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 Last revised: 10 Feb 2020
Date Written: 2014
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
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