The Duty to Disobey Immigration Law


Authors
Javier Hidalgo
University of Richmond
Abstract
Many political theorists argue that immigration restrictions are unjust and defend broadly open borders. In this paper, I examine the implications of this view for individual conduct. In particular, I argue that the citizens of states that enforce unjust immigration restrictions have duties to disobey certain immigration laws. States conscript their citizens to help enforce immigration law by imposing legal duties on these citizens to monitor, report, and refrain from interacting with unauthorized migrants. If an ideal of open borders is true, these laws are unjust. Furthermore, if citizens comply with their legal duties, they contribute to violating the rights of migrants. We are obligated to refrain from contributing to rights-violations. So, citizens are obligated to disobey immigration laws. I defend the moral requirement to disobey immigration laws against the objection that disobedience to the law is excessively risky and the objection that citizens have political obligations to obey the law.
Keywords immigration  disobedience  resistance
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1515/mopp-2015-0031
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References found in this work BETA

Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Immigration as a Human Right.Kieran Oberman - 2016 - In Sarah Fine & Lea Ypi (eds.), Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 32-56.
Resistance to Unjust Immigration Restrictions.Javier Hidalgo - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (4):450-470.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Ethics of Resisting Immigration Law.Javier Hidalgo - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
The Ethics of Resisting Deportation.Rutger Birnie - 2019 - Proceedings of the 2018 ZiF Workshop “Studying Migration Policies at the Interface Between Empirical Research and Normative Analysis”.
Justifying Resistance to Immigration Law: The Case of Mere Noncompliance.Caleb Yong - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 2 (31):459-481.

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