The Jurisdiction Argument for Immigration Control: A Critique
Social Theory and Practice, Vol. 42, Issue 3, 2016
33 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016
Date Written: August 20, 2015
The philosophy of 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, such 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.
Keywords: immigration, jurisdiction, obligation, liberalism, justice
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