Intergovernmental Relations: Syrian Refugees

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The paper will start with a brief introduction of what is intergovernmental relations and how it relates to immigration. Followed by our research purpose and research question, how do the collaboration and conflict among federal, state and local governments affect the efficiency of the immigration policy? The purpose of the study is to provide a thorough understanding of the intergovernmental institutions and processes within immigration focusing in the Syrian refugees and sanctuary cities. We will briefly discuss the intergovernmental agreements such as public service, political parties, interest groups and independent and joint agencies.


Intergovernmental relations were developed to enable the cooperative policy between all levels of government.These relationships are to intentionally connect separated powers of each governmental branch. The forms of intergovernmental relations has changed over the past few years, and its future is subject to change based on the political atmosphere of its time. The term Intergovernmental relations (IGR) started in the 1930’s as a phrase unique to the United States’ democracy. “It was a concept aimed at summarizing the general and varied growth in relationships among the local, state, and national government” (Wright, 2006).

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The most recent intergovernmental issue that has been the center of attention on every social media and news platform was the Syrian immigrants and refugees in the United States. During the 2016 United States elections, President Donald Trump’s campaign demonstrated a strong opinion in regards to naturalized citizens and non-naturalized currently in the United States. The Trump Administration’s attitude towards Syrian refugees and migrants from other countries was noticed during his campaign. His campaign platform consisted of negativity towards Syrians who were already in the country and for those waiting for asylum. During his campaign he promised to ban immigration from Arab and Muslim countries whom are “compromised by terrorism”.

In 2015, before leaving office, former President Barack Obama informed of the arrangement to accommodate over 10,000 Syrian Refugees. However, on January 27, 2017 President Donald Trump did what he promised during his campaign and issued an executive order prohibiting the entrance of current and future United States citizens from seven Muslim countries. Many were negated the opportunity to obtain a visa or not allowed to enter the country at all. This executive order is considered unconstitutional due to the fact that it would go against several federal laws in addition to the fifth amendment of the Constitution. The executive order President Trump imposed gave rise to the intergovernmental relations between the federal and state governments in the United States. The president forced an obligatory ban; however, states had the decision whether to enforce or reject the idea. Since many states opposed the idea, lawsuits were filed by the state government against the federal government. Another raising issue that will be discussed in relations to the Syrian refugees are the sanctuary cities,

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