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The Real Danger in Refugee Resettlement

It’s not the refugees, it’s how they’re received, city leaders say.
City leaders from Detroit, Edmonton, and London discuss how their cities have been welcoming to refugees at the CityLab 2016 summit in Miami.
City leaders from Detroit, Edmonton, and London discuss how their cities have been welcoming to refugees at the CityLab 2016 summit in Miami.C2 Photography

MIAMI—Throughout history, refugees have been regarded with suspicion, and today is no different. In just the past couple of years, migration around the world has surged. Syrians have fled their conflict-ridden nation. Central American parents have sent their kids across the U.S.-Mexico border. On the receiving side, in Europe and North America especially, the cries of protest have been loud. Citing security concerns, countries around the world have been building walls.

City-level officials tend to see refugees differently, however. At The Atlantic’s CityLab 2016 summit Monday, a trio of local officials discussed why their cities are trying to be more welcoming of refugees, not less. “Our cities are better for it,” said Don Iveson, mayor of Edmonton. “[Refugee resettlement] adds to our identity and our economy.”