City development policy for inclusion - Migrants and refugees report

The first moment the city feels the impact of new immigration is right after migrants or refugees crossed the country’s border. Being in the frontline, cities fulfil the role of both a hub for initial reception and transit as well as the final destination to settle down. In this dual function, cities have to manage integration processes simultaneously in the short, medium, and long-term. While the State has the responsibility to regulate access to the territory and residency rights, it remains the city’s task to regulate social services, housing and community governance. In other words, the national or federal government sets the immigration policy, but sometimes does not assume any responsibility to implement these guidelines.

In absence of financial support from higher government levels, and confronted with a sudden increase of population, cities have reacted in a pragmatically way to manage those new migratory challenges; for instance, in addressing provision of housing, lifting language barriers or creating social spaces for cultural exchange to overcome racism and prejudices.

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