Fabiola Pardo Noteboom presents her paper 'New immigrant groups, integration and forms of citizenship in the global city: the case of Latin Americans in Europe' in Parallel session IV(D) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond
In the last two decades, and with the so-called failure of multiculturalism, an important debate has emerged on the formulation of integration policies for immigrants in Western Europe. While these policies should aim to strengthen the participation of immigrant groups in all spheres of society and encourage intercultural processes, particularly in large cities, in practise, immigrants must assume the entire responsibility of their integration. This paper is based on the results of a recent comparative study on the integration practices of Latin American migrants in Amsterdam, London and Madrid in the framework of their specific local integration policies. Given the international socio-political context, Europe is undergoing a moment of resistance to non-western immigration and there is a strong tendency towards enforcing control measures and the establishment of strict selection criteria. In relation to integration, governments are resorting to short-term legislation interventions in an attempt to achieve results. Integration becomes a democratic urgency and rapid solutions are given for processes that need long-term perspectives. As shown in the case of Latin Americans, the efficiency of these policies is limited and migrants are more influenced by their informal social and civic networks and trajectories than by the formal policies designed to integrate them. In the context of the global city, these migrant intercultural trajectories have created alternative forms to experience citizenship and a genuine city identity without a direct connection to the national identity promoted by formal integration policies. The resurgence of the concepts of citizenship and national identity as a strategy for integration and social cohesion, and the urgency that characterised integration policies for processes that requires long-term views are leading to the inefficiency if not, the failure of these legislative efforts.