Immigration Justice

Immigration Justice

Peter W. Higgins
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3366/j.ctt5hh378
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  • Book Info
    Immigration Justice
    Book Description:

    What moral standards ought nation-states abide by when selecting immigration policies? Peter Higgins argues that immigration policies can only be judged by considering the inequalities that are produced by the institutions – such as gender, race and class – that constitute our social world. He challenges conventional positions on immigration justice, including the view that states have a right to choose whatever immigration policies they like, or that all immigration restrictions ought to be eliminated and borders opened. Rather than suggesting one absolute solution, Higgins argues that a unique set of immigration policies will be just for each country. He concludes with concrete recommendations for policymaking.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7027-7
    Subjects: Philosophy, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Chapter 1 THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND EMPIRICAL CONTEXT
    (pp. 1-21)

    The title of this book signifies that immigration policy is not a matter of ethics (understood to refer to the moral analysis of individual action and character), but is rather a matter of justice, and more precisely, structural justice. A central contention of this book is that the justice of an immigration policy can be ascertained only through consideration of the pervasive, systematic, and unjust inequalities engendered by the institutions that constitute our social world. This is because immigration policies affect people not as individualsper se, but as members of social groups that are brought into existence by the...

  5. Chapter 2 NATIONALIST APPROACHES TO IMMIGRATION JUSTICE
    (pp. 22-58)

    This chapter examines philosophical proposals for the just regulation of immigration that I classify as prescriptively nationalist.¹ Prescriptive nationalism, as I characterize the position, holds that states ought to choose immigration policies in accordance with ʺthe national interest.ʺ Prescriptive nationalists conceive of the national interest differently among themselves, and while it would be too simple to understand any of these proposals as conceiving of the national interest merely as the aggregate of citizensʹ interests, all similarly hold that the state should prioritize the interests of citizens over those of foreigners in the selection of immigration policies. Cosmopolitan approaches to immigration...

  6. Chapter 3 COSMOPOLITAN APPROACHES TO IMMIGRATION JUSTICE
    (pp. 59-109)

    This chapter and the previous one both advance the argument for the Priority of Disadvantage Principle (just immigration policies may not avoidably harm social groups that are already unjustly disadvantaged) by subjecting competing views to critique. Chapter 2 examined approaches to immigration justice that are nationalist, by which I mean that they are premised on the idea that states should favor the interests of their own citizens over those of foreigners in their immigration policy choices. This chapterʹs concern is for cosmopolitan approaches to immigration justice.

    Cosmopolitan approaches to immigration justice share with nationalist approaches the feature of being substantive...

  7. Chapter 4 THE PRIORITY OF DISADVANTAGE PRINCIPLE
    (pp. 110-144)

    The central goal of this book is to show that an immigrant admissions policy is unjust if it avoidably harms a social group that is already unjustly disadvantaged. I defend this principle, the Priority of Disadvantage Principle (PDP), as a universally applicable necessary condition of the justice of nation-statesʹ immigration policies. The PDP is not the claim that states must prioritize the admission of members of unjustly disadvantaged social groups, though it may sometimes have this implication; instead, the PDP enjoins states to regard the effects their immigrant admissions policies have on social groups that are already unjustly disadvantaged as...

  8. Chapter 5 IMMIGRATION JUSTICE: IN DEFENSE OF THE PRIORITY OF DISADVANTAGE PRINCIPLE
    (pp. 145-198)

    Existing nationalist and cosmopolitan approaches to the regulation of immigration falter on a variety of grounds, but one flaw that most share is a failure to treat the fact that all national societies are constituted by institutions that create distinct groups of individuals, privileging some and disadvantaging others, as morally salient. By contrast, the moral principle for evaluating policy proposals for regulating immigration that I developed in the previous chapter, the Priority of Disadvantage Principle (PDP), foregrounds these social divisions, holding that immigration policies that avoidably harm social groups that are already unjustly disadvantaged are unjust.

    The purpose of the...

  9. Chapter 6 ADMISSION, EXCLUSION AND BEYOND: WHICH IMMIGRATION POLICIES ARE JUST?
    (pp. 199-232)

    This chapter critically applies the principle I have developed and defended in the foregoing chapters to common types of immigration policies as a test of their justice. The Priority of Disadvantage Principle holds that just immigration policies may not avoidably harm social groups that are already unjustly disadvantaged. Since the PDP is merely a necessary condition of the justice of immigration policies, it will tell us which ones are unjust, but cannot by itself tell us which are just. Still, certain types of policies are recommended by the spirit of my principle.

    The PDP does not necessarily require that states...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 233-254)
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 255-263)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 264-272)