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The Significance of Territorial Presence and the Rights of Immigrants

Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership, eds. Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi, Oxford University Press, 2014, Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2014  

Sarah Song

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

How should a liberal democratic state treat noncitizens who are inside its borders? The idea that all persons – not just citizens – present in the territory of a state are entitled to civil, social, and even political rights is reflected in the way the U.S. and European countries treat noncitizen residents. But what is the normative significance of territorial presence? This article examines three answers based on the principles of (1) affiliation, (2) fair play, and (3) coercion. I argue that the three principles taken together can account for the special rights and obligations of different groups of territorial insiders. Turning to the question of the content of the special rights and obligations, I contend that the three principles are consistent with an approach that disaggregates rights and obligations from citizenship status.

Keywords: citizenship, coercion, fair play, immigrants, immigration, noncitizens, rights, territory, territoriality, family, affiliation

Suggested Citation

Song, Sarah, The Significance of Territorial Presence and the Rights of Immigrants (2014). Migration in Political Theory: The Ethics of Movement and Membership, eds. Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi, Oxford University Press, 2014, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2376604

Sarah Song (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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