M. Anne Visser
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Sheryl-Ann Simpson
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Understanding local government’s engagement in immigrant policy making in the US
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While immigration policy making has traditionally been the sole prerogative of nation-states, recent research has documented increased instances of migration policy making at sub-national levels across migrant receiving societies. These findings have begun to bring attention to the ways in which immigration policy is now being set through the actions of lower levels of government. This chapter extends these findings, arguing for attention to the role of sub-national actors in defining the politics of contemporary processes of migration, settlement, and incorporation. The chapter engages with these broader issues by discussing a group of sub-national actions, the implementation of migrant labour market regularisations (LRs) in the US. LRs are discrete arenas of policy making at the sub-national level that affect aspects of migrant workers' status and include laws and ordinances related to anti-solicitation, language access, local enforcement of federal immigration law, and employment verification. The chapter thus builds on findings from individual case studies, through an analysis of a unique national dataset of over 3,000 LRs passed in US counties and municipalities between 2001 and 2015. In doing so, the chapter provides a national perspective on the social, economic, and political processes influencing the adoption of LRs over time and across space.

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Sanctuary cities and urban struggles

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