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John Isbister

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Are Immigration Controls Ethical?

John Isbister challenges Americans to reflect on the ethics involved in immigration issues. “Ethics” is not to be confused with interests. If we look only at interests, some Americans benefit while others can be negatively affected by immigration. Ethics, by contrast, implies a focus on the equal moral worth of all people. This is the context for his examination of basic American precepts and his theoretical evaluation of open borders versus immigration controls. He concludes by proposing an ethically defensible immigration policy based on equal moral worth of all human beings, worldwide; from this perspective, he raises provocative questions about the propensity of U. S. citizens to defend their standard of living through support of restrictionist immigration policies.

immigration policy; ethics; equality; civil rights; cost and standard of living

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, No. 3 (1996): 54-67

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