Immigration Enforcement and Domination: An Indirect Argument for Much More Open Borders

Political Research Quarterly 1 (1):1-13 (2016)

Alex Sager
Portland State University
Normative reflection on the ethics of migration has tended to remain at the level of abstract principle with limited attention to the practice of immigration administration and enforcement. This paper explores the implications of this practice for an ethics of immigration with particular attention to the problem of bureaucratic domination. I contend that migration administration and enforcement cannot overcome bureaucratic domination because of the inherent vulnerability of migrant populations and the transnational enforcement of border controls by multiple public and private actors. The implication is that even if restrictive immigration policies are permissible in principle, the attempt to enforce them leads to injustices that make them ethically unacceptable in practice.
Keywords Immigration  Bureaucracy  Domination  Neo-Republicanism  Open Borders
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Domination.Christopher McCammon - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Arbitrary Decision-Making and the Rule of Law.Francesca Asta - 2020 - Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 2:107-136.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Open Borders and the Right to Immigration.Peter Higgins - 2008 - Human Rights Review 9 (4):525-535.
Open Borders.Vicki Shana Horwitz - 2008 - Dissertation, Georgia State University
Mobility (Migration).Alex Sager - 2012 - In Ruth Chadwick (ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics. pp. 128-36.
Arguing for Open Borders: The Ethics of Immigration. [REVIEW]Andy Lamey - 2014 - Literary Review of Canada 22 (April):12-13.
Immigration: The Case for Limits.David Miller - 2005 - In Andrew I. Cohen & Christopher Heath Wellman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 193-206.
The Duty to Disobey Immigration Law.Javier Hidalgo - 2016 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 3 (2).
Domination and Migration: An Alternative Approach to the Legitimacy of Migration Controls.Iseult Honohan - 2014 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 17 (1):31-48.
Doing Away with Juan Crow: Two Standards for Just Immigration Reform.José Jorge Mendoza - 2015 - APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 15 (2):14-20.
Expatriatism: The Theory and Practice of Open Borders.Chandran Kukathas - 2010 - In Roger Smith (ed.), Citizenship, Borders and Human Needs. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 324-342.
At the Borders of Political Theory: Carens and the Ethics of Immigration.Phil Cole - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 14 (4):501-510.


Added to PP index

Total views
41 ( #276,672 of 2,507,402 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,983 of 2,507,402 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes