1st Edition

Unjust Borders Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration

By Javier S. Hidalgo Copyright 2019
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    States restrict immigration on a massive scale. Governments fortify their borders with walls and fences, authorize border patrols, imprison migrants in detention centers, and deport large numbers of foreigners. Unjust Borders: Individuals and the Ethics of Immigration argues that immigration restrictions are systematically unjust and examines how individual actors should respond to this injustice. Javier Hidalgo maintains that individuals can rightfully resist immigration restrictions and often have strong moral reasons to subvert these laws. This book makes the case that unauthorized migrants can permissibly evade, deceive, and use defensive force against immigration agents, that smugglers can aid migrants in crossing borders, and that citizens should disobey laws that compel them to harm immigrants. Unjust Borders is a meditation on how individuals should act in the midst of pervasive injustice.


    1. The Case Against Exclusion

    2. Challenges to Freedom of Movement

    3. Actual Immigration Restrictions Are Unjust

    4. Are More Open Borders Feasible? Does It Matter?

    5. Resistance at the Border

    6. People Smuggling

    7. Complicity and the Duty to Resist

    8. Promoting More Open Borders


    Javier Hidalgo is an Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. His work has appeared in venues such as The Journal of Political Philosophy, The Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy and The Journal of Moral Philosophy.

    "The book is persuasive and beautifully written, bringing forth a realistic and optimistic account of how humans can reorganize themselves to better govern in the emerging epoch. It is agenda setting, providing new ideas for progress on a variety of fronts— from the environmental, to the social, to the political—and giving us new ways to think about environmental governance in uncertain, unstable circumstances. Overall it stands as a novel and robust treatment of the Anthropocene and the core issues of global governance. Perhaps most importantly, the book offers hope that human reason and communication with one another and with the Earth system can rise to the challenges of theAnthropocene." - Jen Iris Allan, Ethics and International Affairs