Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory at the University of California, Berkeley, in January 2008, and at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. My thanks to Sam Scheffler, Eric Rakowski, and the workshop participants for their comments at the former occasion and to Arash Abizadeh and Christine Straehle at the latter. My thanks also to Zornitsa Stoyanova, John Tessitore, and four anonymous reviewers at Ethics & International Affairs for helpful comments.
The Rights of Irregular Migrants
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2008 Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
Ethics & International Affairs
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 163–186, Summer 2008
How to Cite
Carens, J. H. (2008), The Rights of Irregular Migrants. Ethics & International Affairs, 22: 163–186. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-7093.2008.00141.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
This article considers the question of what legal rights should be possessed by those who reside and work in a democratic state without the legal authorization of the state, given the background assumption that the state is morally entitled to exclude such migrants. I argue that irregular migrants are morally entitled to a wide range of legal rights, including basic human and civil rights, but also rights to wages, workplace protections, and even rights to public education for their children. In order for these rights to be realized in practice, I argue, states ought to create a firewall between those charged with protecting and enforcing these rights and those charged with enforcing immigration laws.