Who Should Get in? The Ethics of Immigration Admissions [Abstract]

Ethics and International Affairs, Volume 17.1 (Spring 2003)

March 2, 2003

Ethics & International Affairs

This article explores normative questions about what legal rights settled immigrants should have in liberal democratic states. It argues that liberal democratic justice, properly understood, greatly constrains the distinctions that can be made between citizens and residents. The longer people stay in a society, the stronger their moral claims become, and after a while they pass a threshold that entitles them to virtually the same legal status as citizens and eventually easy access to citizenship itself.


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