Media Representation and Public Discourse of Immigrant Integration, Inclusion, and Receptivity in Welcoming Cities

Authors: Paul McDaniel*, Kennesaw State University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Urban Geography, Ethnic Geography
Keywords: immigration, receptivity, immigrant integration, cities, welcoming cities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Galerie 1, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Despite national level immigration law and policy debate, implementation, and enforcement, sub-national units in immigrant- and refugee-receiving countries have been attempting to chart their own course. Some states and cities in the United States, for example, have initiated “enforcement first” or “attrition-through-enforcement” policies. Other places have instigated a welcoming and inclusive approach, often referred to as an “immigrant-friendly” or “welcoming city” approach. In recent years a growing number of cities of all different sizes, histories, and contexts are part of what has become known as the “welcoming movement”—an emergent network of municipalities across the U.S., and in other immigrant-receiving countries, implementing immigrant integration plans, practices, and policies for long-term, sustainable integration. Welcoming America, a nonprofit headquartered in metropolitan Atlanta, is one example of an organization leading the welcoming movement and nurturing this growing network of cities. There are now over 100 member welcoming cities and organizations of all different shapes, sizes, and contexts across the U.S. representing over 10 percent of the total U.S. population and over 20 percent of the foreign-born population in the U.S. Their work has also recently expanded to localities in Germany and Australia, examples of two other immigrant- and refugee-receiving countries. By utilizing document analysis and systematic content analysis of local, regional, and national print media reporting, public statements from public officials, and primary documents from local programs and initiatives, this paper contributes to contemporary understanding of integration and receptivity by assessing the changing discourses around receptivity at multiple geographic scales.

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