This interdisciplinary paper identifies principles of an affluent country (im)migration policy that avoids: (1) the positivist inclusion/exclusion mechanism of liberalism and communitarianism; and (2) the idealism of most cosmopolitan (im)migration theories. First, I: (a) critique the failure of liberalism and communitarianism to consider (im)migration under distributive justice; and (b) present cosmopolitan (im)migration approaches as a promising alternative. This paper’s central claim is that cosmopolitan (im)migration theory can determine normative shortcomings in (im)migration policy by coupling elements of Frankfurt School methodology to (...) case studies of (im)migration regimes. Lastly, I apply this analytical procedure to recent special changes in Spanish and UK immigration law. (shrink)
Abstract: Michael Walzer and David Miller defend the authority of democratic states to determine who will be allowed entry and membership. In support of this view they have claimed that the domestic solidarity necessary for social justice is threatened by the unregulated influx of outsiders. This empirical thesis proves to be false when applied to the United States, where heavy Latino and Latina immigration is more likely to increase civic solidarity than to diminish it. Seen in this light, the (...) positions of Jürgen Habermas and Carol Gould, giving human rights priority over democratic sovereignty in decisions about membership, cannot be criticized as utopian. Liberal philosophers can also defend open borders as a way to give oppressed peoples representation inside powerful countries where state decisions often threaten access to essential resources and basic freedoms in their home countries. (shrink)
Approximately 47 million Latinos currently live in the United States, and nearly 25 percent of them are undocumented. The USA is a very different country from just a generation ago – culturally, socially, and demographically. Its presumed core values have been transformed largely by the changes wrought by immigration and ethnicity. A multicultural society has, in 2008, elected a multicultural president. This article examines immigration discourse, framed in terms of fear and security, and the evolution of the US (...)immigration policy. Latino immigration is presented as a force that has shaped the nation's past and continues to shape the economic, demographic, and cultural future of the United States. Psychological barriers to the social integration of immigrants are also explored. This article concludes that government policy makers should encourage a more tolerant, multicultural society by integrating Latino immigrants into the social, economic, and political fabric of the nation. (shrink)
Can states' immigration policies favor groups with whom they are culturally and historically tied? I shall answer this question here positively, but in a qualified manner. My arguments in support of this answer will be of distributive justice, presupposing a globalist rather than a localist approach to justice. They will be based on a version of liberal nationalism according to which individuals can have fundamental interests in their national culture, interests which are rooted in freedom, identity, and especially in (...) ensuring the meaningfulness of their endeavor. The prevalent means for protecting these interests is the right to national self-determination. Many believe that this right should be conceived of as a right to a state. I shall show that this conception of self-determination implies purely nationalist immigration policies. I shall present reasons for rejecting such policies, reasons which together with other reasons form a strong case against the statist interpretation of the right to self-determination. They form a strong case in favor of understanding self-determination as a bundle of privileges to which nations are entitled within the states dominating their homelands. Some of these privileges have to do with immigration policies. I shall argue for three principles which should regulate these immigration privileges and discuss the relation between them and Israel's Law of Return. (shrink)
Could we plausibly believe in the fundamental tenets of classical liberalism and, at the same time, support the state’s raising of immigration barriers? The thesis of this paper is that if we accept the main tenets of classical liberalism as essentially correct, we should regard immigration barriers as essentially illegitimate. Considered under ideal conditions, immigration barriers constitute an unjustified infringement on individuals’ ownership rights, since it is difficult to identify a purpose that such an infringement could have (...) that would outweigh the disadvantages created by eliminating important competitive pressures on governments. Considered under nonideal conditions, the problem is, roughly, that immigration barriers cannot be seen as the choice of a lesser evil in the face of either an expected extension of the redistributive state or an expected threat on liberal institutions. On the contrary, since they relax the constraints faced by governments, immigration barriers should be seen as a major contributor in creating the conditions for the perpetuation of the sort of political arrangements that classical liberals resist. If individual sovereignty is to be protected, the sovereignty of the state over a particular territory should not include a prerogative to determine who is to inhabit it. (shrink)
This article questions the use of immigration as a tool to counter global poverty. It argues that poor people have a human right to stay in their home state, which entitles them to receive development assistance without the necessity of migrating abroad. The article thus rejects a popular view in the philosophical literature on immigration which holds that rich states are free to choose between assisting poor people in their home states and admitting them as immigrants when fulfilling (...) duties to assist the global poor. Since the human right to stay is entailed by values that feature prominently in the philosophical debate on immigration, the article further contends that participants in that debate have particular reason to reject the popular ‘choice view’ and endorse the alternative position presented in the article. (shrink)
In this paper I provide a philosophical analysis of family-based immigration. This type of immigration is of great importance, yet has received relatively little attention from philosophers and others doing normative work on immigration. As family-based immigration poses significant challenges for those seeking a comprehensive normative account of the limits of discretion that states should have in setting their own immigration policies, it is a topic that must be dealt with if we are to have (...) a comprehensive account. In what follows I use the idea of freedom of association to show what is distinctive about family-based immigration and why it ought to have a privileged place in our discussion of the topic. I further show why this style of argument neither allows states to limit nearly all immigration nor requires them to have almost no limits on immigration. I conclude by showing that all states must allow some degree of family-based immigration, and that this is a duty owed not to “outsiders” seeking to enter, but rather to current citizens. (shrink)
This paper argues that the relevant unit of analysis for assessing the justice of an immigration policy is the socially-situated individual (as opposed to the individual simpliciter or the nation-state, for example). This methodological principle is demonstrated indirectly by showing how some liberal, cosmopolitan defenses of "open borders" and the alleged right of immigration fail by their own standards, owing to the implicit adoption of an inappropriate unit of analysis.
This study is devoted to the ways and means to justify a ‘more’ cosmopolitan realization of certain policy implications, in the case of immigration. The raison d’être of this study is the idea that the contemporary debate over open borders suffers from indeterminate discussions on whether liberal states are entitled to restrict immigration. On the other hand, most of the liberal cosmopolitan accounts neglect the detrimental consequences of their open borders argument – which take it as a means (...) to compensate people in need –, such as brain drain and the effects of brain drain on the opportunity sets of members of sending countries. Therefore I offer a moral cosmopolitan account of immigration which takes the interests of would-be immigrants, the residents in receiving, along with the residents in sending countries in respect to their opportunity sets because of the way arbitrary border control represents the inequality of opportunity. I do not provide a well-formed immigration policy here, yet I believe the account provided here is more feasible in considering phenomena such as brain drain. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that anyone who accepts a Rawlsian account of justice should favor granting family-based immigration benefit to same-sex couples. I first provide a brief over-view of the most relevant aspects of Rawls's position, Justice as Fairness. I then explain why family-based immigration benefits are an important topic and one that everyone interested in immigration and justice must consider. I then show how same-sex couples are currently systematically excluded from the benefits that flow from (...) family-based immigration rights. Next I argue that people in the constitutional and legislative stages of Rawls's original position would act to protect family-based immigration rights for themselves and show how these rights are rights of the current citizens of a state to bring in certain outsiders and not rights of outsiders seeking to enter. Importantly, this argument takes place entirely within the bounds of Rawls's domestic theory of justice and does not make reference to his more controversial views found in his account of international justice. I then show that there is no acceptable reason to restrict these rights to opposite-sex couples and good reason to extend them to same-sex couples. Finally I consider two objections to my account and show why they do not threaten my conclusion. (shrink)
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 (...) that the distinction between “elite” and “non-elite” migrants is evident in both the “reified” sphere of policy and the “common sense” sphere of everyday identity construction. While social representations embedded in lay experience construct ethno-cultural similarity and difference, immigration policies engage in an institutionalised positioning process by determining migrants' rights of mobility. These spheres of knowledge and practice are not disconnected as these two levels of “managing otherness” overlap—it is the poorer, less skilled migrants, originating outside the West who epitomise difference (within a consensual sphere) and have less freedom of mobility (within a reified sphere). We show that the context of identity should be understood as simultaneously psychological and political. (shrink)
In this article, I broadly sketch out the current philosophical debate over immigration and highlight some of its shortcomings. My contention is that the debate has been too focused on border enforcement and therefore has left untouched one of the more central issue of this debate: what to do with unauthorized immigrants who have already crossed the border and with the “push and pull” factors that have created this situation. After making this point, I turn to the work of (...) Enrique Dussel and argue that his philosophical approach offers some insights that can help overcome these shortcomings. In particular, Dussel’s commitment to a social critique and transformation that begins with the material grievances of the most excluded and oppressed in a community. Under this type of approach, the immigration debate would begin with the grievances of the victims of immigration polices and reform (i.e. unauthorized immigrants) instead of with concerns for how to better enforce borders. Lastly, I point out that this type of approach is consistent with the current Immigrant Rights Movement in the United States. (shrink)
In her book, The Ethics and Mores of Race, Naomi Zack offers her readers a critical and historical examination of philosophical ethics. This comprehensive and illuminating examination of philosophical ethics concludes by yielding twelve requirements for an ethics of race. While these twelve requirements are not in-themselves an ethics of race, the hope is that these requirements will be sufficient to finally allow us to explicitly engage in ethical treatments of race. My view is that Zack’s argument is basically on (...) solid footing, but that her exposition she does not pay enough attention to the issue of immigration. This is not to say that Zack ignores the issue completely, but to say that, much like the issue of slavery (although very different in many important ways), immigration has historically played an important role in the construction of “whiteness,” in particular in the establishment of “white privilege,” and in the perpetuation of “white supremacy.” So similar to the way slavery is specifically prohibited by requirement 8, I believe that the issue of immigration merits its own specific “requirement of content” within the lager set of requirements for an ethics of race. (shrink)
Consequentialist cosmopolitanism, Peter Higgins argues, enables closed border liberals to evade charges of moral hypocrisy despite their commitment to moral equality of individuals, once we recognize that open border arguments rely on cosmopolitanism’s individualism requirement, which ignores social realities relevant to a realistic assessment of the social consequences of an open immigration policy. Higgins is mistaken, however, in contending that cosmopolitan individualism entails attention to people only in their capacity as the abstract atomic individuals populating Charles Mills’ idealized social (...) ontologies. Conversely, if cosmopolitan individualism does compel us to think of people as abstract atomic individuals, we are not obliged to think of them as relatively privileged. Under liberal cosmopolitanism, however, which prohibits state discrimination between citizens and non-citizens, open border policies are subject to no such consequentialist objections. (shrink)
By what moral standards must nation-states select immigration policies? A central contention of Immigration Justice is that the justice of an immigration policy can be ascertained only through consideration of the pervasive, systematic, and unjust inequalities engendered by the institutions that constitute our social world. Immigration policies affect people primarily as members of social groups demarcated from each other by members’ gender, race, and class. For this reason, this book argues that states’ selection of immigration (...) policies is a matter of structural justice, defending the cosmopolitan principle that immigration policies are not just if they avoidably harm social groups that are already unjustly disadvantaged. Via this principle, Immigration Justice challenges the three most widely-held views on immigration justice among philosophers, political theorists and the general public: the moral sovereignty of states view, on which states have moral discretion to select immigration policies by criteria of their own choosing; nationalism, on which states morally must choose immigration policies that promote the national interest; and open borders, the view that states morally ought to eliminate virtually all restrictions on immigration. Instead, this book argues, just immigration policies vary among states in accordance with a variety of contextual factors influencing their consequences for disadvantaged social groups. (shrink)
Many countries encourage immigration, yet almost without exception they impose medical conditions on the admissibility of prospective immigrants. This paper examines the ethical defensibility of this practice. It argues that the neighbourhood principle, which states that we owe a greater duty to neighbours than to strangers, when properly understood, extends to all human beings, that economic and safety considerations play only a limited role in ethically underwriting an exclusionary policy, and that medical immigration criteria should be harmonized with (...) treatment eligibility criteria for citizens of the relevant countries themselves. (shrink)
Democracy has difficulties with the rights on non-voters (children, the mentally ill, foreigners etc). Democratic leaders have sometimes acted ethically, contrary to the wishes of voters, e.g. in accepting refugees as immigrants.
This article aims to outline some of the ways in which issues of migration and employment relations have been studied in the European context, cross referencing recent interventions in the USA. The argument is a discussion of some of the different dimensions of migration and the way debates within Industrial Relations have been shaped. More specifically, the article will look at the way trade unions have made the ethical turn towards questions of migration and equality. The article will observe the (...) way these issues have been academically framed and the manner in which the ‘problem’ of migration is conceptualized. It will attempt to provide a framework for discussing the way we have been analysing these issues and the ethical dimensions of these discussions. The relevance of the article is that institutionally responding to migration is not solely a question of adjusting employment relations or Industrial Relations institutions to various ‘new’ constituencies. The article will show that the topic raises issues as to how we actually understand what the study of employment and especially Industrial Relations are. The article also argues that there is a growing need for researchers to be aware of ethical issues when studying in the area of migration, and to be sensitive to competing voices and methodologies in this area. In particular we need approaches that are multidimensional and that emphasize the history and context of change in social constituencies, the new mechanisms of representation within communities, the role of the political in terms of discourses and resources, and the broad play and spaces of regulation and social policy. (shrink)
In an interdependent world of overlapping political memberships and identities, states and democratic citizens face difficult choices in responding to large-scale migration and the related question of who ought to have access to citizenship. In an influential attempt to provide a normative framework for a more just global order, The Law of Peoples , John Rawls is curiously silent regarding what his framework would mean for the politics of migration. In this piece, I consider the complications Rawls’s inattention to these (...) issues creates for his broader vision of global justice. Yet I also attempt to show how these aspects of Rawls’s theory emerge from an underlying tension which confronts all liberal democratic conceptions of justice, both in theory and in practice. In my conclusion, I sketch an alternative rooted in the insights of agonistic pluralism, which “breaks” the Rawlsian silence and actively theorizes the democratic legitimation of political borders. (shrink)
This article aims to outline some of the ways in which issues of migration and employment relations have been studied in the European context, cross referencing recent interventions in the USA. The argument is a discussion of some of the different dimensions of migration and the way debates within Industrial Relations have been shaped. More specifically, the article will look at the way trade unions have made the ethical turn towards questions of migration and equality. The article will observe the (...) way these issues have been academically framed and the manner in which the 'problem' of migration is conceptualized. It will attempt to provide a framework for discussing the way we have been analysing these issues and the ethical dimensions of these discussions. The relevance of the article is that institutionally responding to migration is not solely a question of adjusting employment relations or Industrial Relations institutions to various 'new' constituencies. The article will show that the topic raises issues as to how we actually understand what the study of employment and especially Industrial Relations are. The article also argues that there is a growing need for researchers to be aware of ethical issues when studying in the area of migration, and to be sensitive to competing voices and methodologies in this area. In particular we need approaches that are multidimensional and that emphasize the history and context of change in social constituencies, the new mechanisms of representation within communities, the role of the political in terms of discourses and resources, and the broad play and spaces of regulation and social policy. (shrink)
1. Among the most striking features of the political arrangements on this planet is its division into sovereign states.1 To be sure, in recent times, globalization has woven together the fates of communities and individuals in distant parts of the world in complex ways. It is partly for this reason that now hardly anyone champions a notion of sovereignty that would entirely discount a state’s liability the effects that its actions would have on foreign nationals. Still, state sovereignty persists as (...) a political fact. The number of states has increased enormously due to upheavals of the 20th century, and there is nothing in principle morally wrong with the existence of states - or so we will assume.2 What must be explored, then, are the limits of normatively plausible sovereignty. How bad does a government have to be for outsiders to be allowed to interfere? What responsibilities does a country incur because of its contribution to global warming? What obligations arise through trading? In this paper, we explore another pertinent question: to what extent is a country allowed to influence who lives on its territory by regulating immigration? The angle from which we approach this question continues to be neglected even now that questions of global justice are receiving much attention. Immigration amounts to a change in political relationships as immigrants alter their standing within one community and acquire a status elsewhere. Yet it also amounts to an alteration in physical relationship, since they acquire a relationship to a territory, making a life for themselves with the resources offered by a part of the earth.3 We base our exploration of.. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
My goal here is twofold: First, I wish to make a plea for the relevance of moral considerations in debates about immigration. Too often, immigration debates are conducted solely from the standpoint of ‘‘what is good for us,’’ without regard for the justifiability of immigration policies to those excluded. Second, I wish to offer a standpoint that demonstrates why one should think of immigration as a moral problem that must be considered in the context of global (...) justice. More specifically, I will argue that the earth belongs to humanity in common and that this matters for assessing immigration policy. The case I will be particularly interested in is immigration into the United States, where immigration policy continues to be a hotly debated topic. However, that discussion takes the form of a case study: the relevant considerations apply generally. To give some initial grounding to the standpoint that the earth belongs to humanity in common, let us suppose for the sake of argument that the population of the United States shrinks to two, but that these two can control access into the country through sophisticated electronic border-surveillance mechanisms. Suppose, too, that nothing changes in the rest of the world. I would argue (and I think most would agree) that under such conditions these two citizens should allow for immigration based on the fact that they are grossly underusing the territory under their control. If this is so, then it follows that what we do with the space we control must matter for assessing immigration policy. It further follows in particular that, given that by global standards the population of the United States is too small relative to the amount of space to which it claims exclusive control, illegal immigrants should be naturalized and more widespread immigration should be permitted. Questions about immigration fundamentally challenge those who see themselves in the liberal camp. One hallmark of the liberal state is that it takes individual attitudes in many areas of life as given and rules them out only if they threaten the functionality of the state.. (shrink)
Speaking at the third annual meeting of The Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum on Friday, May 23, financial journalist Peter Brimelow1 presented his views on immigration under the title “Immigration is the Viagra of the State—A libertarian case against Immigration.” However, his argument had little concern for the controversies that divide libertarians on the issue of immigration.2 After a brief look at Brimelow’s comments, I shall consider the requirements an argument should meet if it is (...) to amount to a libertarian case for or against a particular policy such as a liberal or a restrictive immigration policy.3 Then I shall offer a critique of libertarian philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s attempt to build a case against immigration on widely accepted libertarian principles. Finally, I shall present some test cases for judging the plausibility of the argument. (shrink)
International borders concentrate opportunities in some societies while limiting them in others. Borders also prevent those in the less favored societies from gaining access to opportunities available in the more favored ones. Both distributive effects of borders are treated here within a comprehensive framework. I argue that each state should have broad discretion under international law to grant or deny entry to immigration seekers; but more favored countries that find themselves under immigration pressure should be legally obligated to (...) fund development assistance for countries that generate immigration pressure. Funding should be subject to conditions of fair and effective use in recipient countries, and should aim at a near-term target of immigration-pressure equilibrium. Equilibrium obtains between two countries when, given appropriate background circumstances, the same proportion of individuals in each manifests a preference to migrate to the other. If meeting the equilibrium target in the short term would be to the long-term disadvantage of the worst-off countries, then a Pareto-superior alternative target supersedes. It mandates development assistance at the level that yields the most favorable human development projections for the worstoff countries. An implementable set of institutions is described that can achieve the equilibrium goal in the long term without unduly sacrificing other important ends, including economic growth, political stability, cultural integrity, the political autonomy of distinct societies, and their proper accountability for policy choices. Key Words: global justice immigration borders development distributive justice development assistance equality international law cosmopolitanism. (shrink)
It is not a fundamental human right to live wherever one would most like to be. We have to ask when a state should admit people not its citizens wishing to enter and settle within its territory. To exclude someone from entry to a country where he wishes to settle infringes his liberty. When anybody's liberty is infringed or curtailed the onus of proof lies upon those who claim a right to infringe or curtail it, other things being equal. This (...) paper argues that there are two reasonable grounds for refusing entry to would-be immigrants. First, in order to avoid genuine overpopulation; and second, to protect vulnerable cultures being submerged by large numbers of people of a more robust culture. Neither of these restrictions applies in the case of Britain and the paper concludes by demanding an immediate liberalisation of immigration laws and immediate public recognition by government of the benefits of immigration and determined discouragement of xenophobic propaganda against it. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate the libertarian account of immigration. In the first section I distinguish between right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism. In the second section I analyze the arguments focused on immigration from the perspective of self-ownership focused on Nozick’s case and Steiner’s analogy. In the third section I discuss the [...].
Immigration restrictions in the real world Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9901-z Authors Christopher Heath Wellman, Department of Philosophy, Washington University, St. Louis, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
In this paper I am specifically concerned with a normative assessment, from the perspective of a principled criminal law theory, of norms criminalizing illegal immigration. The overarching question I will dwell on is one specifically regarding the way of using criminal law which is implied in the enactment of such kinds of norms. My thesis will essentially be that it constitutes a veritable abuse of criminal law. In two senses at least: first, in the sense that by criminalizing illegal (...)immigration criminal law puts a ban on (certain categories of) persons, rather than on their actions/omissions, in a way in which a principled criminal law should not do; and—second—in the sense that the criminalization of illegal immigrants represents a perversion of the criminal law, being a case in which criminal norms are (unjustifiably) used as means to attain extrapenal aims. (shrink)
This essay analyzes why women whose immigration status is dependent on their marriage face higher risks of domestic violence than women who are citizens and explores the factors that collude to prevent acknowledgment of their greater susceptibility to battering. It criticizes elements of current U.S. immigration policy that are detrimental to the welfare of battered immigrant women, and argues for changes that would make immigration policy more sensitive to their plight.
This paper is addressed to those who hold that states’ immigration policies are subject to cosmopolitan principles of justice. I have a very limited goal in the paper, and that is to offer a condensed explication of a principle for determining whether states’ immigration policies are just. That principle is that just immigration policies may not avoidably harm disadvantaged social groups (whether domestic or foreign). This principle is inspired by the failure, among many extant cosmopolitan proposals for (...) regulating immigration, to attend to the morally salient fact that all national societies are cleaved by social institutions that create distinct groups of individuals, often privileging some and disadvantaging others. In this paper I explicate this principle in terms of three questions: (1) What is a social group? (2) Under what conditions is a social group disadvantaged? And (3) what is it to avoidably harm a social group? (shrink)
A number of prominent political philosophers, including Will Kymlicka and Joseph Carens, have suggested that one reason for limiting immigration is to protect culture, particularly what Kymlicka calls “societal culture”: “a territorially-concentrated culture, centered on a shared language which is used in a wide range of societal institutions, in both public and private life (schools, media, law, economy, government, etc.).” I situate this claim in the context of liberal nation-building and suggest that the arguments for the protection of culture (...) are often vague, confused or tend to conflict with liberal commitments. When clear, they gain their plausibility from other concerns (e.g., self-defense), not cultural protection. Finally, given plausible empirical assumptions, the dangers to societal culture are considerably exaggerated and provide little reason for preventing immigration. I then briefl y consider the case of general culture and whether there are some grounds to limit immigration to protect it, using the example of Iceland and aboriginal cultures to situate my arguments. Once again, I conclude that the appeal to culture to limit immigration is weak and philosophers searching for arguments against open borders should turn elsewhere. (shrink)
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 within a transnational framework where the immigrant negotiates between more than one country. In my larger work, I want to look at the space-between that emerges for many immigrants and .. (shrink)
In "Nations of Immigrants: Do Words Matter?" Donna Gabaccia provides an illuminating account of the origin of the United States' claim to be a "Nation of Immigrants." Gabaccia's endeavor is motivated by the question "What difference does it make if we call someone a foreigner, an immigrant, an emigrant, a migrant, a refugee, an alien, an exile or an illegal or clandestine?" (Gabaccia 5). This question is very important to the immigration debate because, as Gabaccia goes on to show, (...) "[t]o ponder this question is to explore the vastly differing ways that human population movements figure in nation-building and in the historical imagination of nations" (Gabaccia 5-6). In this paper, I am going to delve deeper into .. (shrink)
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.
A serious commitment to environmentalism entails ending America’s population growth and hence a more restrictive immigration policy. The need to limit immigration necessarily follows when we combine a clear statement of our main environmental goals—living sustainably and sharing the landscape generously with nonhuman beings—with uncontroversial accounts of our current demographic trajectory and of the negative environmental effects of U.S. population growth, nationally and globally. Standard arguments for the immigration status quo or for an even more permissive (...) class='Hi'>immigration policy are without merit. Americans must choose between allowing continued high levels of immigration and creating a sustainable society. (shrink)
Immigration reform is a highly complex and multifaceted task with significant economic, political and religio-cultural repercussions thereby bringing tremendous ethical challenges and implications. This article explores the possible contribution of modern Catholic Social Teaching in addressing the ethical challenges of immigration reform, particularly in the United States, by examining key themes that could address critical issues in the current debate on immigration reform and arguing how an ethic of risk which, the author submits, runs through the key (...) themes of Catholic Social Teaching explored in this paper, could then serve as an approach in articulating how Christian discipleship could foreground citizenship in the context of immigration. (shrink)
According to the freedom argument for open borders, immigration restrictions are generally unjust because these restrictions infringe on important freedoms, such as freedom of association and the economic liberties. Some authors have objected to the freedom argument by claiming that potential immigrants only have rights to sufficient options to live decent or autonomous lives and, consequently, states can permissibly prevent people from immigrating when potential immigrants have adequate options. This paper shows that this objection to the freedom argument for (...) open borders is unsound and that restrictions on international freedom of movement can be morally impermissible even when potential immigrants have adequate options. (shrink)
This article considers one seemingly compelling justification for immigration restrictions: that they help restrict the brain drain of skilled workers from poor states. For some poor states, brain drain is a severe problem, sapping their ability to provide basic services. Yet this article finds that justifying immigration restrictions on brain drain grounds is far from straightforward. For restrictions to be justified, a series of demanding conditions must be fulfilled. Brain drain does provide a successful argument for some (...) class='Hi'>immigration restrictions, but it is an argument that fails to justify restrictions beyond a small minority of cases. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the case for justifiable immigration restriction in a liberal democratic state. A number of candidates for such justifications have been put forth, but many of them depend for their plausibility on the confirmation of highly disputed empirical evidence. Others are more philosophical in nature, and so are less dependent on, and vulnerable to defeat from, empirical study. These justifications are the focus of this paper. It is first briefly established that justifications for immigration restriction in (...) a liberal democracy must be consistent with the fundamental democratic values of liberty and equality. Two arguments for immigrationrestriction that seem to be founded on these values are then considered, and it is argued that they fail to adequately respect these values that provide their initial appeal. (shrink)
With the arrival of another wave of “boat people” to Australian waters in late 2009, issues of human rights of asylum seekers and refugees once again became a major feature of the political landscape. Claims of “queue jumping” were made, particularly by some sections of the media, and they may seem populist, but they are also ironic, given the protracted efforts on the part of the federal government to stymie any orderly appeals process, largely through resort to “privative clauses”. Such (...) clauses demonstrate the many ways in which human rights of those seeking asylum in far-off lands and are potential future immigrants, who often lack much-touted needed papers, yet who are for the most part genuine refugees, are subject to the slings and arrows of political fortune (and misfortune). Approaching the courts if treated unfairly or seeking a further decision as to your fate would seem one of the fundamental premises of human rights. Yet privative clauses—or attempts to ouster the jurisdiction of the courts and to insulate decisions from appeal—have become an increasingly frequent feature of the Australian migration legislation. With a seemingly watertight federal constitutional power set in stone since 1901, to deal with migration and aliens, and without the tempered contemporary update of a federal Bill of Rights, the Australian federal government has been able to narrow the grounds of judicial review in those contexts. We argue that the concerted efforts to deny such fundamental rights of appeal to those most in need of the full armoury of the protection of the law in a modern, affluent democracy, constitutes both a breach of their human rights and a breach of core constitutional principles such as separation of powers. Those principles may not be formally articulated in the text of the Australian Constitution, but in our view they are implicit in the constitutional arrangements, and hence we can conclude with the arguments of former Justice of the High Court of Australia, Michael Kirby, who asked—to whom does sovereignty truly belong? (shrink)
The strategy of deproletarianization attempted by groups of immigrants of the First and Second Aliyot was determined by the correspondence of three structures: settler capitalism, proletarianization, and ideology. These provided the realm of opportunities from 1882 to 1914. The Great War, which led to the downfall of the Ottoman empire and the establishment of a British administration, then changed the entire economy and politics of Palestine.In this article I divide the studied period into the first and second aliyot. The reader (...) can observe that the correspondence between the above structures was not similar in each sub-period, and that deproletarianization was differently associated with ideology. It was a natural consequence of the immigration motives of the first aliya immigrants, it was not so in the second aliya.The prevailing deteriorating feudalistic mode of production in Palestine made it possible for the immigrants in 1882 and thereafter to establish a settler capitalism. However, the other processes that then occurred were in essence dependent on the socio-economy of the new Yishuv and its relations with the regional market. Proletarianization of immigrants of the first aliya may be considered to have occurred by default. The proto-capitalist system in the Moshavot did not need a Jewish proletariat to survive, because indigenous labor was available and cheap. The immigrants who became day laborers intended to become Ikarim. The economic situation compelled them to search for a solution to their immediate problem of survival. The ideology that prevailed in the motives of these immigrant workers determined to a limited, albeit significant, extent the selection and maintenance of certain forms of deproletarianization over others. In other words, as in many other historical cases, proletarianization was imposed upon individuals who could not maintain their position in the changing socioeconomy. But the first aliya proletariat was distinctive: first, its members were forced to became proletarian through voluntary immigration to a place where their predecessors - with the same background but with the means to purchase tracts of land - had established a protocapitalist sector in the agricultural sector. Second, their proletarianization took the form of day laboring in an expanding agricultural sector, and not as one can observe in Europe, where it was industry that was expanding.Each wave of immigrants brought to Palestine ideological and, to a certain extent, political assets. These had a mediating effect on the forms of adjustment made by the individuals and groups concerned, who, lacking financial capacity, had to choose between re-emigration or proletarianization. Although both waves of immigration developed the intension of alleviating the hardship of their situation, they employed different strategies to accomplish their aims. The first aliya immigrant workers attempted to arrest the process of proletarianization and join the petty bourgeois Ikarim. The second aliya immigrants, in contrast, considered proletarianization as inevitable. But they did not acquiesce to their position. Unlike their predecessors, their resistance was coupled with a peculiar combination of Zionist and socialist motives. This induced the creation of innovative deproletarianization solutions - working-class forms of production and consumption. In essence, deproletarianization was a pursuit of the realization of certain class interests, even though the concrete boundaries of the working class were still obscure. Imported ideology shaped the priorities involved in the selection of the forms of working-class settlements.Proletarianization was forced upon the immigrants not because of a transition from a feudal to capitalist society, as was witnessed at the same period by immigrant Jews to the United States, but rather from “feudalism in transition” in Russian and Eastern Europe to a retrogressively still more feudalistic system in Palestine. Thus, proletarianization did not result from the disposition and subordination of peasants or artisans by burgeoning capital, (except for a certain category of Arabs) but by the specific instance of an immigrant society encountering “lower” conditions of production in the country of immigration.The present case study amplifies two related issues. One, that the general law of proletarianization - an inevitable outcome of capitalism- is not to be taken literally. This has already been dealt with in a number of publications on industrialization and proletarianization in nineteenth-century Europe and also the United States. Second, in definite historical circumstances proletarianization may precede the emergence of industrialization, even of proto-industrialization. This is possible, as shown in this case, when immigrants who are motivated by a certain ideology, encounter less developed conditions of production. The deproletarianization strategies discussed here were initiated on the same grounds. One was aimed at integration into the proto-capitalist formation, the other at providing a different route of integration into the country through new forms of colonization.This strategy, still in embryo, marked the future formation of the Jewish working class in Palestine, even though it applied only to a minority of this class. By the creation of a working-class economy and political organizations, this class ensured its survival and development, and, two decades later, its dominance in the Yishuv. (shrink)
Some bioethicists and political philosophers argue that rich states should restrict the immigration of health workers from poor countries in order to prevent harm to people in these countries. In this essay, I argue that restrictions on the immigration of health workers are unjust, even if this immigration results in bad health outcomes for people in poor countries. I contend that negative duties to refrain from interfering with the occupational liberties of health workers outweighs rich states' positive (...) duties to prevent harm to people in sending countries. Furthermore, I defend this claim against the objection that health workers in poor countries acquire special duties to their compatriots that render them liable to coercive interference. (shrink)
If there is one general conclusion to be drawn from these case histories, it is this: having accepted significant numbers of immigrants at one point or more in the postwar period, liberal states had to tolerate the multicultural transformation of their societies. This is because liberal states, while nominally tied to particular nations, are still hesitant to impose particular cultural ways on their members. Liberal states are neutral vis à vis substantive life forms and world views, which proved to be (...) the major inroad for multiculturalism. This communality of liberal states is revealed, shock-like, if one compares them with the illiberal, increasingly immigrant-receiving states of the Near and Middle East or East Asia: states that practice caning of illegal entrants and forced repatriation of labor migrants. This does not mean that, in confrontation with radical challenges to its very premises, liberalism can itself turn into a “fighting creed,” as Charles Taylor put it. This it did during the Rushdie Affair, which remains the most dramatic demonstration of the limits to multiculturalism in a liberal society. The “British liberties” held against protesting Muslims was “liberties” first, and “British” second - the national marker being exchangeable, the commitment to universal (Western) principles like freedom of speech and expression empathically not. As a result of the multicultural challenge, Western nations are increasingly stripped of their particular cultural contents and reduced to civic communities committed to the same procedural rules. This is why a second-generation Turkish-German intellectual could say that immigration offered a (however ignored) “opportunity” for the German nation to ease its historical burdens. In summary, liberal states have multiculturalism, because they have given up the idea of assimilating their members beyond basic procedural commitments.Such empirical multiculturalism, while heavily reinforced by immigration, is in principle independent of the latter, and applies equally to non-migrant minorities, such as sexual or religious ones. However, multiculturalism proper is not just an empirical description of culturally diverse societies, but also a normative claim that cultural difference is to be publically recognized and instituted, and thus to be made the business of state rather than of private initiative. To this an exasperated Jürgen Habermas responded that “the ecological perspective on species conservation cannot be transferred to cultures,” insisting on the group-indifferent neutrality of modern law. Such normative multiculturalism, according to which the state is to be more than neutral, but actively protective of cultural difference, is especially problematic if applied to migrant minorities. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is one of the oldest and constant expectations that settled groups have brought against nomadic ones. The liberal state has in fact abandoned the factual “this is how we do things here” in favor of abstract civic rules to be followed by everyone equally. But multicultural claims for group rights, which tend to be backed by an anticolonial critique of host-society institutions, go beyond expectations for equal treatment toward preferential treatment for migrant “minority” groups. This is no easily sellable package, and its rejection seems partially to fire the current immigration cum affirmative-action backlash in the United States.There is a tendency in the discourse of immigrant-rights groups to stress the forced, involuntary character of contemporary migration, which would make migrants deserving of compensatory treatment. “Migration was not black people chosing to come to this country, they were brought here,” says a London based “anti-racist” activist of Pakistani descent. “Me and a lot of other people wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the war... and the U.S. backing governments in El Salvador and Guatemala,” says a Los Angeles-based immigrants advocate from El Salvador. In academic discourse, an influential study held the “internationalization of production” responsible for postwar labor migrations, so that “the current phase of U.S. immigration” appears as “a domestic consequence of U.S. activities abroad.” Such reasoning does in fact reflect important, quasi-involuntary aspects of contemporary migrations, which resulted from the devolution of empire, civil war and foreign military intervention, and capitalist globalization. But within multicultural discourse, they are radicalized into debatable calls for “open borders” to have the exploited south partake of the riches of the exploiting north, while depicting migrants as victims with “home plus” entitlements, i.e., entitlements to diasporic homeland resurrection and host-society benefits.Multiculturalism entails two opposite visions, articulated by its respective proponents and opponents: syncretism and fragmentation. The syncretist vision is eloquently outlined by Salman Rushdie, who sees mass migration as a possibility to “(celebrate) hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes from new and unexpected combinations of human beings, cultures, ideas, politics, movies, songs,” the migrant condition as a “metaphor for all humanity.” In this benign vision, multiculturalism realizes the old enlightenment dream of the unbounded “perfectibility of the human race.” The postcolonial literary imagination of Rushdie or Vikram Seth, popular “world music,” or the vibrant art world of Los Angeles give a hint of the syncretist riches of multiculturalism.But in the realm of politics, multiculturalism is more likely to entail the less benign vision of fragmentation. Post-riot Los Angeles, with its bitter inter-ethnic competition among Blacks, Koreans, and Latinos for scarce “rebuilding” resources, and with its dismal trend towards colorconscious “Balkan justice” in the legal system, gives a hint at the seamier side of multiculturalism. In fact, the current flurry of interracial activism tries to put back together what multiculturalism has helped to tear apart. In his bleak survey of ethnocentric “identity politics” in various arenas of American polity and society, Jim Sleeper seeks to distinguish between “benign multiculturalism” and “dangerous ethnocentrism.” However, multiculturalism itself cannot generate the “civic” commitments that would allow people to transcend narrow ethnic-group boundaries. Here it is worth pointing out that citizenship and “civic culture” have historically been tied to the institution of nationhood as the fixpoint of an individual's highest loyalties. When he discussed the evolution of citizenship rights in modern Britain, T. H. Marshall mentioned in passing that it was tied to the development of “national consciousness.” Citizenship, says Marshall, requires a “sense of community membership.” Historically, this “community” has been the nation. If multiculturalism challenges the nation, it fails to offer a substitute for it. In this regard, recent analyses of “postnational” citizenship may be precipitous. Yasemin Soysal argues that European guestworkers have pioneered a new form of membership based on a transnational “logic of personhood” superseding the “logic of national citizenship.” But she has to admit that the implementation of “universalistic rights” remains “tied to specific states and their institutions.” Short of a world state, the world's states will remain nationstates. Paradoxically, multiculturalism remains dependent upon the nation-state, while undermining it at the same time.What specific conclusions can we draw from our three case histories? We saw that in each case the three dimensions of multiculturalism: challenge to the nation, quest for group rights, and anticolonial perspective, are combined in different orders of priority. The quest for group rights and the anticolonial perspective are inherently linked, because claims for public recognition and special compensation are justified in reference to prior acts of external (as in the United Kingdom) or internal (as in the United States) colonization. The United Kingdom has stopped short of instituting “color-conscious” minority policies, but under the name of “equal opportunities” quasi-affirmative action is informally practiced in the provision of council housing, public employment, and schooling, especially at the local level. In the United States, the anticolonial perspective has first been adopted by the Black Power movement, which provided a model for other ethnic movements. While entirely justified in the case of blacks, whose enslavement is the original sin that haunts American society today, the anticolonial perspective fits less easily for migration-based ethnic groups. But their leaders have every incentive to exploit the affirmativeaction framework of the civil-rights era, because this happens to be the game with the biggest benefits in town. This entailed attempts by Indo-Americans - whose educational attainment and per-capita income exceed those of average Americans - to become a certified minority, which would make them eligible, among other things, for small-business loans and government priority contracts.In Germany, the anticolonial perspective and parallel group-rights claims are largely absent. There is now little inclination in this country for disparaging the West, which had once been a recurrent theme in its traumatic history. German intellectuals are unabashed advocates of universalism, and they connote with the word “race” not the oppression of whites over blacks, but the killing of the Jews. Claims for minoritygroup rights are muted, because they have historically been related to ethnic homeland stances - of Danes and Serbs in Germany, and German minorities in Eastern Europe. Recently, Turkish migrant groups have sought to apply this framework of “minority protection” (Minderheitenschutz) to Turks in Germany, but the German left is divided about following them because of its völkisch connotations. In contrast to the United States and Britain, in Germany multiculturalism is almost exclusively a debate about national identity. But so entirely has nationhood been discredited by Nazism, at least for the German left, that multiculturalism went beyond redefining toward abandoning nationhood altogether as the basis of a liberal state. This led to a peculiar polarization between defenders of unreconstructed ethnic nationhood and a postnational left, in which the main task: the quick and easy transformation of foreign migrants into German citizens, remains unresolved. Demands for local voting rights or minority protection bracket the main problem for second- or third-generation immigrants in Germany: access to citizenship. A close observer of the German immigration debate says: “The crucial question of citizenship is skillfully avoided by all, including the left. No one likes to answer the question, Does an immigration country have the right to turn migrants into its own citizens (Einheimische)? American-style jus soli amounts to a form of forced citizenship (Zwangbürgerschaft). This is what no one dares to admit.”In the United States and Britain, multiculturalism is less entangled in debates about national identity. Despite its postwar trend toward ethnic contraction, Britain itself is a “multicultural” agglomerate of nations, which leaves it ethnically underdetermined and in principle ready for additional ethnic fillings. Its imperial tradition, however, sets limits for a positive sense of Britishness among its former colonial subjects. Many of them identify themselves, in a mixture of irreverence and plain description, as “Black British.” The United States is distinct from the other two cases, because it alone has made the immigrant experience part of its national identity. In a mighty counterpoint to ethnic studies and all that, the bonds of the American “new nation” are recreated by every single immigrant who is turned into a citizen. Except among multicultural extremists, a positive sense of Americanness has not been lost. A young lawyer and ethnic activist of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund in Los Angeles, the daughter of illegal Mexican migrant workers who has gone on to Harvard and Berkeley, says what a second-generation immigrant in Berlin or London could never say: “We (second-generation Mexican immigrants) also feel very strongly that we are American.” If the next century will be a century of immigration, the “American Century” may be up for a renewal. (shrink)