Family Migration Schemes and Liberal Neutrality

A Dilemma

in Journal of Moral Philosophy
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In this essay, I argue that the privileging of romantic and familial ties by those who believe in the liberal state’s right to exclude prospective immigrants cannot be justified. The reasons that count in favour of these relationships count equally in favour of a great array of relationships, from friends to creative collaborators, and whatever else falls in between. The liberal partialist now faces a dilemma, either the scope of the right to exclude is much more limited or much broader than she previously assumed.

Family Migration Schemes and Liberal Neutrality

A Dilemma

in Journal of Moral Philosophy



  • 6

     See Christopher H. Wellman“Immigration and Freedom of Association,” Ethics 119 (2008) pp. 109–141; David Miller “Immigration: The Case for Limits” in Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics A. Cohen and C. Wellman (eds.) (Malden ma: Blackwell Publishing 2005) pp. 193–206; Ryan Pevnick Immigration and the Constraints of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011) respectively.

  • 9

     See Matthew Lister“Immigration, Association, and the Family,” Law and Philosophy 29 (2010) pp. 717–745. See also Matthew Lister “A Rawlsian Argument for Extending Family-Based Immigration Benefits to Same-Sex Couples” The University of Memphis Law Review 37 (2007) pp. 745–780. Christopher Wellman endorses Lister’s account in Debating the Ethics of Immigration p. 92. See also Blake “Immigration Jurisdiction and Exclusion” p. 129.

  • 11

    Lister“Immigration Association and the Family” p. 741.

  • 14

    Anthony F. Bogaert“Toward a conceptual understanding of asexuality,” Review of General Psychology 10 (2006) pp. 241–250.

  • 15

    Robert Nozick“Love's Bond,” in The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations (Simon & Schuster: 1989) p. 70.

  • 16

    Ibid. p. 72.

  • 17

    Ibid. p. 82.

  • 18

    Robert C. SolomonLove: Emotion Myth and Metaphor (New York: Prometheus Books1990) p. 148.

  • 19

    Noël Merino“The Problem with “We”: Rethinking Joint Identity in Romantic Love,” Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2004) p. 132.

  • 20

    J. David Velleman“Persons in Prospect,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 36 (2008) pp. 245–266.

  • 26

     See for example Nozick“Love's Bond” pp. 68–86; Jennifer E. Whiting “Impersonal Friends” The Monist 74 (1991) pp. 3–29; Neil Delany “Romantic Love and Loving Commitment: Articulating a Modern Ideal” American Philosophical Quarterly 33 (1996) pp. 339–356; Niko Kolodny “Love as Valuing a Relationship” The Philosophical Review 112 (2003) pp. 135–89.

  • 27

    Delany p. 346.

  • 32

     See Lawrence Thomas“Friendship,” Synthese 72 (1987) pp. 217–236; Nancy Sherman “Aristotle and the Shared Life” in N. K. Badhwar (ed.) Friendship: A Philosophical Reader (Ithaca n.y.: Cornell University press 1993) pp. 91–107; Dean Cocking & Jeanette Kennett “Friendship and the Self” Ethics 108 (1998) pp. 502–527.

  • 36

     See Blake“Immigration Jurisdiction and Exclusion” pp. 129–130.

  • 40

     See Miller“Immigration: The Case for Limits” p. 202.


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