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Migration in Political TheoryThe Ethics of Movement and Membership$
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Sarah Fine and Lea Ypi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676606.001.0001

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Immigration as a Human Right

Immigration as a Human Right

(p.32) 3 Immigration as a Human Right
Migration in Political Theory

Kieran Oberman

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that people have a human right to immigrate to other states. People have essential interests in being able to make important personal decisions and engage in politics without state restrictions on the options available to them. It is these interests that other human rights, such as the human rights to internal freedom of movement and freedom of association, protect. The human right to immigrate is not absolute. Like the other human freedom rights upon which it is based, the human right to immigrate can be restricted in certain circumstances. Outside these circumstances, however, immigration restrictions are unjust. The idea of a human right to immigrate is not a demand for open borders. Rather it is a demand that basic liberties be awarded the same level of protection when people seek to exercise them across borders and within borders.

Keywords:   immigration, human rights, right to immigrate, freedom of movement, basic liberties

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