The right to family-class immigration (completed)

Naama Ofrath

Virtually every liberal state provides some avenue for the immigration of foreign family members solely for the purpose of unification and establishment of family life with locals, and in many immigration countries the family-class composes a significant part of immigration intake. Perhaps the omnipresence of this immigration class, as well as the intuitive appeal of the underlying rationale of having families living together, can explain why family-class immigration is rarely critically explored. Whatever the explanation may be, I suggest that it is unsatisfying. Noting the current global trend of limiting access to family reunification, my doctoral research project explories the theoretical justifications for family-class immigration and their policy implications. I advance the thesis that family-class immigration policies expose the principles and values that immigration and citizenship policies uphold. Studying the usually neglected family class of immigration proves a fruitful source for a more nuanced and complex understanding of different positions on the question of controlling political membership – the organizing debate in citizenship and immigration theory.

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