By Soil, by Blood, or by What? Children, Citizenship, and ImmigrationLuara Ferracioli (University of Sydney)
Atrium 213, Old Arts Building
University of Melbourne
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
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