“No One Can Be Illegal”

Cities of Migration has a special interest in promoting positive and meaningful stories about migration and its impact on the communities and cities we live in. We like to say we are ‘mainstreaming’ integration, or building public awareness of how integration happens all around us, all the time -at home, at work, in schools, in the media.

We pay attention to the positive (or negative) impact of the language, messages and images that are used to represent integration issues.

At last month’s International Metropolis conference, the subject of “undocumented” or “irregular or “illegal” immigrants was introduced by speakers in a variety of contexts –the economy, media, national policy, justice, marriage –to name only a few.

So when I saw this campaign slogan from the Swiss trade union UNIA, I was impressed with the simple way it re-directed our attention to the human dimension of illegal immigration: in English, “No One Can Be Illegal.”

Campaign materials are available in German, French, English, Serbian, Portuguese, Albanian, Turkish and Spanish. For more information, see the UNIA website.