Restrictions on Immigration



  1. Restricting immigration is unjust because it infringes on other vital aspects like freedom of liberties and association.
  2. Thesis: The fundamental right of movement should be preserved to all people


Reason 1: People should be allowed to migrate because they have compelling interests in making important personal decisions and engaging in politics without state restrictions.

Reason 2: Restrictions on immigration cannot be justified because they interfere with critical social liberties.

Reason 3: Arguments about restricting immigration like diluting religion or customs are misguided since many countries are flourishing due to incorporating of new cultures and businesses.

Reason 4: There is no evidence that immigration puts pressure on the welfare state meaning that it is not a significant problem.


Restrictions on immigration have negative consequences like corruption incentives and creating a violent black market as well as beneficial effects on productivity.






The issue about immigration and whether to restrict is one of the hotly debated topics.  According to the freedom argument for open borders, restrictions on immigration are usually unjust since the limitations infringe on important aspects like the freedom of economic liberties and association. Some defenders of adequacy objection claim that restricting freedom of movement are morally impermissible only if the limitations prevent the person from acquiring sufficient set of choices of living an autonomous life. Thesis statement: The paper aims discussing the reasons why the fundamental right of movement should be preserved for all people and not only citizens of a particular country.   

Why Freedom of Movement Should Be Preserved to All People

First, immigration restrictions limit important rights including freedom of contract, association, and movement. Therefore, limitation on immigration mainly interferes with the freedom of movement which is one of the essential human rights. The right to movement should be preserved to all individuals because people have the right of immigrating to other states due to having vital interests in making important personal decisions and engaging in politics without state restrictions (Hidalgo, 2015). Thus, the human right to immigration is not absolute to others like freedom of movement and association. Just like the other freedoms in which the human rights to immigration is based, it can still be restricted under certain circumstances. Outside such circumstance’s immigration restrictions are unjust.

The other reason why freedom of movement should be preserved to all individuals is that immigration restrictions are strict for justification since they restrict migrants in a way which interferes with many essential liberties. For instance, immigration restrictions inhibit border crossing and forbid potential immigrants from entering any state’s territory. Therefore, limiting border crossings as well as permanent residency intensely restrict the capability of able immigrants in exercising their freedom of association and economic liberties with citizens from other countries. On the other hand, imposing partial access to the labor market means that immigrants can only work for particular industrial sectors or employers. Therefore, labor market restrictions interfere with immigrants’ economic liberties through forbidding migrants from being contracted together with other citizens.

Besides, the fundamental right of movement should be preserved for all people and not just the citizens of a particular country. All the arguments about restrictions on immigration like diluting of religion or cultures are misguided because many societies are flourishing due to incorporating new businesses, foods, and cultures (Freiman & Hidalgo, 2016). The most critical aspect of immigration is that it assimilates to the pre-existing culture if the government policy is not segregating migrants from other society members.

Lastly, the fundamental right of movement should be preserved to all because the possibility of immigration putting pressure on the welfare state is a practical concern, but the existing evidence does not indicate it to be a significant problem. In any case, the possibility that a generous social safety net may encourage immigration is a motive for moderating the same instead of restricting immigration. For instance, expanded immigration creates pressure in keeping the welfare state modest.


The conclusion that opening borders is the best immigration policy appears to be the best one because all the attempts of restricting immigration have its negatives. The negative consequences of restricting immigration include direct costs in border controls, corruption incentives as well as creating a violent black market for migration. Besides, immigration has beneficial effects on productivity because it fosters competition and introduces new ideas, products, business models and approaches. Consequently, many individuals in host countries enjoy the influence in the new cultures because immigrants also work at areas where the native supply is small.





















Freiman, C., & Hidalgo, J. (2016). Liberalism or immigration restrictions, but not both. J. Ethics & Soc. Phil., 10, 1.

Hidalgo, J. (2015). Resistance to unjust immigration restrictions. Journal of Political Philosophy, 23(4), 450-470.