The Ethics of family reunification

Authored by: Iseult Honohan

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:


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Should states give preference in immigration to family members of citizens and residents? Recent criticisms of special status for the family generally and in immigration specifically are outlined. Alternative grounds for some priority for family are considered: a right to intimate freedom of association, and the value of personal relationships of dependence and care. Certain family priority is justified as allowing those subject to the state to discharge the responsibilities entailed by these relationships. Objections to this approach briefly addressed are: problems of integrating family migrants, costs to other potential migrants and to citizens, and its indeterminacy for policy purposes.

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