"The Pew Research Center's recent study concluding that the number of Asian immigrants moving to the United States now exceeds the number of Latinos hardly seems surprising to me or many of my fellow immigration attorneys. My law firm, Wildes & Weinberg P.C., which has focused exclusively on United States immigration matters for more than 50 years, has seen a dramatic uptick in the number...
Is There a Right to Immigrate?
"The interesting question concerns the vast majority of other potential immigrants—ordinary people who are simply seeking a new home and a better life. Does the state have the right to exclude these ordinary people?
In the following, I argue that the answer to this question is no. I shall assume that we are considering ordinary, noncriminal migrants who wish to leave their country of origin for morally innocent reasons, whether to escape persecution or economic hardship, or simply to join a society they would prefer to live in. Though I shall conduct the discussion in terms of the situation of the United States, which faces unusually strong immigration pressure, most of my arguments apply equally well to other countries. My strategy is to argue, first, that immigration restriction is at least a prima facie violation of the rights of potential immigrants. I then confront the most popular justifications offered for restricting immigration, finding that none of them offers a credible rationale for claiming either that such restriction does not violate rights or that the rights violation is justified. I assume at the start that individuals have at least some rights that exist prior to the state. I do not assume, however, that these rights are absolute; in some cases, I believe, the normative force of individual rights may be outweighed. But immigration policy is not such a case."
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