This article by David Miller is widely considered a standard defense of the (once) conventional view on immigration restrictionism, namely that (liberal) states generally have free authority to restrict immigration, save for a few exceptions.
I argue for the importance of class-based analysis for analyzing the justice of migration policies. I contend that the abstract, liberal discourse of much writing on justice and immigration distorts our moral judgments. In contrast, I provide a class-based critique of the role of human capital in managed migration, drawing evidence from Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker and Live-in Caregiver Programs. This reveals the domination and exploitation inherent in these migration policies and allows us to situate immigration in a (...) broader framework of global justice. (shrink)
This chapter looks at the history of US citizenship and immigration law and argues that denying admission or citizenship status to certain groups of people is closely correlated to a denial of whiteness. On this account whiteness is not a fixed or natural concept, but instead is a social construction whose composition changes throughout time and place. Understanding whiteness in this way allows one to see how white supremacy is not limited merely to instances of racism or ethnocentrism, but (...) can also include instances of xenophobia. On this account, whiteness is more analogous to a braid of three interwoven strands: the racial strand (e.g., science, biology, or phenotypes), the ethnic strand (e.g., culture, customs, or heritage), and the national strand (e.g., territory, sovereignty, and citizenship). In emphasizing one or a combination of these strands, whiteness can be granted to social groups that previously were denied full white status, while at the same time it can be rescinded from groups that at different times and different places might have been considered (if only provisionally) white. Understanding whiteness in this way is important for dealing with issues of immigration and citizenship because it lets us see how nationality and xenophobia play a role in the construction of whiteness and thereby how terms like illegal help to reify the status of certain persons, including natural born citizens, as perpetual foreigners (i.e., non-whites). (shrink)
This article asks whether states have a right to close their borders because of their right to self-determination, as proposed recently by Christopher Wellman, Michael Walzer, and others. It asks the fundamental question whether self-determination can, in even its most unrestricted form, support the exclusion of immigrants. I argue that the answer is no. To show this, I construct three different ways in which one might use the idea of self-determination to justify immigration restrictions and show that each of (...) these arguments fails. My conclusion is that the nature and value of self-determination have to do with the conditions of genuine self-government, not membership of political society. Consequently, the demand for open borders is fully consistent with respect to self-determination. (shrink)
This chapter argues that people have a human right to immigrate to other states. People have essential interests in being able to make important personal decisions and engage in politics without state restrictions on the options available to them. It is these interests that other human rights, such as the human rights to internal freedom of movement, expression and association, protect. The human right to immigrate is not absolute. Like other human freedom rights , it can be restricted in certain (...) extreme circumstances. Outside these circumstances, however, immigration restrictions are unjust. Having presented the argument for a human right to immigrate, the chapter responds to objections from distributive justice, culture and scarcity. (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.
Migration is a recurrent phenomenon of human history because it is a successful adaptive strategy of human beings. Although migration today is not of a greater magnitude than in the past, it attracts a great deal of media and academia attention. The present wave of non-Western immigrants into the United States and Europe caused, apart from myriad economic, social and political problems, an ideological dispute between globalism and right-wing populism. Both ideological approaches attract many zealots who spread extreme opinions and (...) poison the whole political life. Using the scholastic method, I examined some opposing points of view of globalists and right-wing populists on several topics regarding non-Western immigration: border control, illegal immigration, limitations of legal immigration, refugee relocation quotas and cultural integration of immigrants. The globalists’ and right-wing populists’ theses and arguments were checked in regard with established authorities, available factual data and human reason. Highlighting some important topics relating to immigration problem and weighing the main arguments used by globalists and right-wing populists, I also indicate several points of compromise that could help people to moderate their political opinions. (shrink)
The mass movement of people across the globe constitutes a major feature of world politics today. -/- Whatever the cause of the movement - often war, famine, economic hardship, political repression or climate change - the governments of western capitalist states see this 'torrent of people in flight' as a serious threat to their stability and the scale of this migration indicates a need for a radical re-thinking of both political theory and practice, for the sake of political, social and (...) economic justice. -/- This book argues that there is at present a serious gap between the legal and social practices of immigration and naturalisation in liberal democratic states and any theoretical justification for such practices that can be made within the tradition of liberal political philosophy. How can liberal states develop institutions of democratic citizenship and at the same time justifiably exclude 'outsiders' from participating in those institutions? The book examines various responses to this contradiction within the liberal tradition, and finds none of them satisfactory - there are no consistently liberal justifications for immigration control and this has serious implications both for liberal practice and theory. (shrink)
In this short paper I hope to use some ideas drawn from the theory and practice of civil disobedience to address one of the most difficult questions in immigration theory, one rarely addressed by philosophers or other theorists working on the topic: How should we respond to people who violate immigration law? I will start with what I take to be the easiest case for my approach—that of so-called “Dreamers”—unauthorized immigrants in the US who were brought to this (...) country while still children (often as infants) and who have spent the majority of their lives in the US. Members of this group have engaged in wide-scale protests, making the civil disobedience paradigm all the more plausible. I will then move on to the case of unauthorized immigrants who have engaged in protests, but who do not fall into the “Dreamer” category. Finally, I will consider whether thinking about immigration law violations from the perspective of civil disobedience—and the proper response to that—can help us think about immigration enforcement more generally. (shrink)
This paper argues for a dilemma: you can accept liberalism or immigration restrictions, but not both. More specifically, the standard arguments for restricting freedom of movement apply equally to textbook liberal freedoms, such as freedom of speech, religion, occupation and reproductive choice. We begin with a sketch of liberalism’s core principles and an argument for why freedom of movement is plausibly on a par with other liberal freedoms. Next we argue that, if a state’s right to self-determination grounds a (...) prima facie right to restrict immigration, then it also grounds a prima facie right to restrict freedom of speech, religion, sexual choice and more. We then suggest that the social costs associated with freedom of immigration are also costs associated with occupational choice, speech and reproduction. Thus, a state’s interest in reducing these costs gives it prima facie justification to restrict not only immigration but also other core liberal freedoms. Moreover, we rebut the objection that, even if the standard arguments for a prima facie right to restrict immigration also support a prima facie right to restrict liberal freedoms generally, there are differences that render immigration restrictions – but not restrictions on speech, religion, etc. – justified all things considered. In closing, we suggest that the theoretical price of supporting immigration restrictions – viz., compromising a commitment to liberal principles – is too steep to pay. (shrink)
Several political theorists argue that states have rights to self-determination and these rights justify immigration restrictions. Call this: the self-determination argument for immigration restrictions. In this article, I develop an objection to the self-determination argument. I argue that if it is morally permissible for states to restrict immigration because they have rights to self-determination, then it can also be morally permissible for states to deport and denationalize their own citizens. We can either accept that it is permissible (...) for states to deport and denationalize their own citizens or reject the self-determination argument. To avoid this implication, we should reject the self-determination argument. That is, we should also reject the conclusion that rights to self-determination can justify any significant immigration restrictions. (shrink)
States have rights to unilaterally determine their own immigration policies under international law and few international institutions regulate states’ decision-making about immigration. As a result, states have extensive discretion over immigration policy. In this paper, I argue that states should join international migration institutions that would constrain their discretion over immigration. Immigration restrictions are morally risky. When states restrict immigration, they risk unjustly harming foreigners and restricting their freedom. Furthermore, biases and epistemic defects pervasively (...) influence states’ decision-making about immigration policy. States should transfer some of their decision-making authority over immigration to more reliable institutions in order to mitigate the risks that they will unjustly restrict immigration. International institutions that include the interests of potential immigrants would be more reliable with respect to immigration policy than unilateral state decision-making. Thus, states should subject their immigration policies to international control. (shrink)
According to the traditional state sovereignty view in the ethics of immigration literature, societies have a great deal of latitude in determining and implementing their immigration policies. This view is typically defended by appealing to the rights of members of societies, for instance to political self-determination. Opponents of the view have often criticized its partiality to members, arguing that nonmembers can also make stringent demands on societies to be admitted and given the same treatment in matters of (...) class='Hi'>immigration policy as other nonmembers. In this paper, I take a different approach to responding to the state sovereignty view. I argue that even if we grant the premise that the rights of members generally trump the rights of nonmembers in matters of immigration policy, societies are greatly constrained in setting their immigration policies by considerations of domestic justice. The considerations that I focus on involve relationships between members and nonmembers that hold due to a shared quality or set of qualities on the basis of which members identify with nonmembers. The argument appeals to premises and principles that defenders of the state sovereignty view are committed to but concludes that this view cannot serve as a satisfactory framework for the normative assessment of immigration policies. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
What are the ethical implications of global poverty for immigration policy? This article finds substantial evidence that migration is effective at reducing poverty. There is every indication that the adoption of a fairly open immigration policy by rich countries, coupled with selective use of immigration restrictions in cases of deleterious brain drain, could be of significant assistance to people living in poor countries. Empirically there is nothing wrong with using immigration policy to address poverty. The reason (...) we have to reject such an approach is not empirical but normative. People have human rights to stay in their home country and to migrate elsewhere. Counter poverty measures that require people to move or to stay are likely to violate these rights. Everyone should be free to migrate but no one should be forced to migrate. Using immigration policy to address global poverty, in place of alternatives, fails on both these counts. (shrink)
A large portion of normative philosophical thought on immigration seeks to address the question “What policies for admitting and excluding foreigners may states justly adopt?” This question places normative philosophical discussions of immigration within the boundaries of political philosophy, whose concern is the moral assessment of social institutions. Several recent contributions to normative philosophical thought on immigration propose to answer this question, but adopt methods of reasoning about possible answers that might be taken to suggest that normative (...) philosophical inquiry about immigration belongs to the field of ethics, whose concern is the moral assessment of individual action and character. This paper focuses particularly on recent work by Christopher Heath Wellman and Kieran Oberman, both of whom attempt to derive conclusions about the justice of aspects of states’ immigrant admissions policies from answers to the question “Is it morally permissible for person P to migrate internationally?” I argue in this paper that such individualist ethical approaches to normative philosophical reasoning about states’ immigration policies obscure factors consideration of which is indispensable for assessing their justice, producing misguided policy recommendations. These factors include the global structural causes of international migration, and the role wealthy receiving countries of the global North play in shaping these causes – factors that are better appreciated by political philosophy than by ethics, given the respective objects of concern of each. (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)
Liberal theorists generally support open borders and some recent work has argued that liberalism is incompatible with substantive immigration control. We argue that it has not been shown that there is an inconsistency in the idea of a liberal state enforcing such controls and that it may be obligatory for a liberal state to impose substantive, though relatively minor, restrictions on immigration. The immigration control on which we focus is that concerning people from societies that resemble closed (...) societies, particularly those in which Islamic fundamentalism is endemic. We suggest that, if the threat we envision is real, then a liberal state has a right to limit, though not to prohibit, immigration from such societies. (shrink)
In this chapter I attempt to provide a general overview of the philosophical literature on immigration from both an ethics of immigration and philosophy of race perspective. I then try to make the case that putting these two literatures into conversation would be fruitful. In particular, that it could provide an underappreciated argument for limiting the discretion states are normally thought to enjoy with respect to immigration.
Many high-income countries have skill-selective immigration policies, favoring prospective immigrants who are highly skilled. I investigate whether it is permissible for high-income countries to adopt such policies. Adopting what Joseph Carens calls a " realistic approach " to the ethics of immigration, I argue first that it is in principle permissible for high-income countries to take skill as a consideration in favor of selecting one prospective immigrant rather than another. I argue second that high-income countries must ensure that (...) their skill-selective immigration policies do not contribute to the non-fulfillment of their duty to aid residents of low-and middle-income countries. (shrink)
In debating the ethics of immigration, philosophers have focused much of their attention on determining whether a political community ought to have the discretionary right to control immigration. They have not, however, given the same amount of consideration to determining whether there are any ethical limits on how a political community enforces its immigration policy. This article, therefore, offers a different approach to immigration justice. It presents a case against legitimate states having discretionary control over (...) class='Hi'>immigration by showing both how ethical limits on enforcement circumscribe the options legitimate states have in determining their immigration policy and how all immigrants (including undocumented immigrants) are entitled to certain protections against a state’s enforcement apparatus. (shrink)
In The Ethics of Immigration, Joseph Carens’ builds a sophisticated account of justice in immigration based on an interpretation of liberal states’ democratic principles and practices. I dispute Carens’ contention that his hermeneutic methodology supports a broadly liberal egalitarian consensus; instead, the consensus he detects on principles and practices appears because his interpretation presupposes liberal egalitarianism. Carens’ methodology would benefit by engaging with a “hermeneutics of suspicion” that explores the ideological and exclusionary facets of liberal egalitarian principles when (...) applied to immigration. This would contribute to an account of the ethics of immigration that gives more attention to power and interest, mediated through structures of gender, race, and class. (shrink)
The social trust argument asserts that a political community cannot survive without social trust, and that social trust cannot be achieved or maintained without a political community having discretionary control over immigration. Various objections have already been raised against this argument, but because those objections all assume various liberal commitments they leave the heart of the social trust argument untouched. This chapter argues that by looking at the socio-historical circumstances of Latino/as in the United States, an inherent weakness of (...) the social trust argument gets exposed. Giving a political community discretionary control over immigration not only fails to deliver on the promise of social trust, but it actually seems to promote its opposite, social mistrust. This suggests that a far better way of promoting the goal of social trust, and at the same time abating social mistrust, is to actually circumvent a political community’s ability to control immigration by giving priority both to socio-historical circumstances and immigrant rights (at least in a minimalist sense) in determining immigration policy. (shrink)
Despite the prevalence of externalization, much work in the ethics of immigration continues to assume that the admission of immigrants is determined by state immigration officials who decide whether to admit travelers at official crossings. This assumption neglects how decisions about entrance have been increasingly relocated abroad – to international waters, consular offices, airports, or foreign territories – often with non-governmental or private actors, as well as foreign governments functioning as intermediaries. Externalization poses a fundamental challenge to achieving (...) just migration policies. It reliably harms vulnerable people, prevents refugees from receiving protection, leads to human rights abuses, and dissipates blame and accountability, creating a serious lacuna in assigning moral responsibility. (shrink)
Drawing on the work of John Rawls and Thomas Pogge, I argue that the U.S. is in part responsible for the immigration of Mexicans and Central Americans into the U.S. By seeking to further its national interests through its foreign policies, the U.S. has created economic and politically oppressive conditions that Mexican and Central American people seek to escape. The significance of this project is to highlight the role of the U.S. in illegal immigration so that we may (...) first acknowledge our responsibility in order to seek lasting humane solutions. (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)
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)
In 2008 Robert Lovato coined the phrase Juan Crow. Juan Crow is a type of policy or enforcement of immigration laws that discriminate against Latino/as in the United States. This essay looks at the implications this phenomenon has for an ethics of immigration. It argues that Juan Crow, like its predecessor Jim Crow, is not merely a condemnation of federalism, but of any immigration reform that has stricter enforcement as one of its key components. Instead of advocating (...) for increased enforcement, I want to suggest that just immigration reform must adhere to two standards, equality of burdens and universal protections, and that only by doing so can the potential for Juan Crow be adequately avoided. (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)
José Jorge Mendoza argues that the difficulty with resolving the issue of immigration is primarily a conflict over competing moral and political principles and is, at its core, a problem of philosophy. This book brings into dialogue various contemporary philosophical texts that deal with immigration to provide some normative guidance to immigration policy and reform.
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 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)
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)
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)
How can we ameliorate the current immigration policies toward Mexican people immigrating to the United States? This study re-examines how the development of scenarios assisted South Africa to dismantle apartheid without engaging in a bloody civil war. Following the scenario approach, we articulate positions taken by different interest groups involved in the debate concerning immigration from Mexico. Next, we formulate a set of scenarios which are evaluated as to how well each contributes to the well-being of the populace (...) both of Mexico and of the United States. The South African scenario model has proven to be an effective tool in times of political disagreement. It fosters a common language among competing groups, non-hierarchal communication among groups, and acknowledgement of the concerns of each group involved. (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)
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)
In this chapter, I outline what philosophers working on the ethics of immigration have had to say with regard to invidious discrimination. In doing so, I look at both instances of direct discrimination, by which I mean discrimination that is explicitly stated in official immigration policy, and indirect discrimination, by which I mean cases where the implementation or enforcement of facially “neutral” policies nonetheless generate invidious forms of discrimination. The end goal of this chapter is not necessarily to (...) take a side, but to outline the terrain and provide the reader with an adequate entryway into these philosophical discussions over discrimination and immigration. (shrink)
Jurisdictionism offers a new rationale for restricting immigration. Immigrants impose new obligations on the people whose territories they enter. Insofar as these obligations are unwanted, polities are justified in turning immigrants away, so long as the immigrants are from a country that respects their rights. The theory, however, employs a flawed account of obligation, which overlooks how we can be obliged to take on new duties to immigrants. Jurisdictionism also employs different standards when determining whether an obligation exists, only (...) one of which is sensitive to consequences. Finally, the theory falsely claims that obligations necessarily reduce the freedom of the obliged. (shrink)
Libertarian philosopher Michael Huemer has argued recently that there is a prima facie right to immigrate, and, moreover, that concerns people have about the effects of immigration are not strong enough to neutralize or override this prima facie right. In this paper, I focus on one particular concern that Huemer deems insufficiently strong to neutralize or override the prima facie right to immigrate, namely, the concern that unrestricted immigration poses a threat to one’s culture. I argue that Huemer (...) fails to show that the concern is insufficiently strong. (shrink)
Normative political theory over recent decades has focused mainly on what ought to be done as far as migration policies are concerned. It faces a basic challenge, which stems from two competing, yet equally fundamental, ideals underpinning liberal democratic societies: a commitment to moral universalism and the exclusionary requirement of democracy. The objective of this special issue, ‘New Challenges in Immigration Theory’, is to provide a conceptual overview of (some) immigration theories and to highlight the challenges new streams (...) of immigration pose for normative (political) theory and liberal democratic practice. The issue will consider how to reconcile state-based exclusion with a commitment to equal moral concern for all persons, by focusing on the non-standard immigration questions that have so far been ‘neglected’ by normative political theory. In line with this objective, the issue will discuss some of the inadequacies of the dominant political theories of immigration and show how such theories can be expanded to take account of new migration challenges such as brain drain, climate migration, detention of irregular migrants and asylum seekers, rights of labour migrants, transnational networks of movement, and so on. (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)
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)
This article offers a critical analysis of David Miller’s proposal that liberal immigration policies should be conceptualized in terms of a quasi-contract between receiving nations and immigrant groups, designed to ensure both that cultural diversity does not undermine trust among citizens and that immigrants are treated fairly. This proposal fails to address sufﬁciently two related concerns. Firstly, an open-ended, quasi-contractual requirement for cultural integration leaves immigrant groups exposed to arbitrary critique as insufﬁciently integrated and unworthy of trust as citizens. (...) Secondly, the focus on national culture instead of citizenship obfuscates the close link between political membership and political trustworthiness. An examination of two models of interpersonal trust, affective and cognitive,shows that there is no room for the mid-way position associated with a quasi-contract. The effect of grounding political trust in a shared national culture instead of democratic institutions is to normalize the domination of immigrants and citizens alike. (shrink)
The Ethics of Immigration, by Joseph Carens, Oxford University Press, 2013. -/- Joseph Carens is arguably the most prominent political theorist to defend open borders, a view which he did much to make intellectually respectable in a famous 1987 article, “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” In The Ethics of Immigration Carens again defends the open borders view, but with a new rationale. Whereas before he argued that seemingly opposed philosophies provided converging support for open borders, (...) now he bases his case on “democratic principles,” by which he means uncontroversial moral commitments that are widely shared in liberal states. Carens argues that one such commitment is to freedom, which can be understood as “not being the subject of the will of another.” A commitment to such a value would explain why freedom of movement within a state is considered a basic human right. But, Carens asks, if we have a general right to freedom of movement within countries, why not between them? -/- Carens has long noted that despite the attractiveness of open borders at the level of pure justice, it is deeply at odds with how immigration policy is normally viewed. Given this, Carens’ many writings on immigration have long approached it from a second perspective, one that puts aside questions of ideal theory and takes for granted the conventional view that states are entitled to discretionary control over their borders. This second perspective is the dominant one in The Ethics of Immigration, as Carens spends most of the book outlining standards of fair treatment for permanent residents, temporary workers, refugees and other migrants that do not presuppose any commitment to open borders. In this mode Carens offers a revised version of one his most thought-provoking and controversial arguments, defending amnesty for immigrants who first arrive illegally. -/- Carens’ investigation of immigration issues at both the level of ideal justice and the more immediate plane of the debate over amnesty and related issues makes his book unusually rich. It has the rare virtue of being both philosophically rigorous and politically relevant. -/- . (shrink)
David Miller, Professor of Politics at Oxford University, has long been one of the most important and interesting contributors to political theory and philosophy. He is well known for insisting on the mutual relevance of philosophical reflection and political practice, an approach well captured by the title of his recent book, Justice for Earthlings. In his most recent book, Strangers in our Midst: The Political Philosophy of Immigration, Miller revises and extends the work he has been doing for several (...) years now on immigration. The result is a short yet rich defense of the right of states to control their own immigration policy. (shrink)
In the face of the Brexit vote and the election of Trump, there is serious worry about whether the liberal, democratic, and cosmopolitan values thought to underlie progressive immigration policies are in fact widely shared. In this article, I examine these worries and provide suggestions about how those who do favor just progressive immigration policies might best respond to the problems we currently face.
Is there a human right to immigration? In an endevour at answering this question, this 'Habilitationsschrift' uses extant literature on the ethics of immigration to work out a liberal and a communitarian model of individual freedom, national identity and group membership. These models are supplemented by an analysis of the German debate on immigration between 1990 and 2005.
The issue of statelessness poses problems for the statist approach to the philosophy of immigration. Despite the fact that the statist approach claims to constrain the state’s right to exclude with human rights considerations, the arguments statists offer for the right of states to determine their own immigration policies would also justify citizenship rules that would render some children stateless. Insofar as rendering a child stateless is best characterized as a violation of human rights and insofar as some (...) states have direct responsibility for causing such harm, the problem of non-refugee stateless children points to greater constraints than most statists accept on states’ right to determine their own rules for membership. While statists can ultimately account for the right not to be rendered stateless, recognizing these additional human rights constraints ultimately weakens the core of the statist position. (shrink)