This article challenges the idea that territorial rescaling invariably leads to a race to the bottom in the provision of rights for vulnerable subjects. Instead, the comparison of two regions in Italy and two cantons in Switzerland shows that subnational governments make different choices reflecting the preferences of their voters. While focusing on the case of undocumented immigrants and their inclusion/exclusion from health care, the article explains how subnational governments have appropriated certain categories of rights that constituted the hallmark of national citizenship for most of the twentieth century.