162ImmigrationBorderControl - 1 Immigrat ion and Border...

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1 Immigration and Border Control—Notes for Philosophy 162 We observe states controlling the movement of people across its borders. States decide whether or not would-be visitors may enter, and how long they may stay, and if they are permitted to take paid employment while they are staying. States set rules that fix the terms on which persons are permitted to immigrate into the territory under the jurisdiction of the state in question, and the terms on which immigrants may apply to become citizens. Enforcing rules regulating entry. These practices prompt moral questions. One broad set of questions concerns what it is morally acceptable (and prudentially wise) for states to do to enforce the entry and exit rules they set. Irregular or illegal migration is a widespread phenomenon in prosperous nations today. In most countries, most people who become residents in violation of the legal rules enter legally and then fail to leave the country when their work permit or tourist stay permission expires. In the U.S. today, most people who are irregular residents enter the country in violation of the legal rules for entry. How should such people be treated? Most of us would say that the legal protections accorded to citizens that protect basic human rights should also be extended to irregular residents. For example, if every person has a right not to be criminally assaulted, or robbed, or defrauded, then people who are irregular residents have these rights as well. Moreover, the state is duty-bound to protect the basic human rights of all persons on its territory, not just the rights of its citizens. From this starting point an argument develops to the conclusion that there should be a firewall, a strict separation, between border control and immigration law enforcement and ordinary law enforcement. The argument is that if illegal residents believe that if they go to the police to report a crime against them that has occurred, or go to the police to report criminal activity they have witnessed, the knowledge that they are unlawfully in the country will result in their deportation, then they will not report crimes committed against them or cooperate with police in criminal investigations. This would mean that their rights not to be victims of crimes are seriously eroded. The solution to this problem is to make it known to all residents of the country that criminal law enforcement and immigration control agencies do not communicate with ach other, in the sense that a resident of the country who complains to the police that she has been victim of criminal activity will not then be checked as to her residency status, reported to border control, and deported if she is not a lawful resident. Some European nations have adopted this sort of firewall and some U.S. jurisdictions to varying
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This note was uploaded on 09/07/2011 for the course PHIL 162 taught by Professor Arneson during the Spring '11 term at UCSD.

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162ImmigrationBorderControl - 1 Immigrat ion and Border...

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