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Title: Immigration and Global Justice: What kinds of policies should a Cosmopolitan support?
Authors: Brock, Gillian
Keywords: Immigration
global justice
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Citation: Gillian Brock, "Immigration and Global Justice: What kinds of policies should a Cosmopolitan support?", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XII (2010) 1, pp. 362−376.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XII (2010) 1
Abstract: What kind of role, if any, can immigration policies play in moving us towards global justice? On one view, the removal (or reduction) of restrictions on immigration might seem to constitute great progress in realizing the desired goal. After all, people want to emigrate mainly because they perceive that their prospects for better lives are more likely to be secured elsewhere. If we remove restrictions on their ability to travel, would this not constitute an advance over the status quo in which people are significantly prevented, through tough immigration restrictions, from seeking a better life for themselves and their dependants? In particular, it might seem that a cosmopolitan must be committed to reducing restrictions on immigration. On one common account of what cosmopolitanism is, the central idea is that every person has global stature as the ultimate unit of moral concern and is therefore entitled to equal respect and consideration no matter what her citizenship status or other affiliations happen to be. It is frequently supposed that a cosmopolitan must be committed to more open borders, and that developed countries restricting entry to people from developing countries is unjust and inconsistent with a commitment to our equal moral worth. However, as I argue, removing restrictions on immigration (in isolation) could constitute a considerable step backward for global justice. In order to appreciate why this is the case, we need to review some relevant empirical evidence that our policy recommendations must take into account. As we see, considerable benefits accrue to the immigrant and host nation, but significant costs must often be born in states of origin. As one example, we consider the effects of remittances often believed to be highly beneficial to the global poor. I discuss evidence indicating that patterns associated with remittances are not always at all desirable. Migration policies need to be better managed so that they do benefit the relevant stakeholders. In section 4 I give examples of how this might work. In section 5 we investigate what kinds of policy recommendations would be best given our findings.
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2010) XII/1

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