By Soil, by Blood, or by What? Children, Citizenship, and Immigration
Luara Ferracioli (University of Sydney)

July 26, 2017, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Atrium 213, Old Arts Building
University of Melbourne
Melbourne 3010


Holly Lawford-Smith
University of Melbourne

Topic areas



Do states have a right to exclude prospective immigrants as they see fit? According to statists 

the answer is a qualified yes. For these authors, self-determining political communities have a 

prima facie right to exclude, which can be overridden by the claims of vulnerable groups such 

as refugees and children born in the state's territory. However, proponents of open borders 

have accused statists of providing a theory that cannot in fact protect children born in the 

territory from being excluded from the political community. The grounds for exclusion that 

affect newcomers by immigration, also affect newcomers by birth, or so the accusation goes. In 

this essay, I defend statism against this criticism and provide a liberal justification for the 

inclusion of children born within the state's borders. My account leads to some surprising 

implication for citizenship law, as well as immigration arrangements in the area of asylum and 

unauthorized immigration.

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