Amorality and Humanitarianism in Immigration Law

Research output: Chapter


The author argues that liberalism does not provide a meaningful standard for assessing whether immigration laws are just. In the absence of a justice standard, immigration laws occupy an amoral realm. Varying strands of liberal theory about membership in society do converge around the humanitarian ideal that some people are so needy that they must be admitted on a moral basis. The humanitarian consensus, however, is unhelpful for most of the broad societal debates about immigration, and is a front for discursive cohesion without any underlying agreement. Humanitarianism is a pragmatic tool for shifting law and policy, but must be used with caution because of its foundation in inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImmigration and Refugee Law
Subtitle of host publicationCases, Materials and Commentary
EditorsEmily F. Carasco
Place of PublicationToronto
PublisherEmond Montgomery Publications
ISBN (Print)9781552391235
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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