Regulatory Pluralism and the Interests of Migrants

Immigration, Emigration, and Migration: NOMOS LVII (New York University Press 2017)

41 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2020

Date Written: July 1, 2017


This essay begins with the premise that the interests of migrants in migration itself ought to be taken into account in the formulation of states' admissions and exclusion laws and policies. With out purporting to answer the question of how these interests ought to be weighed in relation to those of citizens and and already resident populations, it then poses the question of which political and bureaucratic forms will be most responsive to those interests. It critiques the growing calls for global governance mechanisms, not because global migration doesn't warrant inter and trans-national solutions, but because deep ambivalence the world over concerning the legitimacy of labor migration (and irregular migration) confound such governance. Instead, this essay argues that the politics of migration should remain focused primarily at the level of the (democratic) nation-state; the power of co-ethnic citizens, contested but strong humanitarian norms, and the porosity of bureaucratic institutions in major receiving states all combine to make migrants' interest in migration relevant to myriad decisionmakers. These dynamics may be under particularly acute pressure today from immigration skeptics and cultural nationalists, but they remain vital dynamics to nurture and exploit in service of the essay's opening premise.

Keywords: migration, human rights, sovereignty, global justice, global governance, labor migration, irregular migration

Suggested Citation

Rodriguez, Cristina, Regulatory Pluralism and the Interests of Migrants (July 1, 2017). Immigration, Emigration, and Migration: NOMOS LVII (New York University Press 2017) , Available at SSRN: or

Cristina Rodriguez (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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