States are not only claiming the right to grant or deny entry to their territories but also enforcing this right against non-citizens in ways that cause significant harm to these individuals. In this article, I argue that endorsing the presumptive right to restrict immigration does not settle the question of when or how it may permissibly inflict harm on individuals to enforce this right. I examine three distinct justifications for causing harm to individuals. First, the justification of defensive harm holds that harming individuals is morally permissible when they pose an unjustified threat to others. Second, the justification of protecting property states that harming individuals is morally permissible when they pose an unjustified threat to others’ property interests. Third, I consider the state punishment justification, which maintains that harming individuals is morally permissible when punishment is an appropriate response to their previous conduct. I conclude that any immigration enforcement measure that involves lethal force or the infliction of severe bodily harm is morally impermissible, whether it is used to defend the state or its property. Moreover, criminal sanctions for immigration violations are difficult to justify.
|Number of pages||24|
|Journal||Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP)|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 27 Oct 2022|
- global justice
- criminal law
- property right