Utilitarian analysis of immigration would consider

One exception to this line of thought may be the children of irregular migrants who were brought to the new country at a very young age. Finally, even if all of these concerns could somehow be addressed, notice both that this argument purports to establish only that legitimate states have a presumptive right to exclude outsiders.

Thus, insofar as the gains from open borders are enjoyed more by poorer people, we get even more utility gain than if it were equally distributed.


This argument can be made from at least two angles: Carens articulates this sentiment nicely when he writes: It no longer matters. For example, let us suppose that less skilled American laborers would be harmed, whereas American firms and consumers along with Mexican immigrants would benefit if the current restriction on Mexican immigration were lifted.

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Walzer objects to this practice, however, because these workers were not given equal political status in their host countries.

If Miller is right, the advantages of restricting immigration may more than compensate for the costs involved. It is the aspect of the moral case that most directly connects empirical claims about the effects of migration with moral assertions about migration policy.

A is a subset of a set B if every element of A is also an element of B. Utilitarian arguments of this sort are referred to on this site as citizenist or territorialist arguments respectively. And since there is no world sovereign capable of punishing Utilitarian analysis of immigration would consider, the latter cannot be morally bound by any putative contracts which purport to apply to them.

There are a number of ways in which one might contest this line of argument Fine ; Wellman and Cole Aliens, Residents and Citizens, Cambridge: The basic idea motivating this approach was most often the Hobbesian presumption that morality consisted solely of contracts which were binding only in the presence of a sovereign who could enforce them.

In other words, states coerce all those within their territorial boundaries whether or not these constituents have consented to this imposition; and, given this, they cannot invoke volenti and thus have no choice but to treat everyone coerced as equals. This argument can be contested on either empirical or moral grounds.

Immanuel Kant was really the first one to discuss and articulate Deontology. For a detailed discussion of arguments of this sort, see our page on killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. So although America killed thousands of Japanese, it was in exchange for the greater good and for the greatest amount of people.

This practice was a sensible solution for all, since it enabled a country like West Germany to hire foreign workers to do various relatively onerous jobs for considerably less than it would have had to pay its domestic labor force, and the imported laborers also profited, as they were able to earn considerably more than they could have in their own countries.

In this case, though, many have recoiled at his conclusions. You might also be interested in Felicifiaa forum devoted to discussion of utilitarianism.

Blog posts and articles For blog posts on the estimates of impact on global production, see our double world GDP page. Most obviously, one might question whether corporate political entities are even eligible for moral rights.

A libertarian, for instance, would likely regard this as just one more reason to abandon the welfare state. This is because utilitarianism is the ethical system which is based on the calculus of happiness. In all cases in which there are national or ethnic minorities—which is to say, the vast majority of actual cases—to restrict immigration for national or ethnic reasons is to make some citizens politically inferior to others….

If so, then immigration would be impermissible in this case only if the potentially displaced American workers have a right not to face the increased competition for their jobs Macedo Importantly, though, guest workers are an exception to this general rule precisely because they do give their consent to the relationship.

Rather than try to decisively defend either side here, let us conclude by briefly surveying some of the more engaging applied issues related to the morality of immigration. If people were not aware of consequences then there would be no deterrent to commit crime. What are the strengths of utilitarianism?

Think, for instance, of how the US government routinely provides special unemployment and educational benefits to displaced workers, like those in the textile industry, who lose their jobs as a consequence of new legislation liberalizing trade with foreign countries. Among the empirical questions, we might ask how confident we can be about the numbers and influence of the potential immigrants.

You can pick your friends on the basis of whatever criteria you wish, but in selecting people for offices you must treat all candidates fairly….

For more on arguments of this sort, see the animal welfare page. Sometimes called voluntary associationsthese include community service groups, political parties and religious organizations. Finally, even if each of these moral challenges could also be conclusively answered, this approach would not justify excluding all outsiders.

It is related to the idea of cost-benefit analysis. It gives a much better quantitative sense of the importance of the open borders issue.The principle of utilitarianism can be traced to the writings of Jeremy Bentham, who lived in England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Bentham, a legal reformer, sought an objective basis that would provide a publicly acceptable norm for determining what kinds of laws England should enact.

Sep 17,  · Utilitarianism is a philosophical theory of morality and "how one should act". It states that one should act so as to maximize the amount of happiness in the world (focuses on the CONSEQUENCES of actions). That is, you should ONLY do "X" if "X" positively contributes to the happiness in the world.

A utilitarian would argue that you should pull the lever, since utilitarians believe that the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people must be sought. Saving five people instead of one would achieve the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest amount of people in this situation.


The income gains from open borders are likely to be disproportionately realized by currently poor people. Due to diminishing utility of money, this makes the utilitarian gains stronger than they would be if everybody’s income grew in the same proportion.

In fact, open borders will likely speed up the end of world poverty. To see why, consider his take on “White Australia,” Australia's erstwhile practice of recruiting immigration from England while explicitly prohibiting immigration from non-European countries.

Walzer writes, “Assuming, then, that there actually is superfluous land, the claim of necessity would force a political community like that of White .

Utilitarian analysis of immigration would consider
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