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Associative Duties and Immigration

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image of Journal of Moral Philosophy

This paper evaluates an argument for immigration restrictions that appeals to the costs that immigration imposes on the citizens of a recipient state. According to this argument, citizens have associative duties to protect each other’s interests, immigration can damage these interests in certain cases, and the associative duties between compatriots justify immigration restrictions in these cases. Call this: the partiality argument for immigration restrictions. I argue that the partiality argument is unsound. Immigration restrictions violate negative duties to refrain from interfering with people’s liberties and these duties silence compatriots’ associative duties to one another. Furthermore, I argue that compatriots lack associative duties to one another in virtue of the fact that the relationships between compatriots reliably cause injustice to outsiders.

Affiliations: 1: Jepson School of Leadership Studies 28 Westhampton Way, University of Richmond, VA 23173, USA,


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