The rights of families and children at the border

Matthew Lister*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Families and children pose several problems for states in migration policies. All states provide some family migration benefits, and often special benefits for children, yet many of these states have sought to limit family immigration and the rights of children. This chapter explains why just immigration policies must offer family- based immigration and why this does not imply immigration rights in other relationships, such as friendships. It argues that a right to intimate association grounds a basic right to form family units across borders- a right inhering primarily in current citizens. It also explores how this right may be limited, including by 'public charge' type provisions, and how far these rights should ground protection from deportation for noncitizen family members, arguing that reasons that justify family immigration rights also justify protection from deportation. It finishes with a discussion of special protections owed, as a matter of justice, to children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law
EditorsElizabeth Brake, Lucinda Ferguson
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780198786429
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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