Applying Human Rights to Undocumented Migration

Jacqueline Bhabha argues for a more human-rights based approach to undocumented migration in the upcoming Boston Review:

“A more constructive, rights-based policy needs to make progress in two directions. It needs to look inward to protect all undocumented or irregular workers and their families living within the jurisdiction of the state. But it also needs to look outward, to take stock of circumstances in countries of origin and conditions of transit for irregular migrants, so that the exclusion, expulsion, and deportation policies recognize at least a minimum of rights for all, including irregular migrants with no apparent lawful immigration claim.

States must take into consideration the policies of the states to which irregular migrants would be deported. States are responsible for human-rights violations committed against those they have exported or expelled even once they are outside the borders; they are obligated to preempt reasonably foreseeable harm.”