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The Immigration Paradox: Poverty, Distributive Justice, And Liberal Egalitarianism, Howard F. Chang Jan 2003

The Immigration Paradox: Poverty, Distributive Justice, And Liberal Egalitarianism, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The immigration of unskilled workers poses a fundamental problem for liberals. While from the perspective of the economic welfare of natives, the optimal policy would be to admit these aliens as guest workers, this policy would violate liberal egalitarian ideals. These ideals would treat these resident workers as equals, entitled to access to citizenship and to the full set of public benefits provided to citizens. If the welfare of all incumbent residents determines admissions policies, however, and we anticipate the fiscal burden that the immigration of the poor would impose, then our welfare criterion would preclude the admission of unskilled ...


Immigration Restrictions As Employment Discrimination, Howard F. Chang Jan 2003

Immigration Restrictions As Employment Discrimination, Howard F. Chang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this paper, I analyze restrictions on immigration to the United States as a form of government-mandated employment discrimination against aliens. Through our immigration laws, we deny aliens access to valuable employment opportunities that are open to natives. Under our immigration and nationality laws, we base this discrimination explicitly on circumstances of birth beyond the control of the alien. I argue that immigration restrictions thereby violate our liberal ideals of equality, which require a cosmopolitan perspective that extends equal concern to all individuals. Furthermore, even if we assume a less demanding moral theory that allows us to give the interests ...