The moral tenability of open and closed borders to immigrants: A defence of porous borders
Werven, H.J. van
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In this thesis I will analyse the moral tenability of open and closed borders to immigrants. I will present the strongest reasons for open borders: freedom, moral equality, no coercion without democratic justification and improvement of life conditions. And I will present the best arguments for closed borders: the self-determination argument and the functioning society argument. I will show that the culture and freedom of association versions of the self-determination argument and the indirect cosmopolitanism version of the functioning society argument do not hold, while the democracy version of the self-determination argument and the economy and security versions of the functioning society argument do hold. I will defend that porous borders – borders that are partially open and partially closed – are the best option. Furthermore, I will give an indication on some broad guidelines and criteria that may count as a minimum standard to which states need to adapt their immigration policy. I will illustrate to what extent states already incorporate this by comparing these guidelines and criteria with the Dutch immigration policy. I will conclude with the claim that states that have a porous borders policy need to fulfil some global moral duties toward, between others, third world countries, in order to make the porous borders option morally defensible.