Webinar: Sanctuary Cities: Challenges and Opportunities


Tue, 05/24/2016

Type of event


Thematic area

IDPs, refugees and resettlement

Lead organisation


On May 24th, the Cities of Migration initiative will hold a webinar on sanctuary cities and their challenges and opportunities.

"The global Sanctuary City movement is growing, with formal and informal networks spreading across the UK, Europe, the US, and now Canada. In some jurisdictions this means formal policies to protect irregular migrants from prosecution. In others, it enshrines the individual’s ‘right to the city’ and ensures access to public services, regardless of immigration status. Elsewhere it is a community-led strategy to promote social inclusion and raise public awareness of the vulnerable. In an age of high mobility and open borders, what they all have in common is a growing number of residents who may be falling through the cracks.

Join us on May 24 for “Sanctuary Cities: Challenges and Opportunities,” a 60-minute webinar that explores sanctuary policies and programs in Toronto and New York, what works and why it’s important, asking: Who does the sanctuary city seek to protect and why?

Toronto’s sanctuary city ordinance (Access T.O.) is relatively young (2013), and new research by Idil Atak and Graham Hudson at Ryerson University suggests it’s being rolled out unevenly across city services and institutions, and that the reasons why people are ‘undocumented’ and how they become ‘illegalized’ is poorly understood.

New York City’s inclusive approach to city services includes strategies to address the challenges of a large undocumented citizenry– in the short term with programs like the NYC municipal ID card, while the Cities for Citizenship campaign seeks long term solutions by promoting a path to citizenship (legality). Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, shares practical insights from MOIA’s long experience with undocumented people, offering a welcome counterpoint to Toronto’s ‘start-up’ experience to date."

Source: Cities of Migration