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Immigration and Environment: Settling the Moral Boundaries

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Large populations fuelled by immigration have damaging effects on natural environments. Utilitarian approaches to immigration (whether restrictive or permissive) are inadequate, since they fail to draw the appropriate boundaries between people, as are standard rights approaches buttressed by sovereignty concerns because they fail to include critical environmental concerns within their pantheon of rights. A right to a healthy environment is a basic/subsistence right to be enjoyed by everyone, resident and immigrant alike. Current political-economic arrangements reinforced by familiar ethical positions that support property rights and preference satisfaction favours (privileged) residents while directly or indirectly denying basic rights to potential immigrants and should be abandoned and a basic rights procedure adopted.

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Keywords: dependency theory; livable environment; subsistence rights; utilitarianism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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