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Freedom of Movement and Emigration Pressures: A Defence of Immigration Fees

Oliviero Angeli


The article addresses the prospective responsibility of states to protect citizens from emigration pressures. After establishing the moral weight of the interest in staying, the article proceeds to explain why the interest to stay is comparatively more resistant to restrictions than the interest in exercising freedom of movement across borders. On this basis, the argument is then advanced that immigration fees can be charged on (well-off) immigrants as a means to protect economically vulnerable residents in recipient countries from emigration pressures. The argument that I will advance is in at least one sense non-consequentialist: it accounts for the need for immigration fees without relying on (problematic) assumptions about the consequences of immigration. Furthermore, the argument is also realistic in so far as it accepts that states have the right to restrict immigration.


This article has benefited from numerous comments and suggestions provided among others by Chris Armstrong, Frank Dietrich, Bob Goodin, Christine Strähle, Lea Ypi and the three anonymous reviewers


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Published Online: 2016-10-4
Published in Print: 2016-11-1

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