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On the Legitimacy of Immigration Law

Dates:
  • Tue 16 Jan 2018 17.00 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-01-16 17:00 2018-01-16 19:00 Europe/Paris On the Legitimacy of Immigration Law

A talk within the LPTWG Working Group

When, and why, does a state’s unilaterally enacted immigration law have legitimate authority over would-be migrants? When, and why, is the coercive enforcement of immigration law so enacted morally permissible? I address these neglected questions, starting by considering and rejecting two influential available treatments. I contend that unilaterally enacted immigration law’s lack of a relevantly democratic provenance is not fatal to its permissible enforceability. At the same time, unilaterally enacted immigration law is not legitimate simply as an exercise of a receiving state’s right to freedom of association. Instead, I argue that the unilaterally enacted immigration law of a state that is properly recognized as having international legitimacy is itself presumptively legitimate: in virtue of its provenance in the state’s established legislative procedures, such a regime of immigration law enjoys legitimate authority, and there are strong pro tanto reasons in favor of its enforcement. Nevertheless, the presumptive legitimacy of an immigration law directive is defeated whenever (1) the underlying law violates the receiving state’s duties to respect, protect, and defend human rights; or (2) the underlying law is not rationally aligned with any permissible policy goal.

Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

A talk within the LPTWG Working Group

When, and why, does a state’s unilaterally enacted immigration law have legitimate authority over would-be migrants? When, and why, is the coercive enforcement of immigration law so enacted morally permissible? I address these neglected questions, starting by considering and rejecting two influential available treatments. I contend that unilaterally enacted immigration law’s lack of a relevantly democratic provenance is not fatal to its permissible enforceability. At the same time, unilaterally enacted immigration law is not legitimate simply as an exercise of a receiving state’s right to freedom of association. Instead, I argue that the unilaterally enacted immigration law of a state that is properly recognized as having international legitimacy is itself presumptively legitimate: in virtue of its provenance in the state’s established legislative procedures, such a regime of immigration law enjoys legitimate authority, and there are strong pro tanto reasons in favor of its enforcement. Nevertheless, the presumptive legitimacy of an immigration law directive is defeated whenever (1) the underlying law violates the receiving state’s duties to respect, protect, and defend human rights; or (2) the underlying law is not rationally aligned with any permissible policy goal.


Location:
Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Monika Rzemieniecka (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences) - Send a mail
 
 

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