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Should people be able to choose what country to live in?

What if freedom of movement worked on a global scale? While it is technically possible to become a resident of almost anywhere you choose, some nations impose pretty stringent citizenship requirements- and often that residence is conditional. The question intersects with issues of immigration, cultural history and identity.

Yes, unconditionally- choice of citizenship should be a universal right

Freedom of movement is regarded as an essential right in most countries. We should apply to thinking on a global scale: state citizenship is arbitrary.

State citizenship is an outdated concept

To live in and contribute to a country is to be a citizen. The bureaucratic element of citizenship is a relic of a bygone era, not fit purpose in the 21st century.

Borders are unjust- a form of apartheid on a global scale

The ‘us and them’ mentality promoted by tight border enthusiasts is not only morally irresponsible but hypocritical. Residents of conflict-ridden or economically depraved territories deserve the right which any of us would (and do) employ- to build a better life somewhere else.

Yes, conditionally- people have the right to choose where they live based on heritage or culture

Passports cannot be handed out indiscriminately, but those with a blood or ancestral connection to a country should not have their right to citizenship obstructed. Jus Sanguinis, or citizenship of descent, is commonplace is many countries, but rarely goes far enough- it should be extended to the capability of nations such as Ireland or Italy.

Blood citizenship should always take precedent over jus soli

Birthright citizenship is prone to exploitation, and long overdue for a revision. This is particularly so in the US where its inclusion is unique and bizarre contrasted against the citizenship policies of most other 1st world countries.

No, the choice of assigning citizenship should be down to the state

A nation’s identity is always in the balance. This can be easily tipped by unregulated movement. Abandoning border control and allowing a free-for-all of state residence would be a disaster wherever it was implemented. It is not a human right and should be at the state’s discretion.

Mass movement undermines cultural identity

Mass immigration already poses issues for native culture- 'free citizenship' is out of the question if cultural identity is to be maintained.

High-performing economies would see flooding from opportunists

Economic centre-points such as London, New York and Hong Kong already suffer from overcrowding. They provide a microcosm for why population density needs to be regulated- and why continual economic growth sees diminishing returns.
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020 at 15:46 UTC