Integrating migrants in cities: Jacqui Broadhead’s Story
Published: 18 Apr 2018
Migration researcher Jacqui Broadhead travelled to the US and Italy in 2016 to understand how cities can better integrate migrants. Her work now informs how integration is achieved in cities across the UK.
In the UK much of the debate around migration takes place at the national level, but most of the work that can be done to support integration happens locally. Cities are particularly well placed to support integration: they are the places with the highest levels of migration, often have the most positive public opinion on migration, and are the most likely to be impacted by failure to do integration well.
Jacqui chose to travel to New York City as part of her Fellowship, as the city’s pride in its history of migration has translated into practical policies in support of integration today. Jacqui met with representatives of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs to discuss their innovative Action NYC model of free immigration advice, and with NGOs and employers to explore the help they are offering to migrants, such as English-language classes and employment support.
Below: A mural in New York City depicting immigrant children from the early 1900s
In Italy, Jacqui looked at the other side of the coin - a country historically more associated with emigration that has recently become a country of immigration. In Bologna, Rome and Puglia, she witnessed efforts that are being made to be welcoming and inclusive; she visited welcome centres for the very newly arrived, trade unions delivering immigration advice and campaigns to support city-wide inclusion.
Jacqui had intended for the findings from her Fellowship to inform her role in managing migration policy (including Syrian refugee resettlement) at Islington Council. But soon after returning to the UK, her Fellowship helped her secure a new role at the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society at the University of Oxford. There she oversees a project called Inclusive Cities, a knowledge exchange initiative working with six UK cities to create a step-change in the way migrants are integrated. It sees local authorities in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Peterborough working to create inclusive action plans and convene a taskforce of stakeholders to deliver change.
Inclusive Cities benefits from a partnership with Welcoming America - a US NGO that Jacqui visited during her Fellowship travels. In May 2018 she will lead a learning exchange for the six UK cities to visit Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Montgomery County, Maryland, to better understand approaches there.
Alongside working intensively with the six cities involved in Inclusive Cities, Jacqui has presented the findings from her Fellowship to city representatives from Oxford and Sheffield, mayors from several Italian cities and NGOs in Istanbul.
Jacqui is also currently working with a group of Churchill Fellows to establish a new Migration Network.
“Migration is a topic of high salience both to policy makers and the public, with discourse that is often contentious and narrow in focus. The Migration Fellows network hopes to bring together the wide range of Fellows from disparate disciplines and backgrounds who have travelled to investigate different aspects of this phenomenon; both its rich history and the lessons this has for what is happening here and now in our communities and into the future. The Network hopes to bring this learning together and spark new partnerships and ideas to better understand this complex area and how we can all live well together” - Jacqui Broadhead