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November 16, 2017 - November 17, 2017



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.


Sheraton Pentagon City
900 S Orme St
Arlington, VA United States
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The calendar of events is supported by the Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC). For more information on RPLC visit