State sovereignty and migration control: the ultimate act of discrimination?

Bagaric, Mirko and Morss, John 2005, State sovereignty and migration control: the ultimate act of discrimination?, Journal of migration and refugee issues, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 25-50.

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Title State sovereignty and migration control: the ultimate act of discrimination?
Author(s) Bagaric, Mirko
Morss, JohnORCID iD for Morss, John
Journal name Journal of migration and refugee issues
Volume number 1
Issue number 1
Start page 25
End page 50
Publisher Sandstone Academic Press
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2005
ISSN 1832-0643
Summary Nations zealously guard their borders and carefully vet migrants. This consigns many people to live in states not of their choice and often diminishes their opportunities and their level of flourishing. In some cases it is the difference between life and death. The practice of imposing migration controls is discriminatory. In fact it is the ultimate form of discrimination: 'super-discrimination.' There is no logical or moral reason why non-nationals of a state should not have the same opportunities and freedoms as nationals in that state. One of the most common forms of discrimination is race - treating a person differently simply because of their place of birth. This is one of the clearest and most repugnant forms of discrimination because the location where a person is born is of course merely a happy or unhappy circumstance over which the individual has no control. An accident of birth should not qualify a person for extra privileges or opportunities. The world is a fairer place if to the maximum extent possible luck is taken out of the process for allocating benefits and burdens - which ought to be distributed on the basis of merit and dessert. This paper examines whether there are sound reasons for restricting the flow of world-wide people movement. The main arguments in favour of this policy, relating to security and national building, are ultimately flawed. This exposes a tragic irony given the great efforts that many Western states - which typically have the strongest migration controls - make to stamp out discrimination at the domestic level, and the vast array of international law anti-discrimination instruments, loudly trumpeted by Western nations. This is hypocrisy nearing its finest. The substratum of sovereign states upon which available international law is built is inherently discriminatory and in fact is probably responsible for more harm as a result of the innately discriminatory immigration policies than results from the cumulative operation of all domestic discrimination. The world should move towards loosening migration controls. This would have an enormous number of humanistic benefits, not the least of which is largely eradicating world hunger and poverty.
Language eng
Field of Research 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Sandstone Academic Press
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