Towards fairer borders: Alleviating global inequality of opportunity
Current admission criteria for migrants in Western states tend to favor the well-to-do, able-bodied, and well-qualified. This leads to migration patterns that exacerbate global inequalities. In this article, I will consider how economic migration affects global inequality of opportunity, and how we might alter admission criteria in order to mitigate negative effects. I will proceed by discussing cosmopolitan and nationalist positions to open borders and economic migration. In particular, I will address David Miller’s objections to using open borders to remedy global inequality of opportunity. The argument I present agrees with the benefits of a conception of justice that allows for degrees of partiality and a state’s right to control their borders. However, I argue that Western states’ roles in perpetuating global inequality of opportunity leads to moral demands, which can in part be met by fair economic migration. Furthermore, I will consider what fairer economic migration might consist in. The model I propose would rank migrants based on their level of disadvantage, how little their emigration would affect the country they are emigrating from, and how great it might improve the opportunities in the country they are moving to.