Are Skill-Selective Immigration Policies Just?

Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):123-154 (2016)
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Many high-income countries have skill-selective immigration policies, favoring prospective immigrants who are highly skilled. I investigate whether it is permissible for high-income countries to adopt such policies. Adopting what Joseph Carens calls a " realistic approach " to the ethics of immigration, I argue first that it is in principle permissible for high-income countries to take skill as a consideration in favor of selecting one prospective immigrant rather than another. I argue second that high-income countries must ensure that their skill-selective immigration policies do not contribute to the non-fulfillment of their duty to aid residents of low-and middle-income countries.

Author's Profile

Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


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