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Welcoming New Americans?Local Governments and Immigrant Incorporation$
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Abigail Fisher Williamson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226572512

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226572796.001.0001

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(p.267) Chapter Nine Conclusion
Welcoming New Americans?

Abigail Fisher Williamson

University of Chicago Press

Having demonstrated a clear trend toward municipal accommodation of immigrants, explained how it arose, and detailed its consequences, this conclusion discusses the broader implications of these findings for intergovernmental dynamics and immigrant incorporation. It also takes up the question of whether municipal accommodation will continue under President Trump. Thus far, municipal accommodation has proved largely resilient. Indeed, sanctuary cities have become even more outspoken. But local government accommodation may become more vulnerable, particularly if accommodating cities are penalized by their states, if immigration becomes politicized locally in ways that generate calls for restriction, or if the Trump administration succeeds in dismantling civil rights protections. Overall, this book suggests that municipal accommodation can advance immigrant incorporation when effectively designed. To promote broad-based immigrant advancement, municipal officials should support immigrant organizations rather than relying on individual intermediaries. To promote societal acceptance, they should structure opportunities for meaningful interethnic contact. Where restrictive episodes arise, advocates may scale back restriction by highlighting violations of antidiscriminatory norms. These efforts can advance incorporation, but municipalities rarely possess adequate resources to substantially enhance immigrants’ capacity. Comprehensive federal reform remains essential, especially given the federal government’s far-reaching influence in framing immigrants and shaping local officials’ responses.

Keywords:   immigration, municipal, accommodation, local government, sanctuary city, President Donald Trump, intergovernmental, immigrant incorporation, federal, anti-immigrant

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