20th National Metropolis Conference

Immigration Futures: Marking 20 Years of the National Metropolis Conference

March 22th - 24th 2018

Westin Calgary

Metropolis North America


People, Labour, Borders & Security

NOVEMBER 16-17,2017



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Migration has profoundly shaped the economic and social condition of North Americans and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Governments in all three North American countries are responding to such challenges as the ongoing humanitarian crises in Syria and Central America, while at the same time seeking to realize their own proactive policy priorities on migration. And in all three countries, public opinion on the issues is in flux. Geographic boundaries have shaped critical aspects in the relationship between the United States, Mexico and Canada with such things as population composition, labour and security. Cross-border linkages (e.g. ethnic networks, return migration, dual citizenship, diaspora politics, transnational criminal activity) create an ever-complex environment. Changes to the flow of migrants have required occasional adjustments to the rules governing the movement of people and goods between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Migration has a decisive impact on public policies at the continental, national, regional and local levels. North American border partnerships have also been the object of ongoing attention to ensure economic competitiveness and collective security while balancing humanitarian concerns and the protection of individual rights. Constructive dialogue between key government and non-government stakeholders across various sectors in the three countries is essential towards ensuring successful collaboration in managing the considerable and valuable degree of people, goods and services moving across our borders. At present, there is a critical need for a broadly-based trilateral platform to foster strategic thinking around cross-border cooperation on the critical issue of migration. Metropolis North America aims to provide opportunities informed dialogue by organizing Forums to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico over the next two years. The objective is to develop a research agenda that identifies the key cross-border issues that will benefit from an evidence-base to better inform policy deliberation across relevant sectors.

This inaugural Policy Forum will be held in Arlington, Virginia on November 16th and 17th. It will facilitate open and constructive discussion between policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in order to achieve better understanding of the respective challenges in the area of migration in the United States, Mexico and Canada. It will provide a platform to help assess the effects migration and propose ideas to strengthen cooperation between the three countries. We invite proposals from leading researchers, civil society actors, and policy-makers to organize bilateral and/or multilateral sessions (workshops and/or round tables) that offer important insights via comparative perspectives on issues of migration as they concern People Labour, Borders and Security.

Please find below some suggested themes:

  • Labor Mobility
  • Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Transit Migration
  • Family Migration
  • Economic Migration
  • International Students
  • Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Credentials Recognition
  • Migration and the Law
  • Binational and Multinational Migration Agreements
  • Crossing Borders
  • Border States and Cities
  • Governance of Immigration: The Role of Federal, State/Provincial Governments
  • Immigration and the Specific Role of Cities and Municipalities
  • Role of Receiving Communities
  • Citizenship
  • Public Safety
  • Settlement and Integration
  • Employment Training

Session Formats

All sessions must have bilateral or trilateral participation from the United States, Mexico and/or Canada.


(90 minutes)

Workshops will usually consist of four to a maximum of five presentations of approximately 15 minutes each followed by at least 20 minutes of discussion. Workshop coordinators will preside over the session or designate another individual to do so.


(90 minutes)

The roundtable format is suitable for more informal discussions of emerging issues or to unpack controversial topics. It is a very effective format for the exchange of information and experiences among a relatively small number of people. The organizer or designated person chairs the roundtable with bi/tri national discussants. An 8 person limit per roundtable discussion is recommended because of the desire to actively engage all participants in the session and the physical arrangement of the tables around which the discussions will take place.

Submit Your Proposal

Please note that you will be required to include the following information with your submission:

  • Name and contact information
  • Format of your session (workshop or roundtable)
  • Title of your session
  • Names of co-organizers (if applicable)
  • Names of presenters including their affiliation, email address and titles of their presentation
  • 50-word abstract which will be included in the program (please make sure it is descriptive, but is also formulated to interest as many conference participants as possible)
  • 250-word summary for consideration by the Adjudication Committee
Your proposal should be emailed to Ashley Manuel ( by October 16th, 2017 with decisions expected by October 20th, 2017.

Submit your proposal

Forum Co-Chairs

  • Jack Jedwab, Metropolis Canada, Canadian Institute for Identities and Migration/Association for Canadian Studies
  • Adam Hunter, Cultural Vistas
  • Agustín Escobar Latapí, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social

Planning Committee Members

  • Victor Armony, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Theresa Brown, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Wendy Cukier, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University
  • Howard Duncan, Metropolis International
  • Kareem El-Assal, Conference Board of Canada
  • Marina Jaminez, University of Toronto
  • Gallya Lahav, Stony Brook University (State University of New York)
  • Diane Lim, The Conference Board (Committee for Economic Development)
  • Claudia Masferrer León, Centro de Estudios Demográficos, Urbanos y Ambientales, El Colegio de México
  • Carla Pederzini, Universidad Iberoamericana
  • Rachel Peric, Welcoming America
  • Chris Sands, Center for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • Andrew Selee, Migration Policy Institute
  • Lori Wilkinson, Immigration Research West

Additional partners


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