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Immigrants Welcome?
20 Apr. 2023 -
09:30 - 17:00
Conference Room

Immigrants Welcome?

NIAS Symposium

How are immigrants welcomed? In this symposium we investigate how to understand differences in welcoming cultures regarding various groups of immigrants in European countries and in the United States.

About the symposium

For the first time in its history, the EU has invoked the Temporary Protection Directive in response to the large-scale arrival of Ukrainian refugees. The Directive is an exceptional measure that creates a legal regime that significantly differs from the regular asylum system and carries different consequences in terms of rights, welfare and integration. The invocation of the Temporary Protection Directive takes place in a discursive landscape that, first, tests the common idea that large numbers of refugees stretch the resilience of European destination societies to a breaking point. And, second, departs from the decade-long narrative that has predominantly cast refugees as a burden. As a result, conceptual, normative and practical distinctions between European refugees and non-European refugees are being reinforced.

The recent treatment of Ukrainian refugees is just one example of the various, contrasting ways in which immigrants (including refugees) have been welcomed over the past decades, not only in Europe but in the US as well.

What factors and processes explain the different perceptions of distinct categories of immigrants? Which perceptions and representations reinforce the idea of immigrants as a burden that encourages exclusionary responses? Which perceptions and representations might increase and improve resilience and inclusionary responses?

During a one-day symposium, we will investigate this vast and complex problematic by looking into:
– Whether and how various groups of immigrants are treated differently in specific countries within a certain timeframe;
– Whether and how specific countries have changed their approaches over time;
– Whether cities within specific countries differ in how they welcome immigrants;
– Whether and if so how the USA and Europe differ in their approaches towards immigrants.

About the speakers

Presenting at this symposium are: Nancy Foner, Phil Kasinitz, Els de Graauw, Nanda Oudejans, Josip Kesic, Floris Vermeulen, Leo Lucassen and Jan Willem Duyvendak. More information about the programme can be found below


This symposium takes place at the NIAS Conference Room on Thursday 20 April 2023. We welcome researchers, artists and students to join this symposium and take part in the discussion. There is limited space so registration is required.

If you’re interested in joining this session, please register by sending an e-mail to events@nias.knaw.nl titled ‘NIAS Symposium’. Once you’ve registered we count on your participation. If you are unable to join, let us know as soon as possible so we can take this into account for lunch.