Write a 750-word (minimum) response in which you address EACH of the following questions in your own words:

  1. Do wealthy and freer nations have a duty to admit citizens from poorer and more oppressed countries if doing so would improve their quality of life? Why or why not?
  2. Which moral factors should a country consider when deciding who can and can’t immigrate to its lands?

Make sure to write your paper as one continuous piece of writing, and to justify all the positions you give.

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Ethics of Immigration

The question of immigration from a political and philosophical perspective presents a moral debate regarding the existence of the right to exclude. Some authors argue that legitimate states have the right to exclude or better, the right to close their borders to ‘unwanted’ immigrants based on self-determination. In contrast, some argue that states lack the moral right to close borders for any would-be immigrant, arguing that it is the universal moral right for every individual to cross borders (Wilcox, 2015). The latter argument aligns with my moral fortitude and opinion that wealthy and freer nations have a duty to admit citizens from poorer and more oppressed countries, as this action would improve their life quality. This argument is founded based on the moral right to recognize the freedom of international movement as part of liberalism, utilitarianism, and having a moral perspective of viewing immigrants if this chance would improve their quality of life.

It is undeniable that all countries including the wealthy and freer countries such as the USA should have control of their borders for maximized national security, self-determination, and exercise the right to exclude. However, looking at the division of Global North and Global South, one would say that the feud and disparities present are similar to those of class privileges: the poor and the rich. These two statuses are inherited, and being in either the North or the South, the quality of life of an individual is enhanced or deprived. In this line, despite inheriting the poor or rich status or being born and having citizenship in the Global North or Global South, every human is equal (Wellman, 2020). There is an inherent duty to respect the universal rights and freedoms of all people, and any form of discrimination, could be based on race, ethnicity, and origin is wrong from a moral perspective. Therefore, wealthy and freer nations have a duty to admit citizens from poorer and more oppressed nations for them to develop their lives, instead of closing the borders and stripping individuals of basic principles. In doing so, stringent and strong immigration adherence systems should be developed to protect immigrants ensuring that they grow into established communities (Wilcox, 2015).

It is time people the world recognized universalism and globalism, putting aside the stereotypes that impede the admitting and easy assimilation of immigrants into our society. This is not to dismiss the risks and threats of national security associated with opening state borders to people with a ‘history.’ For instance, President Donald Trump has constructed a negative image and identity where Mexican immigrants are prejudiced and viewed in a negative angle such as being drug dealers, criminals, and not fit for USA people. It is time people practiced globalism and became global citizens destroying this negative image and identity associated with some groups of people based either on their religion, social class status, religion, or origin. This is not to ignore possible dangers and threats associated with openly welcoming and admitting foreigners.

Restricting their immigration based on this prejudice, preventing them from capitalizing and fully developing themselves in the USA economy becomes inefficient and impermissible. This situation can be understood as dividing men and women. For instance, if a system was created where doctors should only be men (women not allowed) and women should be nurses (men not allowed), the system would deprive the world of excellent and talented female doctors and male nurses unjustifiably. Regarding Mexican immigration, the USA should capitalize on the efforts, talents, and work of the foreigners, as this brings about a win-win situation (Wellman, 2020). As citizens from oppressed and poorer countries, migrate in search of greener pastures and to attain their ‘American Dream,’ they work to gain a source of livelihood and stability in life. In return, the efforts and work reflect in the country’s economy, raising its GDP. According to utilitarianism, a decision is morally right if the consequences benefit a large number of people (Wilcox, 2015). Using this example, opening the borders for citizens from poorer nations to improve their lives provides greater gains than the costs.

As seen above, wealthy and freer nations have a duty to admit citizens from poorer and oppressed nations. However, this must be conducted with keenness and utilize justifiable consideration factors that respect inherent human basic principles, enhance universal morals, and ensure the elevated national security of citizens. The world today presents an uncertain environment and time, where foreigners, whether refugees or people seeking to improve their life quality, turn to be terrorists and threats to national security. Therefore, when deciding to admit immigrants, a country should develop conclusive, inclusive, considerate, and moral-enhancing selection criteria. Currently, some admit using the first-come strategy, lotteries, waitlists, and screening applicants, where they use an intersection of preferences such a language, skills, culture, or education (Wellman, 2020). The latter is subject to inequalities and moral issues.  Some moral consideration factors include holding a balance between the interest of immigrants and the country they want to live in. Even though immigrant’s interest do not strongly justify their acceptance, at least if one is denied entry, they have a right to an explanation. If the explanation is based on identity markers such as race, religion, sex, or culture, this is morally wrong. Which factors are not identity markers? The answer is when screening and considering, there should be a distinction between public and private spheres, which distinguishes the difference between the right of association and the right to equal treatment, as Carens describes (Wellman, 2020). For a country, the public sphere and right to equal treatment should be considered highly. Whatever policies, strategies, and selection criteria a country develops; it must promote human basic principles and never be based on racial aspects or aspects that eliminate one due to coming from disadvantaged groups.




Wellman, C. H. (2020). Immigration. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

Wilcox, S. (2015). Immigration and Borders. In A. Fiala, The Bloomsbury Companion to Political Philosophy. London and New York: Bloomsbury.



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