Irregular Migrants: An Alternative Perspective [Excerpt]

Ethics & International Affairs

Professor Carens's paper displays all of the qualities that make him one of the most interesting applied political philosophers writing today. It is unfailingly lucid, engages with a significant issue in real-world politics, and does so from a liberal and humane perspective that makes it hard to dissent from many of his practical proposals for the treatment of unauthorized immigrants. I wonder, nevertheless, whether he has framed the issue in quite the right way, and whether there are not deeper questions of political philosophy that go unaddressed. At any rate, I shall try to suggest an alternative perspective that would make some practical difference at the level of policy, although it would not mean rejecting all of Carens's concrete proposals.

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