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Philosophy Colloquium

Fall 2011

Colloquium: "Immigration, Causation and Complicity"

Michael Blake, University of Washington

Monday, November 7 at 5:00 pm
Anspach 155
Event flyer

Theorists of immigration have largely focused on what states in general ought to do, rather than on what particular states have done.  This latter, though, is an important normative issue, and in ordinary political discourse we often assume that states can do particular things that give rise to legitimate claims to admission on the part of would-be immigrants.  In this colloquium talk, Michael Blake, associate professor of philosophy and public affairs at the University of Washington, will take issue with this ordinary understanding, by focusing on two common patterns of argument and showing them to be somewhat limited.  The first is that states may, by their military actions abroad, acquire obligations to re-settle individuals that other states do not acquire.  The second is that states may, by relying on undocumented labor, lose the right to exclude undocumented immigrants.  Both of these, Blake will suggest, are somewhat crude approximations of good arguments – arguments whose scope is more limited than the popular version of the arguments would suggest.  


Public Lecture: "Equality without documents: political justice and the right to amnesty"

Michael Blake, University of Washington

Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 pm
Anspach 155
Event flyer

How does the concept of justice apply to the situation of  undocumented immigrants?
Do some undocumented immigrants have a right to remain?    Is deportation a violation of their rights?

In this presentation, Michael Blake, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, will take on some recent arguments supporting a right to amnesty.  He will argue, to the contrary, that undocumented immigrants have accepted the risk of deportation and do not acquire right to remain after long residency.  This conclusion, however, leads us to a distinct interpretation of the morality of deportation, in which the state has good reason to let undocumented immigrants remain - not because this is demanded by justice, but because of more general humanitarian duties.  Just because someone has no justice-based right to remain is no reason to think we are morally right to deport them.  

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