The Rights Discourse and the Obligation of States to Admit Immigrants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I argue in this Article that states have two types of moral duties with regard to their intake of immigrants. First, they have a duty to accept quotas of immigrants who have no individual rights to entrance prior to the determination of specific immigration criteria applicable in their case. Second, they have a duty to admit immigrants who are entitled to enter as individuals, namely, refugees and immigrants, who wish to enter the state for family reunification. However, under certain conditions, states could be justified in limiting the entrance of refugees and family reunification immigrants, who might eventually be eligible for naturalization by means of various qualifications and even quotas. Initially, I defend the complex thesis stated above by rejecting two positions supported by contemporary liberal immigration theorists. One position advocates a cosmopolitan human right to immigration, namely, every single individual's right to immigrate into any country of his/her choosing. The other position claims that states have a universal right to lock their gates to immigration. Finally, I argue for the middle-ground position stated above.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
JournalIsrael Law Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'The Rights Discourse and the Obligation of States to Admit Immigrants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this