Analyse & Kritik
Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf
The current European ‘migration crisis’ encompasses increasing rates of migration and the accompanying failure of migrants, including both economic migrants and refugees, to integrate. In this paper, I focus on a normative analysis of the entry fee immigration system, providing both an internal and external critique. In the internal critique, I take for granted that states are best understood as clubs. However, states seem to share greater similarities with clubs that are too exclusive to allow membership to be purchased. In the external critique, I argue that imposing a substantial entry fee on club membership is impermissible if exclusion from membership deprives non-members of basic rights and interests, even if measures are taken to equalise their ability to pay. The upshot of the internal and external critique, I believe, is that membership ought not to be contingent on the payment of a fee, or more generally, the acceptance of current members.