Res Publica 10 (2):115-122 (2004)
AbstractIt 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.
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