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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 36, 2020

Home: Sanctuary, Shelter, and Justice

Thomas Carnes
Pages 125-140

Forced Separation and the Wrong of Deportation

This paper argues that liberal states are wrong to forcibly separate through deportation the unauthorized immigrant parents of member children and that states must therefore regularize such unauthorized immigrants. While most arguments for regularization focus on how deportation wrongs the unauthorized immigrants themselves, I ground my argument in how deportation wrongs the state’s members, namely the unauthorized immigrants’ member children. Specifically, forced separation through deportation wrongs affected children by violating a basic right to sustain the intimate relationships with their parents on which they rely for their development into fully autonomous agents.

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