Next MUNA conference:
February 6, 7 & 8, 2019

The question of allowing individual cities to operate independently from their government on immigration policies

Issue in Global Mayors Forum

Ever since the European Refugee Crisis started in 2015, more and more refugees have sought refuge in the European Union.. As this crisis has been going on for several years now, a great divide has occurred within European countries. Several citizens want to take in refugees and others do not. Consequently, many cities do not agree with the immigration policy that their government is following. Just like in Europe the United States of America (U.S.A.) have had similar issues with refugees from Mexico and recently also from countries such as Honduras.

As a result of this dividedness, anti-immigrant demonstrations have taken place in several cities, such as Amsterdam, Prague, Calais, Dresden, Rome, Warsaw, and Cologne. During these protests, enforcement was often needed to keep the peace. Most of these anti-immigrant demonstrations were organized by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA).

On the contrary, other demonstrations have taken place which protested against immigration policies which were deemed too harsh as well as the anti-immigrants. In the U.S.A., for example, large demonstrations took place in, for example, New York, against President Donal Trump’s immigration policies. Oftentimes, when these two groups meet riots as well as heavy debates break out.

Not only the U.S.A. and Europe get many refugees annually. Also countries, such as Thailand, India, and Australia get many refugee requests each year.

There are three main questions within this issue. The first being, how do we want to deal with the many refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)? The second being, to what extent do we want cities to operate independently on this? And the third one being, to what extent is this possible considering existing laws?



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