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Debating the Ethics of Immigration – Is There a Right to Exclude? - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Debating the Ethics of Immigration: Is There a Right to Exclude?

Christopher Heath Wellman and Phillip Cole


Do states have the right to prevent potential immigrants from crossing their borders, or should people have the freedom to migrate and settle wherever they wish? This book develops and defends opposing answers to this timely and important question. Appealing to the right to freedom of association, the book contends that legitimate states have broad discretion to exclude potential immigrants, even those who desperately seek to enter. Against this, it argues that the commitment to the moral equality of all human beings—which legitimate states can be expected to hold—means national borders must b ... More

Keywords: immigrants, freedom of association, moral equality, open borders, equal access, ethics, immigration

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199731732
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199731732.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher Heath Wellman, author
Washington University, St Louis

Phillip Cole, author
University of Wales