"La Valla Estadounidense: la teoria politica liberal y la Immoralidad de la pertenencia". [The American fence: liberal political theory and the immorality of membership].

Article


Cole, P. 2006. "La Valla Estadounidense: la teoria politica liberal y la Immoralidad de la pertenencia". [The American fence: liberal political theory and the immorality of membership]. Revista Internacional de Filosofia Politica. 27, pp. 101-116.
TypeArticle
Title"La Valla Estadounidense: la teoria politica liberal y la Immoralidad de la pertenencia". [The American fence: liberal political theory and the immorality of membership].
AuthorsCole, P.
Abstract

This paper examines the attempts by developed nations to control illegal immigration, especially the escalation of illiberal measures that endanger the lives of those attempting to cross borders illegally. The primary example is the American fence that is being extended and reinforced to guard the border with Mexico, but other nations have taken to fence building too. For example, Spain has a fence around its enclave on Morocco's Mediterranean coast. The building of border fences within national territories, with the proliferation of prison camps for asylum seekers and suspected illegal immigrants, has become a feature of European immigration practices.
The essay argues that no coherent liberal and ethical justification for such practices is available. The only consistent position is 'liberal realism', the claim that liberal freedoms and institutions work to the benefit of members of the liberal nation state, and therefore it is in the interests of those members to protect these freedoms and institutions from any threat posed to them by potential migrants, even if that protection has to be oppressive and potentially fatal in order to be effective. However, this is not an ethical position, and may not be a liberal one.
There is, in addition, a fundamental and practical flaw in the liberal realist argument: the fact that these oppressive measures are not effective. All the evidence suggests that extending and reinforcing the American fence will not effect the flow of illegal migration from Mexico into the United States. The focus on border enforcement by the governments of developed nations is a mixture of political opportunism and symbolism, as they offer their electorates the illusion that the integrity of the liberal interior can be protected from the 'corrupting' influences of the illiberal exterior.

PublisherUniversidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (U N E D)
JournalRevista Internacional de Filosofia Politica
ISSN1132-9432
Publication dates
Print2006
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Oct 2008
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)http://e-spacio.uned.es/fez/view.php?pid=bibliuned:filopoli-2006-27-91373155-BF61-4EA9-3131-398904FFA6B4
LanguageEnglish
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