigration policies. This thesis proceeds by (1) exploring the context of immigration policy and settlement in the United States, (2), reviewing the literature on local immigration policies in the US, and (3) examining the characteristics and policies of the case studies. The output consists of a typology of municipal responsiveness on the subject of inclusionary and exclusionary immigration policies and a generalizable model within which other cities can be situated. It is the intention of this work, that a more comprehensive and multi-dimensional approach to municipal policy analysis can create the circumstances for a new evaluation of immigration policy localism in a global governance perspective.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Tajbakhsh, Kian Y.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 30, 2017