The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen

Contemporary Citizenship: Four Types
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The principle of reciprocity on which such programs are based requires that those who pay should be eligible. Some programs of this sort have minimum periods of employment that must be fulfilled before one can collect, and, of course, it is appropriate to impose the same limits on non-citizens—but not longer ones.

For the vast majority of the rights of membership there is no plausible case to be made for distinguishing between residents and citizens, apart from political rights. Finally, consider access to general social programs such as publicly- funded education and health care provided to the general population.

Of course, different states provide different levels of benefits, but one rarely hears arguments for treating legal permanent residents differently from citizens with regard to these programs. The reason why seems obvious. Residents also pay the taxes that fund these programs. Again, an elementary sense of reciprocity makes it clear that excluding residents from the benefits of such general public expenditure would be unjust.

So, for the vast majority of the rights of membership there is no plausible case to be made for distinguishing between residents and citizens, apart from political rights. The debates come at the margins, mainly around security of residence, access to public employment and access to redistributive social programs.

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I do not have the space to develop the arguments here, but I have argued elsewhere that during the early stages of settlement it is permissible to limit rights to redistributive benefits and protection against deportation, but the longer people stay in a society, the stronger their moral claims become Carens After a while they pass a threshold that entitles them to virtually the same legal status as citizens, whether they acquire formal citizenship status or not. Restrictions on access to public employment are a form of illegitimate discrimination, except for policy-making or security positions.

May democratic states admit people to work but only for a limited period? If so, what legal rights should these temporary workers have? In my view, democratic states may admit people to work while limiting the duration of their stay and their access to redistributive social programs, but other sorts of restrictions are morally problematic. That applies to residence as well.

The longer someone stays, the stronger her claim to remain becomes. One implication of that principle is that those who are present for a limited period do not establish a strong claim to remain. So, if a democratic state admits someone to work on a temporary visa and that person has no other moral claim to remain, the state may reasonably require her to leave when her visa expires. However, if the state renews a temporary visa repeatedly, the state is eventually obliged to convert the temporary visa into a permanent one. That follows from the idea that the moral claim to stay grows over time.

The European Union has recognized this principle in its recent directive recommending that third country nationals that is, people from outside the EU be granted a right of permanent residence if they have been legally residing in an EU state for five years European Council, The arguments for granting temporary workers most of the legal rights that citizens and residents possess are based on the commitment of democratic states to general human rights, to the principle of reciprocity, and to whatever standards a state establishes as the minimum morally acceptable conditions of employment within its jurisdiction.

As I noted previously, even visitors and tourists enjoy general human rights, such as security of person and property. So, I will just assume that temporary migrant workers are entitled to those rights as well. What about other rights? Temporary migrants should enjoy the same rights with respect to working conditions as citizens and permanent residents. Therefore, the policies that regulate working conditions for citizens and permanent residents should apply to them as well.

What about programs tied to workforce participation? When programs are designed as contributory schemes, the injustice of excluding temporary migrant workers from them is especially obvious. It is blatantly unfair to require people to pay into an insurance scheme if they are not eligible for the benefits. This violates an elementary principle of reciprocity. But the basic principle of including temporary migrant workers in the programs or compensating them for their exclusion does not rest solely on the method by which the program is financed.

As long as the rationale of the program is intimately linked to workforce participation, it should include all workers, temporary migrants or not.

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Finally, every state provides a wide range of services to those within its territory, including such things as police and fire protection, public education, libraries, recreational facilities, and so on. There is no justification for excluding temporary workers from most of these programs. In practice, the programs from which temporary workers are most likely to be excluded and the ones where the normative justification of the exclusion seem most plausible are programs that are financed by some general tax and that have as their primary goal the transfer of resources from better-off members of the community to worse-off ones.

I have in mind things like income-support programs and other programs aimed at poorer members of society such as social housing. I am not suggesting that it would be wrong to include temporary workers in such programs. On the contrary, I think it would be admirable to include them, and some states do. I am simply saying that it is morally permissible to exclude temporary workers from programs that have redistribution as their primary goal.

If such programs are not based directly on a contributory principle, excluding recent arrivals from them does not violate the principle of reciprocity.

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Since the goal of the programs is to support needy members of the community and since the claim to full membership is something that is only gradually acquired, exclusion of recent arrivals does not seem unjust although it may be ungenerous. The moral claims of temporary workers to be able to participate in redistributive programs grow over time, but, as we have seen, so does their claim to permanent, full membership.

Now consider immigrants who have settled without authorization, whom I will call irregular migrants. What legal rights, if any, should they have? Nevertheless, I want to claim that irregular migrants should enjoy most of the civil, economic, and social rights that other workers enjoy, and that states should normally create a firewall between the enforcement of immigration laws on the one hand and the protection of the legal rights of irregular migrants on the other so that these rights can be really effective. Furthermore, I argue that over time irregular migrants acquire a moral right to remain and to have their status regularized.

At first blush, it may appear puzzling to suggest that irregular migrants should have any legal rights. Irregular migrants are clearly entitled to the protection of their basic human rights. The police are supposed to protect even irregular migrants from being robbed and killed.

People do not forfeit their right to be secure in their persons and their possessions simply in virtue of being present without authorization. The right to a fair trial and the right to emergency health care are other examples.

Immigration and Citizenship

The fact that people are legally entitled to certain rights does not mean that they actually are able to make use of those rights. It is a familiar point that irregular migrants are so worried about coming to the attention of the authorities that they are often reluctant to pursue legal protections and remedies to which they are entitled, even when their most basic human rights are at stake. This creates a serious normative problem for democratic states. It makes no moral sense to provide people with purely formal legal rights under conditions that make it impossible for people to exercise those rights effectively.

Irregular migrants should enjoy most of the civil, economic, and social rights that other workers enjoy.

Modern and Postmodern Ethics

What is to be done? There is at least a partial solution to this problem. States can and should build a firewall between immigration law enforcement on the one hand and the protection of basic human rights on the other. We ought to establish as a firm legal principle that no information gathered by those responsible for protecting and realizing basic human rights can be used for immigration enforcement purposes.

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We ought to guarantee that people will be able to pursue their basic rights without exposing themselves to apprehension and deportation. For example, if irregular migrants are victims of a crime or witnesses to one, they should be able to go to the police, report the crime and serve as witnesses without fear that this will increase the chances of their being apprehended and deported by immigration officials.

If they need emergency health care, they should be able to seek help without worrying that the hospital will disclose their identity to those responsible for enforcing immigration laws.

The ethos of a late-modern citizen

I cannot develop the details here, but roughly the same pattern of argument applies to many other areas of legal rights. The children of irregular migrants should be entitled to a free and compulsory education in the public schools because that sort of education should be regarded as a basic human right for anyone living within a society.

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In The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen, Stephen K. White contends that Western democracies face novel challenges demanding our. In The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen, Stephen K. White contends that Western democracies face novel challenges demanding our reexamination of the role of.

There should be a firewall between the provision of these educational services and the enforcement of immigration laws. Again, these rights can only be effective if they are backed up by a firewall with respect to immigration enforcement. As the list of rights grows, one might ask whether there are any rights that authorized immigrants have to which the unauthorized immigrants are not entitled.

Even these constraints are not absolute, however. That applies even in the case of those who have settled without authorization. When people settle in a country they form connections and attachments that generate strong moral claims over time. After a while, the conditions of admission become irrelevant. This recognition of the moral importance of the length of stay, even if unauthorized, is reflected in the practices of many states, both in the granting of general amnesties to unauthorized residents which are almost always limited to those who have already been in the country for an extended period and in the common practice of allowing for exemptions from the normal rules of deportation on compassionate and humanitarian grounds, which in turn are almost always linked to long residence in the country.

I do not mean to suggest that everyone accepts this, however. The law almost never recognizes an individual right of unauthorized residents to stay except occasionally with respect to those who have been present as children.

1 Introduction: Ideal Types of Citizenship

Moreover, many would object to amnesties whether individual or collective on the grounds that they reward lawbreaking and encourage more unauthorized immigration. Nevertheless, in my view, long-term settlement does carry moral weight and eventually even provides grounds for a moral right to stay that ought to be recognized in law. Let me turn now to questions about who should get in. But no one really believes this if pressed.

There is no moral carte blanche. One obvious constraint on immigration policies is the principle of non- discrimination. No one today would claim that a democratic state could legitimately bar African and Asian immigrants just because of their racial or ethnic origins, though this is precisely what Canada, the United States, and Australia did quite openly in the past.

To exclude immigrants on the basis of race or ethnicity is a fundamental violation of democratic principles. The same principle applies to religion. There is no possible justification within a democratic framework for excluding people because of their religion. Today, of course, it is Islam that is the focus of exclusion, though religion is often intertwined here with race and ethnicity.

Many people in Europe and North America are afraid of Muslims as in years past they were afraid of Catholics and Jews. Western states know that open discrimination against Muslims is incompatible with their principles, and that is precisely why, if they do seek to exclude Muslim immigrants, they usually try to conceal what they are doing when they restrict such entrants.

They do not openly announce these exclusions as they did in their racially exclusive policies in the past , but find other pretexts and justifications—couched in neutral terms but designed to have particular effects. As the old saying goes, hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. Democratic states are morally obliged to admit the immediate family members of citizens and residents.

It is worth noting first that family reunification is primarily about the moral claims of insiders, not outsiders. Democratic states have an obligation to take the vital interests of their own members into account.