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Immigration

Edited by Alex Sager (Portland State University)
Assistant editor: Nicole Haley (Portland State University)
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Summary

Immigration began to receive attention as a major topic in applied ethics and applied social and in political philosophy in the mid-1980s. Much of the early work concentrated on questions surrounding states’ use of coercion to prevent people from immigrating, especially in a world of vast inequalities between territories. The initial debates opposed freedom of movement and freedom of opportunity against communities’ right to self-determination, shared culture, and security. Perhaps surprisingly, theorists of both open and closed-borders presented interpretations of distributive justice to support their positions. As the debate has evolved, theorists have given more attention to the obligations towards special classes of immigrants such as refugees, temporary workers, family-class immigrants, and undocumented residents. They have also turned their attention to topics such as the economics of skilled migration, human smuggling and trafficking, immigrant detention and deportation, and sustainability. Recent work has examined the implications of racism and sexism for migration as well as the moral significance of globalization and transnationalism.

Key works Joseph Carens played a major role in defining discussions of immigration in philosophy with his seminal article "Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders" (1987). Carens synthesizes many of his contributions in The Ethics of Immigration (2013) which includes subtle discussions of temporary migration, refugee policy, irregular migration, citizenship and much else. Another influential early work advocating open borders is Phillip Cole’s Philosophies of Exclusion (2000). Influential justifications for border controls include Walzer 1984 and Miller 2005. Wellman & Cole 2011 provides a useful overview of the literature on admissions, as well defense and criticism of admissions controls. Gibney 2004 is a sophisticated and comprehensive account of the ethics of refugee policy. Lenard & Straehle 2012 explores the justice of temporary labor migration programs. Brock & Blake 2015 examines the “brain drain” debate – the question of whether states can restrict the migration of skilled workers for reasons of distributive justice. Mendoza 2014 grapples with questions of race and Wilcox 2005 explores how gender affects the justice of admissions. Bauböck 1994 is an important early exploration of the implications of transnationalism for immigration and citizenship.
Introductions Carens 1987 Walzer 1984 Miller 2005 Wilcox 2009 Abizadeh 2008
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  1. Eliana Aaron (2013). Ethical Challenges in Refugee Health: A Global Public Health Concern. Hastings Center Report 43 (3).
  2. Arash Abizadeh (forthcoming). The Special-Obligations Challenge to More Open Borders. In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press
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  3. Arash Abizadeh (2010). Closed Borders, Human Rights, and Democratic Legitimation. In David Hollenbach (ed.), Driven From Home: Human Rights and the New Realities of Forced Migration. Georgetown University Press
    Critics of state sovereignty have typically challenged the state’s right to close its borders to foreigners by appeal to the liberal egalitarian discourse of human rights. According to the liberty argument, freedom of movement is a basic human right; according to the equality or justice argument, open borders are necessary to reduce global poverty and inequality, both matters of global justice. I argue that human rights considerations do indeed mandate borders considerably more open than is the norm today but that, (...)
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  4. Arash Abizadeh (2010). Democratic Legitimacy and State Coercion: A Reply to David Miller. Political Theory 38 (1):121-130.
  5. Arash Abizadeh (2008). Democratic Theory and Border Coercion: No Right to Unilaterally Control Your Own Borders. Political Theory 36 (1):37-65.
    The question of whether or not a closed border entry policy under the unilateral control of a democratic state is legitimate cannot be settled until we first know to whom the justification of a regime of control is owed. According to the state sovereignty view, the control of entry policy, including of movement, immigration, and naturalization, ought to be under the unilateral discretion of the state itself: justification for entry policy is owed solely to members. This position, however, is inconsistent (...)
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  6. Arash Abizadeh (2006). Liberal Egalitarian Arguments for Closed Borders: Some Preliminary Critical Reflections. Ethics & Economics 4 (1).
    There are at least five important arguments for why liberal egalitarianism permits states, under today's circumstances, to close their borders to foreigners: the public order, domestic economy, social integration, political threat, and domestic welfare arguments. Critical examination of these arguments suggests that liberal egalitarianism, rather than supporting a right to close one's borders to foreigners, mandates borders considerably more open than is the practice of today's self-styled liberal states.
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  7. Arash Abizadeh, Manish Pandey & Sohrab Abizadeh (2015). Wage Competition and the Special-Obligations Challenge to More Open Borders. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (3):255-269.
    According to the special-obligations challenge to the justice argument for more open borders, immigration restrictions to wealthier polities are justified because of special obligations owed to disadvantaged compatriots negatively impacted by the immigration of low-skilled foreign workers. We refute the special-obligations challenge by refuting its empirical premise and draw out the normative implications of the empirical evidence for border policies. We show that immigration to wealthier polities has negligible impact on domestic wages and that only previous cohorts of immigrants (...)
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  8. Frank Adler (2001). Immigration, Insecurity and the French Far Right. Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2001 (120):31-48.
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  9. Jaime R. Aguila (2011). The Role of Ethics Within the Contemporary Immigration Debate. Teaching Ethics 11 (2):63-79.
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  10. F. Ainsa & J. Ferguson (1982). Utopia, Promised Lands, Immigration and Exile. Diogenes 30 (119):49-64.
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  11. Btihaj Ajana (2015). Augmented Borders: Big Data and the Ethics of Immigration Control. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 13 (1):58-78.
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  12. Heather Alexander & Jonathan Simon (2014). 'Unable to Return' in the 1951 Refugee Convention: Stateless Refugees and Climate Change. Florida Journal of International Law 26 (3):531-574.
    Argues that it is not only a point of literal construction, but also inherent in the object and purpose of the 1951 Refugee Convention, that displaced stateless persons unable to return to their countries of former habitual residence may be eligible for refugee status even if unpersecuted. 'Unable to return' as it occurs in the clause following the semi-colon of 1(A)2 of the 1951 Refugee Convention must be understood as a term of art subject to appropriate canons of construction in (...)
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  13. Rkia Almalki (2011). Vous avez dit : immigration choisie ? Cités 46 (2):113.
    « Si les richesses ne vont pas là où sont les hommes, les hommes vont naturellement là où sont les richesses. » Alfred Sauvy Le débat sur l’immigration se transforme la plupart du temps en un discours marqué par des stéréotypes et dominé par des préjugés à propos des catégories sociales et des croyances culturelles partagées. Compte tenu de cet élément, une des premières..
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  14. Meriam N. Alrashid (2008). Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Only as Good as the Bureaucracy It Is Built Upon, The. Nexus 13:29.
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  15. Pierre Anctil (2005). Défi et gestion de l'immigration internationale au Québec. Cités 23 (3):43.
    S’agissant d’immigration et des choix de société qui sont consentis en la matière depuis plus de trente ans, il convient d’abord de camper l’ensemble de la société québécoise dans son contexte historique et géopolitique nord-américain. Sur ce continent, l’accueil des immigrants a été l’un des principaux moteurs du développement économique, et ce dès l’ère des grandes..
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  16. Bridget Anderson (2008). Migrants and Work-Related Rights. Ethics and International Affairs 22 (2):199–203.
    Carens's discussion of the work-related rights of irregular migrants fails to consider the differentiated employment rights of legal temporary migrants, permanent residents, and citizens.
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  17. Eleni Andreouli & Caroline Howarth (2013). National Identity, Citizenship and Immigration: Putting Identity in Context. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (3):361-382.
    In this paper we suggest that there is a need to examine what is meant by “context” in Social Psychology and present an example of how to place identity in its social and institutional context. Taking the case of British naturalisation, the process whereby migrants become citizens, we show that the identity of naturalised citizens is defined by common-sense ideas about Britishness and by immigration policies. An analysis of policy documents on “earned citizenship” and interviews with naturalised citizens shows (...)
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  18. R. Zolberg Aristide (1988). The Roots of American Refugee Policy. Social Research 55:649-678.
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  19. C. Wicksteed Armstrong (1956). Immigration of Coloured Peoples. The Eugenics Review 48 (1):63.
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  20. Monica Aufrecht (2012). Rethinking “Greening of Hate”: Climate Emissions, Immigration, and the Last Frontier. Ethics and the Environment 17 (2):51-74.
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  21. Roland Axtmann (2009). In Between: Immigration, Distributive Justice, and Political Dialogue. Contemporary Political Theory 8 (4):415-434.
    How is distributive justice possible with respect to immigration if political decisions about entry and membership cannot be grounded in the symmetry of a prior commonality, human or otherwise, that could guarantee reciprocal relations between members and nonmembers? This paper deals with both aspects of this question. Initially, it engages critically with Seyla Benhabib's plea for ‘dialogical universalism,’ showing why the strong discontinuity between political and moral reciprocity precludes understanding distributive justice as the process of mediating between political particularity and (...)
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  22. Veit Bader (2014). The Ethics of Immigration. By Joseph Carens. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Constellations 21 (2):308-310.
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  23. Veit Bader (2005). The Ethics of Immigration. Constellations 12 (3):331-361.
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  24. Veit Bader (1995). Citizenship and Exclusion: Radical Democracy, Community, and Justice. Or, What is Wrong with Communitarianism? Political Theory 23 (2):211-246.
  25. Veit Bader (1995). Citizenship and Exclusion. Political Theory 23 (2):211-246.
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  26. Annette C. Baier (1995). A Note on Justice, Care, and Immigration Policy. Hypatia 10 (2):150 - 152.
    Should a "caring" immigration policy give special treatment to would-be immigrants who are near neighbors? It is argued that, while those on our borders requesting entry have some special claim, it should not drown out the claims of more distant applicants for citizenship.
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  27. Étienne Balibar (2009). 6. World Borders, Political Borders. In We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton University Press 101-114.
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  28. Celia Bardwell-Jones (2010). The Space Between: The Politics of Immigration in Asian/Pacific Islander America. The Pluralist 5 (3):49-55.
    I would like to thank Dr. Gabaccia for her intriguing essay on the origins of the term "nation of immigrants." It really has helped me think about immigration with more historical richness. In my own work, I examine what goes into transnational and diasporic identities. I understand transnational identities as those operating between the loyalties of two or more countries. Going against perhaps unidirectional ways of understanding the immigrant as a foreigner entering into a country, I understand the immigrant identity (...)
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  29. Brian Barry & Robert E. Goodin (eds.) (1992). Free Movement Ethical Issues in the Transnational Migration of People and of Money. Penn State University Press.
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  30. Christian Barry & Luara Ferracioli (forthcoming). Can Withdrawing Citizenship Be Justified? Political Studies.
    When can or should citizenship be granted to prospective members of states? When can or should states withdraw citizenship from their existing members? In recent decades, political philosophers have paid considerable attention to the first question, but have generally neglected the second. There are of course good practical reasons for prioritizing the question of when citizenship should be granted—many individuals have a strong interest in acquiring citizenship in particular political communities, while many fewer are at risk of denationalization. Still, loss (...)
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  31. Andrea Barton (2009). Sitting on Ellis Island: The Fate of Disparate Immigration Policies in the Wake of the Guantanamo Bay Cases. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy 23 (1):233-260.
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  32. Athanasia Batziou (2011). Picturing Immigration: Photojournalistic Representation of Immigrants in Greek and Spanish Press. Intellect Ltd.
    Picturing Immigration offers a comparative study of the photojournalistic framing of immigrants in these two southern European nations, which were recently transformed from senders to receivers of migrants.
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  33. Rainer Bauböck (2011). Citizenship and Freedom of Movement. In Roger Smith (ed.), Citizenship, Borders, and Human Needs. Pennsylvania University Press 343-376.
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  34. Rainer Bauböck (2011). Temporary Migrants, Partial Citizenship and Hypermigration. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (5):665-693.
    Temporary migration raises two different challenges. The first is whether territorial democracies can integrate temporary migrants as equal citizens; the second is whether transnationally mobile societies can be organized democratically as communities of equal citizens. Considering both questions within a single analytical framework will reveal a dilemma: on the one hand, liberals have good reasons to promote the expansion of categories of free-moving citizens as the most effective and normatively attractive response to the problem of partial citizenship for temporary migrants; (...)
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  35. Rainer Bauböck (2009). Global Justice, Freedom of Movement and Democratic Citizenship. European Journal of Sociology 50 (1):1-31.
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  36. Rainer Bauböck (2007). The Rights of Others and the Boundaries of Democracy. European Journal of Political Theory 6 (4):398-405.
    Benhabib argues that the tension between universal human rights and democratic self-determination cannot be resolved. Distinguishing between the principle of rights, on the one hand, and context-specific `schedules of rights', on the other hand, helps, however, to specify the scope of both norms. I show that applying this idea to questions of citizenship requires further elaboration in three respects: (1) Benhabib's argument for porous rather than open borders, which does not fully address the challenge of global distributive justice; (2) norms (...)
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  37. Rainer Bauböck (2007). Political Boundaries in a Multilevel Democracy. In Seyla Benhabib & Ian Shapiro (eds.), Identities, Affiliations and Allegiances. Cambridge University Press 85-112.
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  38. Rainer Bauböck (2007). Stakeholder Citizenship and Transnational Political Participation: A Normative Evaluation of External Voting. Fordham Law Review 75 (5):2393-2447.
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  39. Rainer Bauböck (2006). Free Movement and the Asymmetry Between Exit and Entry. Ethics & Economics 4 (1).
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  40. Rainer Bauböck (2006). Lealtades rivales e inclusión democrática en contextos migratorios. Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 27:41-70.
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  41. Rainer Bauböck (2005). Expansive Citizenship: Voting Beyond Territory and Membership. PS: Political Science and Politics 38 (4):683-687.
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  42. Rainer Bauböck (2004). Territorial or Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities. In Alain Dieckhoff (ed.), The Politics of Belonging, Nationalism, Liberalism and Pluralism. Lanham 221-258.
  43. Rainer Bauböck (2003). Public Culture in Societies of Immigration. In Rosemarie Sackmann, Bernhard Peters & Thomas Faist (eds.), Identity and Integration. Ashgate 37-57.
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  44. Rainer Baubock (1998). Sharing History and Future? Time Horizons of Democratic Membership in an Age of Migration. Constellations 4 (3):320-345.
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  45. Rainer Bauböck (1994). Transnational Citizenship: Membership and Rights in International Migration. Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Regional integration, mass migration and the development of transnational organizations are just some of the factors challenging the traditional definitions of citizenship. In this important new book, Rainer Bauböck argues that citizenship rights will have to extend beyond nationality and state territory if liberal democracies are to remain true to their own principles of inclusive membership and equal basic rights.
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  46. Rainer Bauböck, Pierre Birnbaum, Stéphane Pierré-Caps, Gil Delannoi, Guy Hermet, Geneviève Koubi, Will Kymlicka, Jacob Levy, Wayne Norman, Patricia Savidan & Daniel Weinstock (2004). The Politics of Belonging: Nationalism, Liberalism, and Pluralism. Lexington Books.
    The Politics of Belonging represents an innovative collaboration between political theorists and political scientists for the purposes of investigating the liberal and pluralistic traditions of nationalism. Alain Dieckhoff introduces an indispensable collection of work for anyone dealing with questions of identity, ethnicity, and nationalism.
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  47. Derek R. Bell (2004). Environmental Refugees: What Rights? Which Duties? Res Publica 10 (2):135-152.
    It is estimated that there could be 200 million‘environmental refugees’ by the middle of this century. One major environmental cause of population displacement is likely to be global climate change. As the situation is likely to become more pressing, it is vital to consider now the rights of environmental refugees and the duties of the rest of the world. However, this is not an issue that has been addressed in mainstream theories of global justice. This paper considers the potential of (...)
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  48. Cristina Beltrán (2009). Going Public. Political Theory 37 (5):595-622.
    While other theorists have turned to Arendt’s analysis of statelessness and superfluity to consider questions of immigration, “illegality,” and the status of noncitizens, this essay argues that Arendt’s account of labor and her nonconsequentialist account of action offer a richer optic for considering the undocumented in the United States. To explore this claim, this essay constructs an alternate account of the nationwide demonstrations for immigrant rights that occurred in 2006. Rather than defining “success” in terms of replicability or immediate legislative (...)
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  49. Amir Ben-Porat (1991). Immigration, Proletarianization, and Deproletarianization. Theory and Society 20 (2):233-258.
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  50. Yaacov Ben-Shemesh (2008). Immigration Rights and the Demographic Consideration. Law and Ethics of Human Rights 2 (1):1-34.
    Attaining and maintaining a substantial Jewish majority in Israel has been one of the basic goals of the State of Israel since its early years. A substantial Jewish majority within the borders of the state is thought to be necessary in order to preserve its Jewish nature. Many believe that the demographic consideration also stood behind the enactment of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law , 2003, which prohibits granting Israeli citizenship and residency to Palestinians from the West Bank (...)
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