Self-Determination, Immigration Restrictions, and the Problem of Compatriot Deportation

Journal of International Political Theory 10 (3):261-282 (2014)
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Abstract

Several political theorists argue that states have rights to self-determination and these rights justify immigration restrictions. Call this: the self-determination argument for immigration restrictions. In this article, I develop an objection to the self-determination argument. I argue that if it is morally permissible for states to restrict immigration because they have rights to self-determination, then it can also be morally permissible for states to deport and denationalize their own citizens. We can either accept that it is permissible for states to deport and denationalize their own citizens or reject the self-determination argument. To avoid this implication, we should reject the self-determination argument. That is, we should also reject the conclusion that rights to self-determination can justify any significant immigration restrictions

Author's Profile

Javier Hidalgo
University of Richmond

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