Re-Imagining International Law for Global Migration: Migration as Decolonization?
111 American Journal of International Law 142 (2017)
6 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2017
Date Written: January 2017
If the “field of global migration law explores transnational movement of people,” modern international law emerges decidedly as an antagonist. Existing international law does a poor job of regulating international migration — it authorizes too narrow a slice of the type of international movement that nonetheless occurs across the globe, and it contributes to the chaos and inhumanity that characterizes international migration outside the law. The root of international law’s dysfunctional relationship with international mobility is this law’s steadfast protection of the almost unfettered right of a state to exclude non-citizens. For scholars of international law within the field of global migration law, a pressing challenge remains a re-imagination of the relationship between the nation state and the non-national that destabilizes territorial exclusion as a fundamental feature of state sovereignty. In this essay, I propose that re-conceiving the movement of certain migrants across international borders today as decolonization offers a new and productive logic, ethics, and lens for international law’s application to global migration.
Keywords: International Law, Global Migration Law, Exclusion of Non-Citizens, Immigration Reform
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation