Immigration, Association, and the Family

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRawls and Law
EditorsThom Brooks
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781351552349, 9781315089188
ISBN (Print)9781409430438
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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