The Role of Cities in Managing Migration: Some Experiences from the Global South

The management of migration is still seen as an issue to be dealt with at the federal level by the central government. Yet as the literature on cities and globalization reveals, cities have an important role to play with respect to migration. While attention has focused in particular on how global cities in the Global North have developed local strategies to deal with migration-related issues, ranging from measures aiming at the inclusion of migrants irrespective of their legal status to repressive measures of controlling and banning migrants and their access to urban areas, less attention has been focused on (globalizing) cities in the Global South. Yet, these cities are (also) important nodes in migratory flows and their roles and policy responses need to be further analyzed.  For this project, I am interested in the umbrella topic of what types of migration related challenges affect cities in the Global South and what policy strategies have they developed to deal with such challenges. More specifically, I am looking to build on and further develop a previous research project which analyzed how three Mexican cities, Puebla, Monterrey and Tijuana, have developed policies toward different migration related issues. This earlier research indicates that these cities are nodes in multiple migration flows: rural-urban, skilled immigration (domestic and from the Global North), transit (from Central America but also from other continents), emigration, and return migration. These cities’ experiences and policy initiatives serve to further explore cities’ roles and contributions as actors in the global governance of managing migration. 

Keywords Cities; managing migration; global South; Mexico; migration assemblages