Philosophy Compass 4 (5):813-821 (2009)
|Abstract||Global migration raises important ethical issues. One of the most significant is the question of whether liberal democratic societies have strong moral obligations to admit immigrants. Historically, most philosophers have argued that liberal states are morally free to restrict immigration at their discretion, with few exceptions. Recently, however, liberal egalitarians have begun to challenge this conventional view in two lines of argument. The first contends that immigration restrictions are inconsistent with basic liberal egalitarian values, including freedom and moral equality. The second maintains that affluent, liberal democratic societies are morally obligated to admit immigrants as a partial response to global injustices, such as poverty and human rights violations. This article surveys the main philosophical arguments for these positions on immigration and discusses the critical responses to these arguments.|
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