What is the Right to Exclude Immigrants?

Res Publica 16 (3):245-262 (2010)
It is normally taken for granted that states have a right to control immigration into their territory. When immigration is raised as a normative issue two questions become salient, one about what the right to exclude is, and one about whether and how it might be justified. This paper considers the first question. The paper starts by noting that standard debates about immigration have not addressed what the right to exclude is. Standard debates about immigration furthermore tend to result either in fairly strong cases for open borders or in denials that considerations of justice apply to immigration at all, which results in state discretion positions. This state of debate is both theoretically unsatisfactory and normatively implausible. The paper therefore explores an alternative approach to the right to exclude immigrants from the perspective of recent debates about the territorial rights of states. The right to exclude claimed by states is analysed and it is shown to differ both conceptually and normatively from rights to impose political authority within a territory. The paper finally indicates how this analysis might broaden the focus of debates about immigration and suggest alternative regimes of migration regulation the possibility of which is obscured by traditional justice approaches
Keywords Immigration  Justice  Right to exclude  Sovereignty  State  Territorial rights
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DOI 10.1007/s11158-010-9122-2
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (2005). The Problem of Global Justice. Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113–147.
Leif Wenar (2008). Property Rights and the Resource Curse. Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1):2–32.

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Citations of this work BETA
Stephanie J. Silverman (2014). Detaining Immigrants and Asylum Seekers: A Normative Introduction. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (5):600-617.
Clara Sandelind (2013). Territorial Rights Open Borders. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-21.

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