Giventhe current political climate, migration remains a prominent issue ofcontention under the Trump administration, with arguments for and against therestriction of migration across borders. Michael Walzer asserts that liberalstates have the right to restrict migration across their borders, makingvarious cases for this restriction.
More specifically, Walzer (183:32) defendsa case for restriction by presenting country borders as that of eliteuniversities, by saying “affluent and free countries are, like eliteuniversities, besiege by applicants” where it is critical for respectivecountries to “decide on their own size and character” who to allow and who torestrict. This case for restriction calls on countries to decide on what basisto allow migrants to enter their country and under what rights and limitations,realizing that countries cannot accept every migrant that wishes to move totheir country. the the the the the the However, Walzer modifies this casefor restriction to accommodate the influx of refugees, arguing that countriesmust take in people when that country has turned those individuals intorefugees, such as the Vietnamese and Cambodians, and accept individuals whenthey are like them—especially shared political communities. According to AlexanderBetts (2015:2), Walzer believes countries should admit people in dire needinsofar as cost remains low for the receiving country, indicating his case forrestriction to be on a conditional basis. Following Walzer’s sentiments in regardsto refugees, Betts (2015:2) follows a humanitarian and global stabilityapproach in his reasoning to accept refugees, arguing that “we have particularobligations toward those in need as well as an ethical commitment to help othersfulfill their basic needs if they cannot be met in their home country.Furthermore, Betts believes it is in the interest of international securitythat people have a safe place to go when they are forced to leave theircountries. Betts (2015:3) also asserts that states benefit from refugeeprotections as it is a “global public good” to have one’s basic needs met. In essence, Walzer presents variouscases for restriction, one of which advocates for countries to implement anadmission process similar to that of elite universities, with prospectivemigrants and prospective students both hoping to be accepted.
Walzer alsomodifies his cases for restriction to accommodate the influx of refugees on aconditional basis, whereas Betts takes a humanitarian approach in which toaccept refugees, pointing out the international security benefit attached tooffering a place for individuals to have their basic needs met.