Immigrant Integration and Receptivity in Networks of Welcoming Cities: A Comparison of Australia and the United States

Authors: Paul McDaniel*, Kennesaw State University, Christina Edwards, Kennesaw State University, Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez, Kennesaw State University, Gianni Bisio, Kennesaw State University
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Migration, Urban Geography
Keywords: immigration, receptivity, immigrant integration, cities, welcoming cities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Washington 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In immigrant-receiving countries, despite national level immigration law and policy debate, implementation, and enforcement, sub-national units have been attempting to chart their own course. Some states in the United States, for example, have initiated “enforcement first” or “attrition-through-enforcement” policies. On the other hand, some cities have instigated an inclusive approach, often referred to as “immigrant-friendly” or “welcoming city” initiatives. 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 in immigrant-receiving countries, implementing immigrant integration practices, plans, and policies for sustainable integration. Welcoming America, a nonprofit headquartered in metropolitan Atlanta, is one example of an organization leading the welcoming movement and nurturing growing national networks of affiliate municipalities. In addition to cultivating a welcoming cities network in the U.S., Welcoming America’s work has also expanded to places in Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia—examples of other immigrant- and refugee-receiving countries. Through a mixed-methods approach, this paper contributes to contemporary understanding of immigrant integration and receptivity by assessing, comparing, and contrasting, the changing dynamics and discourses around receptivity within nationwide networks of Welcoming Cities that have emerged in two immigrant-receiving society contexts: the United States and Australia.

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