Volume 34, Issue 2, Fall 2020
Self-determination, Democracy, Human Rights, and Migrants’ Rights
A Reply to Sangiovanni and Stilz
What weight should we place on self-determination, democracy, human rights and equality in an account of migration justice? Anna Stilz and Andrea Sangiovanni offer insightful comments that prompt us to consider such questions. In addressing their welcome critiques I aim to show how my account can help reduce migration injustice in our contemporary world. As I argue, there is no right to free movement across state borders. However, migrants do have rights to a fair process for determining their rights. Democratic communities should have scope to make many migration decisions, although there are constraints on that self-determination. The migration governance oversight arrangements I favor are compatible with core requirements of agency and responsiveness that are operative in mature democracies. In responding to concerns about objectionable power inequalities that often characterize temporary worker programs, I show why addressing these issues requires various institutional protections that are well enforced. Robust migration governance arrangements can assist in formulating defensible migration policies that we can implement here and now as we aim to reduce migration injustices in our current world.