Professor Carens is concerned with finding a way to move beyond the intensely politicized and apparently irreconcilable positions that characterize much of the discussion on the rights of "irregular migrants." These migrants tend to be cast either as victims or as villains: victims of unjust immigration laws and exploitative employers, or abusers who "play" the system to their advantage. In order to overcome this dichotomous approach, Carens begins by accepting the premise that states have a right to control entry into their territories, and goes on to explore whether, this being the case, it is morally acceptable to deny certain types of rights to this particular group of residents.
While this approach is useful for his discussion of human rights, it is somewhat more problematic when Carens turns his attention to work-related rights.
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