Why Cities Provide Services to Undocumented Migrants

Please join us to hear Open Society Fellow Sarah Spencer and New York City Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs Fatima Shama discuss how cities on two continents provide essential services to irregular migrants, at a time when such arrangements are increasingly under threat. 

Among the questions they will address are: How do cities serve undocumented migrants now, and how can they serve them better? What are the economic and social imperatives that lead city governments to provide access to services, despite the fact that doing so often carries a steep political price? And what lessons do U.S. cities provide for those in Europe—and vice versa?


  • Sarah Spencer is an Open Society Fellow and former chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of equality and human rights organizations in Britain. 
  • Fatima Shama is Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for New York City.
  • Moderator Archana Sahgal is program officer in the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Equality Fund.
Date: October 16, 2013
Time: 12:302:00 p.m.
Archana Sahgal, Fatima Shama, and Sarah Spencer