Enforcement Matters: Reframing the Philosophical Debate Over Immigration

Mendoza, José Jorge. “Enforcement Matters: Reframing the Philosophical Debate Over Immigration.” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 29. no.1 (2015): 73-90.

In debating the ethics of immigration, philosophers have focused much of their attention on determining whether a political community ought to have the discretionary right to control immigration. They have not, however, given the same amount of consideration to determining whether there are any ethical limits on how a political community enforces its immigration policy. This article, therefore, offers a different approach to immigration justice. It presents a case against legitimate states having discretionary control over immigration by showing both how ethical limits on enforcement circumscribe the options legitimate states have in determining their immigration policy and how all immigrants (including undocumented immigrants) are entitled to certain protections against a state's enforcement apparatus.

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