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Immigrants and Local Governance: The View from City Hall

By Paul Lewis, Karthick Ramakrishnan

More than one-quarter of California residents are foreign-born. Yet, very little is known about the effects of immigration on public policymaking and representation at the local level. In this report, the authors address three major questions. First, how do municipal officials become aware of the needs and preferences of immigrant populations? Second, how do they attempt to communicate city policies to their immigrant constituents, many of whom do not speak English? Third, how – if at all – does the presence of immigrants alter the policies and routines of city government?

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