With immigration dominating the headlines, taking a philosophical approach to its moral and political aspects—including immigration justice and the ethical problems surrounding immigration enforcement—has never been more important.

The Philosophy Department from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences has several faculty members who specialize in philosophical issues involving immigration, multiculturalism, and international justice, including Professor Daniel Campos, Professor Serene Khader, and Assistant Professor Matthew Lindauer. These faculty and their colleagues are committed to the values of diversity and inclusion that the college community so strongly embodies.

In that spirit, the department has created a series of events featuring prominent philosophers who are deeply engaged with facts on the ground that inform their views on immigration. Issues like democratic states, including the United States, regularly failing to secure the rights of migrant adults speak to a kind of internal reckoning that has sparked their debates.

Lindauer helped create the series and hopes it serves as a platform to share broad ideas about the concepts surrounding immigration.

“We are pleased to offer this series in conjunction with the Immigrant Student Success Office and the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities,” Lindauer said. “These lectures are aimed at honoring both the scholarly importance and the practical significance of immigration justice issues, with the hope of pushing these conversations further along and opening up new questions in these areas.”

Philosophy of Immigration Series

Moral Obligations in a World Afraid of Refugees—Philosophy of Immigration Series, Part I

February 26, 6–7:15 p.m.
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Professor and author Serena Parekh will be in conversation with Professor Matthew Lindauer on the ethics of immigration, especially as it pertains to refugees. The discussion, grounded in philosophy, is aimed to engage students and the public.

 When We Decide: Plural Agency, Voluntariness, and Migrant Choice—Philosophy of Immigration Series, Part IIMarch 13, 6–7:15 p.m.
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Arianna Peruzzi, who is writing a dissertation on migration justice, territorial rights, and rights of non-displacement at the University of Michigan, will speak on voluntariness in migration. The decision to migrate is often made by households, not individuals. In these cases, the act of migration is often best understood as an exercise of plural agency. She offers criteria for voluntariness in migration that are apt to cases of plural agency. A conversation with Professor Matthew Lindauer and the audience will follow.

The Diminished Citizenship of U.S.-Citizen Children of Undocumented Migrants—Philosophy of Immigration Series, Part III
April 10, 6–7:15 p.m.
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Birthright citizenship is a policy that entitles anyone born in the United States to automatic U.S. citizenship, regardless of the immigration status of their parents. In the debate about the merits and drawbacks of birthright citizenship, wide-ranging claims about the impacts of the policy have been made, but one assumption that both critics and defenders share is that the U.S.-born children of undocumented migrants benefit significantly from U.S. citizenship. Associate Professor of Philosophy Lori Gallegos, Texas State University, presents a caveat to this conclusion by showing that although the beneficiaries of birthright citizenship are formally included in political membership and have all the rights and protections that are afforded to them by law, they don’t, in practice, obtain the full bundle of goods that accompanies citizenship for those who are born to U.S.-citizen parents.