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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, the moral significance of globalization and transnationalism, and the challenges that critical scholarship on borders and mobility poses for normative theory.

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. Two other important interventions advocating open borders are Phillip Cole’s Philosophies of Exclusion (2000) and Abizadeh 2008. Influential justifications for border controls include Walzer 1984 and Miller 2005.  Hosein 2019 provides a valuable overview of the debates to date. Gibney 2004 is a sophisticated and comprehensive account of the ethics of refugee policy and Morgan 2020, Owen 2020, and Parekh 2016 push the discussion in new directions. Lenard & Straehle 2012 and Ruhs 2015 explore the justice of temporary labor migration programs. Brock & Blake 2014 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. Recent scholarship that develops insights about shifting borders, externalized migration controls, overlapping jurisdictions, and mobility and nomadism includes Longo 2017, Nail 2015, Sager 2018, and Shachar 2020
Introductions Bertram 2018 Higgins 2013 Hosein 2019 Mendoza 2016 Wilcox 2009
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1057 found
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  1. Open Borders Without Open Access (Conference Version July 2019).Dan Demetriou - manuscript
    What are libertarian open borders advocates even advocating for? Is it, as the title to Michael Huemer’s influential essay suggests, a prima facie “right to immigrate”? Or is it, as the branding connotes, literal open borders, or a strong prima facie moral right to free movement across borders that entails a right to immigrate? In this paper, I peel apart the view that people have a strong moral right to freely cross international borders, or "open access," from the view that (...)
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  2. Immigration and Equality.Adam Hosein & Adam Cox - manuscript
  3. Neighborhoods and States: Why Collective Self-Determination is Not Always Valuable.Torsten Menge - manuscript
    Collective self-determination is considered to be an important political value. Many liberal political philosophers appeal to it to defend the right of states to exclude would-be newcomers. In this paper, I challenge the value of collective self-determination in the case of countries like the US, former colonial powers with a history of white supremacist immigration and citizenship policies. I argue for my claim by way of an analogy: There is no value to white neighborhoods in the US, which are the (...)
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  4. Asylum, Credible Fear Tests, and Colonial Violence.Elena Ruíz & Ezgi Sertler - manuscript
    A credible fear test is an in-depth interview process given to undocumented people of any age arriving at a U.S. port of entry to determine qualification for asylum-seeking. Credible fear tests as a typical immigration procedure demonstrate not only what structural epistemic violence looks like but also how this violence lives in and through the design of asylum policy. Key terms of credible fear tests such as “significant possibility,” “evidence,” “consistency,” and “credibility” can never be neutral in the context of (...)
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  5. ‘The Jobs All Go to Foreigners’: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Labour Party's ‘Left-Wing’ Case for Immigration Controls.David Bates - forthcoming - Critical Discourse Studies:1-17.
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  6. Enfranchising the Disenfranchised: Should Refugees Receive Political Rights in Liberal Democracies?Felix Bender - forthcoming - Citizenship Studies.
    Should refugees receive political rights in liberal democracies? I argue that they should. Refugees are special – at least when it comes to claims towards democratic inclusion. They lack exit options and are significantly impacted by decisions made in liberal democracies. Enfranchisement is a matter of urgency to them and should occur on a national level. But what justifies the democratic inclusion of refugees? I draw on the all-subjected principle in arguing that all those subjected to rule in a political (...)
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  7. Should Refugees Govern Refugee Camps?Felix Bender - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1:1-24.
    Should refugees govern refugee camps? This paper argues that they should. It draws on normative political thought in consulting the all-subjected principle and an instrumental defense of democratic rule. The former holds that all those subjected to rule in a political unit should have a say in such rule. Through analyzing the conditions that pertain in refugee camps, the paper demonstrates that the all-subjected principle applies there, too. Refugee camps have developed as near distinct entities from their host states. They (...)
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  8. Cities, Neighbourhoods, and the Challenges of Immigration.Matteo Bonotti - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  9. In Defense of Birthright Citizenship.Joseph H. Carens - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory. Oxford University Press.
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  10. Quelle Politique de Lutte Contre l'Immigration Clandestine En Afrique au XX E Siècle.Rufin Didzambou - forthcoming - Humanitas.
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  11. Immigration and the Right to Exclude.Sarah Fine - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
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  12. Distributive Justice and Migration.Sarah Fine - forthcoming - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford University Press.
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  13. Immigration and Discrimination.Sarah Fine - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  14. The Ethics of Movement and Membership: An Introduction.Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  15. Religion, Ethnicity and Transnational Migration Between West Africa and EuropeEdited by Stanisław Grodź and Gina Gertrud Smith.Amber Gemmeke - forthcoming - Journal of Islamic Studies:etv049.
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  16. Illusions of Control.Adam Hosein - forthcoming - Oxford Journal of Practical Ethics.
    This paper examines the 'taking back control' over immigration arguments offered for Brexit and for reinforcing the Southern border of the United States. According to these arguments, Brexit and increased border enforcement were needed to ensure collective self-governance for the peoples of Britain and the United States. I argue that 1. In fact these policies did little to enhance collective self-governance properly understood, and 2. They actually thwarted collective self-governance due their racially exclusionary effects on people of color in Britain (...)
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  17. Are Refugees Special?Chandran Kukathas - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  18. Citizens in Action Against Immigration Injustice.Patti Tamara Lenard - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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  19. Clarifying Our Duties to Resist.Chong-Ming Lim - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.
    According to a prominent argument, citizens in unjust societies have a duty to resist injustice. The moral and political principles that ground the duty to obey the law in just or nearly just conditions, also ground the duty to resist in unjust conditions. This argument is often applied to a variety of unjust conditions. In this essay, I critically examine this argument, focusing on conditions involving institutionally entrenched and socially normalised injustice. In such conditions, the issue of citizens’ duties to (...)
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  20. Righting Domestic Wrongs with Refugee Policy.Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-18.
    Discriminatory attitudes towards Muslim refugees are common in liberal democracies, and Muslim citizens of these countries experience high rates of discrimination and social exclusion. Uniting these two facts is the well-known phenomenon of Islamophobia. But the implications of overlapping discrimination against citizens and non-citizens have not been given sustained attention in the ethics of immigration literature. In this paper, I argue that liberal societies have not only duties to discontinue refugee policies that discriminate against social groups like Muslims, but remedial (...)
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  21. Why Are Muslim Bans Wrong? Diagnosing Discriminatory Immigration Policies with Brock’s Human Rights Framework.Matthew Lindauer - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-12.
    In the course of presenting a compelling and comprehensive framework for immigration justice, Brock (2020) addresses discriminatory immigration policies, focusing on recent attempts by the Trump administration to exclude Muslims from the U.S. (the ‘Muslim ban’). This essay critically assesses Brock’s treatment of the issue, and in particular the question of what made the Muslim ban and similar policies unjust. Through examining these issues, further questions regarding the immigration justice framework on offer arise.
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  22. What Immigrants Owe.Adam Lovett & Daniel Sharp - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Unlike natural-born citizens, many immigrants have agreed to undertake political obligations. Many have sworn oaths of allegiance. Many, when they entered their adopted country, promised to obey the law. This paper is about these agreements. First, it’s about their validity. Do they actually confer political obligations? Second, it’s about their justifiability. Is it permissible to get immigrants to undertake such political obligations? Our answers are ‘usually yes’ and ‘probably not’ respectively. We first argue that these agreements give immigrants political obligations. (...)
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  23. Immigration and Freedom, by Chandran Kukathas.Stephen Macedo - forthcoming - Mind.
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  24. Should Cities Control Immigration Policy?David Miller - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  25. In Loco Civitatis: On the Normative Basis of the Institution of Refugeehood and Responsibilities for Refugees.David Owen - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  26. Realism in the Ethics of Immigration.James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism.
    Philosophy & Social Criticism, Ahead of Print. The ethics of immigration is currently marked by a division between realists and idealists. The idealists generally focus on formulating morally ideal immigration policies. The realists, however, tend to dismiss these ideals as far-fetched and infeasible. In contrast to the idealists, the realists seek to resolve pressing practical issues relating to immigration, principally by advancing what they consider to be actionable policy recommendations. In this article, I take issue with this conception of realism. (...)
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  27. Realism in the Ethics of Immigration.James S. Pearson - forthcoming - Philosophy and Social Criticism:019145372210796.
    The ethics of immigration is currently marked by a division between realists and idealists. The idealists generally focus on formulating morally ideal immigration policies. The realists, however, tend to dismiss these ideals as far-fetched and infeasible. In contrast to the idealists, the realists seek to resolve pressing practical issues relating to immigration, principally by advancing what they consider to be actionable policy recommendations. In this article, I take issue with this conception of realism. I begin by surveying the way in (...)
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  28. Citizens in Action Against Immigration Injustice.Gianfranco Pellegrino - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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  29. Lastenteilung in der europäischen Asylpolitik.Thomas Pölzler - forthcoming - In Lukas Meyer & Barbara Reiter (eds.), Wem gehört das Klima? Graz: Grazer Universitätsverlag.
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  30. Unsere Verantwortung gegenüber Flüchtlingen.Thomas Pölzler - forthcoming - In Lukas Meyer & Barbara Reiter (eds.), Wem gehört das Klima? Graz: Grazer Universitätsverlag.
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  31. Why Migration Justice Still Requires Open Borders.Alex Sager - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    I revisit themes from Against Borders: Why the World Needs Free Movement of People(2020) in dialogue with Gillian Brock’s Justice of People on the Move(2020) and Sarah Song’sImmigration and Democracy (2019). We share the conviction that current border regimes are deeply unjust but differ in what migration justice requires. Brock and Song continue to give states significant discretion to exclude people from entering and settling in their territories, whereas I contend that migration justice demands open borders. I reject the claim (...)
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  32. Rescue Missions in the Mediterranean and the Legitimacy of the EU’s Border Regime.Hallvard Sandven & Antoinette Scherz - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-20.
    In the last seven years, close to twenty thousand people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Rescue missions by private actors and NGOs have increased because both national measures and measures by the EU’s border control agency, Frontex, are often deemed insufficient. However, such independent rescue missions face increasing persecution from national governments, Italy being one example. This raises the question of how potential migrants and dissenting citizens should act towards the EU border regime. In (...)
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  33. Selecting By Merit: The Brave New World of Stratified Mobility.Ayelet Shachar - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  34. Cities and Immigration: A Reply.Avner Shalit - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  35. Justice, Collective Self‐Determination, and the Ethics of Immigration Control.Sarah Song - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
  36. Justice, Collective Self‐Determination, and the Ethics of Immigration Control.Sarah Song - forthcoming - Wiley: Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  37. The Significance of Territorial Presence and the Rights of Immigrants.Sarah Song - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  38. Unger-2," Immigration: Who Wins? Who Loses?".H. Stephen - forthcoming - Ends and Means.
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  39. Is There an Unqualified Right to Leave?Anna Stilz - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  40. Colonial Genealogies of Immigration Controls, Self-Determination, and the Nation-State. [REVIEW]Menge Torsten - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-17.
    Political philosophy has long treated the nation-state as the starting point for normative inquiry, while paying little attention to the ongoing legacies of colonialism and imperialism. But given how most modern states emerged, normative discussions about migration, for example, need to engage with the colonial and imperial history of state immigration controls, citizenship practices, and the nation-state more generally. This article critically reviews three historical studies by Adom Getachew, Radhika Mongia, and Nandita Sharma that engage in depth with this history. (...)
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  41. Freedom of Movement and the Rights to Enter and Exit.Christopher Heath Wellman - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  42. Taking Workers as a Class: The Moral Dilemmas of Guestworker Programmes.Lea Ypi - forthcoming - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford University Press.
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  43. The Race Question in American Immigration Statistics.Hans Zeisel - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
  44. A COVID-19 State of Exception and the Bordering of Canada’s Immigration System: Assessing the Uneven Impacts on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrant Workers.Zainab Abu Alrob & John Shields - 2022 - Studies in Social Justice 16 (1):54-77.
    Responses to COVID-19 have been characterized by rapid border closures that have transformed the pandemic from a crisis of health to a crisis of mobility. While Canada was quick to implement border restrictions for non-citizens like refugees and asylum seekers, exemptions were made for some migrant groups like temporary workers. The pandemic marked a departure from who is considered worthy of admission to Canada. In fact, the border through restricted and securitized measures has filtered desirable versus non-desirable migrants, creating a (...)
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  45. Whatever Happened to the Canaanites? Principles of a Christian Ethic of Mass Immigration.Nigel Biggar - 2022 - Studies in Christian Ethics 35 (1):127-139.
    This article aims to articulate a set of general principles of a Christian ethic of mass immigration. Toward this end, it considers: biblical and theological grounds for cosmopolitanism ; biblical and theological caveats against cosmopolitanism; elements of a Christian ethic of the treatment of near and distant neighbours; what Francisco de Vitoria’s ‘On the American Indians’ has to contribute; what lessons should be learned from the history of European colonialism; and the nature of mass immigration into twenty-first-century Europe and the (...)
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  46. Immigration Policy and Normative Ideals.James Boettcher - 2022 - Radical Philosophy Review 25 (1):111-115.
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  47. Realising Immigration as a Human Right: Public Justification and Cosmopolitan Solidarity.Alexander Elliott & David Martínez - 2022 - European Journal of Social Theory 25 (2):235-251.
    According to David Miller, immigration is not a human right. Conversely, Kieran Oberman makes a case for immigration as a human right. We agree with the latter view, but we show that its starting point is mistaken. Indeed, both Miller and Oberman discuss the right to immigration within the liberal paradigm: it is a right or not depending on the correct balance between the interests of the citizens of a given national state and the interests of the immigrants. Instead, we (...)
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  48. Borders, Boundaries, and the Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration to Canada.Leah K. Hamilton, Victoria M. Esses & Margaret Walton-Roberts - 2022 - Studies in Social Justice 16 (1):1-8.
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  49. Lotteries and Immigration.Rufaida Al Hashmi - 2022 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 39 (2):253-265.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  50. Increasing the Accountability of Automated Decision-Making Systems: An Assessment of the Automated Decision-Making System Introduced in Canada's Temporary Resident Visa Immigration Stream.Lucia Nalbandian - 2022 - Journal of Responsible Technology 10:100023.
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