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Volume 29 • Number 2

April 2015



The Ethics of Immigration and the Justice of Immigration Policies

by Peter Higgins

All philosophical defenders of the view that wealthy, liberal states morally ought to eliminate all or most restrictions on immigration maintain that the removal of formal barriers to immigration (that is, the adoption of an open borders immigration regime) by wealthy, liberal states would bring about a significant reduction in global economic inequality and severe poverty. The global egalitarian promise of open borders serves as the primary justification for the proposal in the work of some theorists, while in the work of others, it features as an ancillary argument or as a reply to objections. The rationale for this defense of open borders is that the global poor lack economic opportunities in their countries of residence, but that they could partake of the relatively abundant economic opportunities that wealthy, liberal countries currently reserve for their own legal residents in the absence of formal barriers to immigration.

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ISSN: 2152-0542