Justice and Temporary Labor Migration

29 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2015

Date Written: 2014


Temporary labor migration programs have been among the most controversial topics in discussions of immigration reform. They have been opposed by many, perhaps most, academics writing on immigration, by immigration reform activists, and by organized labor. This opposition has not been without some good reasons, as many historical temporary labor migration programs have led to significant injustice and abuse. However, in this paper I argue that a well-crafted temporary labor migration program is both compatible with liberal principles of justice and likely to be an important part of a sensible immigration policy for the near future, at least. I show how the many injustices and high potential for abuse of earlier programs may be avoided. I also show good reason to favor a well-crafted temporary labor migration program over either the more likely alternative outcome of officially tight borders (which would almost certainly maintain our current dependence on large-scale unauthorized immigration) and the much less likely option of nearly open borders. As increased labor migration of all sorts is an intrinsic part of increased economic globalization, it is especially important to craft guidelines for just temporary labor migration programs if we are to both gain the advantages of globalization and protect the rights of workers.

Keywords: immigration, guest workers, temporary labor migration, globalization, justice, immigrant rights

JEL Classification: D63, E24, F02, F22, F42, J21, J23, J40, J61, K33, O51, R23

Suggested Citation

Lister, Matthew J., Justice and Temporary Labor Migration (2014). Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Vol. 29, p. 95, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658468

Matthew J. Lister (Contact Author)

Bond University Faculty of Law ( email )

14 University Drive
Robina, Queensland 3125

HOME PAGE: http://https://bond.edu.au/about-bond/academia/faculty-law

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