Global research on new immigrant destinations prioritizes the study of places experiencing rapid demographic change. Immigration is increasingly promoted, however, as a policy tool to encourage stability in peripheral regions, cities, and communities. This paper introduces the concept of the aspiring gateway to describe locations that attract few immigrants but proactively aspire to become welcoming communities. We make this case through an examination of the geographies of immigrant receptivity in Atlantic Canada. Our findings are based on 22 interviews with participants in the immigration sector in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Highlighting the powerful role of non-state actors and public discourses, our analysis considers the ambiguities and mixed messages of the place-based immigration policies of this region. We argue that a more pluralistic understanding of immigrant gateways must include peripheral spaces that are relatively isolated from international migration flows. Aspiring gateways require a rethinking of assumptions formed in and about new immigrant destinations.
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Adapted from: https://research.library.mun.ca/14488/