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I am currently working towards a PhD in Applied Ethics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Programme for Applied Ethics,Philosophy Department.
My project focuses on liberal democratic states' moral duties towards persons who reside on their territory without the necessary authorization to do so (resident irregular migrants).
The purpose of the project is twofold:
(1) to evaluate the moral legitimacy of Europe’s internal borders by looking at whether there are social goods and services that resident irregular migrants cannot - from an ethical viewpoint - be excluded from.
I take as my starting point that there are moral limits to the range of migration control mechanisms that a state committed to liberal democratic principles and values may legitimately implement to prevent irregular migrants from remaining or settling on its territory.
I conceptualize these limits in terms of moral duties and consider what these moral duties are. The aim is to delimit the scope of legitimate practices open to liberal democratic states in their efforts to fight irregular migration.
(2) to consider at which point resident irregular migrants should be given some form of official membership in the state in which they reside, and on the basis of which moral principle.
I take as my starting point the notion that a state committed to liberal democratic principles and values can not legitimately exclude an irregular migrant from the sphere of legality over an indeffinite period of time. At one point the state has a moral duty to formally recognize that person as a member of society by legalizing his or her status. The project considers the extent to which the passing of time or the establising of social bonds, or both, can provide a moral basis for claiming such membership.