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Els de  Graauw

Els de Graauw

NIAS Individual Fellow

Project title

Grassroots Democracy: How U.S. Cities and States Integrate Immigrants

Research question

How and to what effect have the growing number of city and state immigrant affairs offices addressed the societal integration of the many immigrants and refugees in the United States? What explains differences in integration narratives, policy approaches, and outcomes across U.S. cities and states?

Project description

This research engages with scholarly debates about how government bureaucracies shape immigrants’ access to rights and services and how local contexts of reception influence immigrant integration. These contexts determine the narratives, strategies, policies, and institutions that city and state government officials develop to welcome and integrate immigrants and refugees. This research draws on a unique dataset of existing city and state immigrant affairs offices in the United States as well as in-depth qualitative case studies of immigrant affairs offices in five key cities and states: New York City (NY), San Francisco (CA), Houston (TX), Detroit (MI), and Atlanta (GA). For policymakers, community practitioners, and general audiences, the resulting book will also offer practical solutions for how best to strengthen immigrant integration and promote grassroots democracy through local and state action.

Selected publications