Clemson University

Lemon Lectures in Social, Legal, and Political Thought: Adam Hosein on "The Fundamental Argument for Legalizing Unauthorized Immigrants"

Adam Hosein is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before coming to CU, he was a fellow in Law and Philosophy at the University of Chicago Law School. He holds a BA from Merton College, Oxford and a PhD from MIT. Adam works mainly in ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law. Some topics he has recently published on include distributive justice, immigration, campaign finance, and the ethics of harming. 


Abstract: The United States has a large population of 'unauthorized' migrants, usually estimated at around 10-12 million, who entered the country in contravention of its immigration laws. In recent years there have been many controversies about the treatment of unauthorized migrants. In this paper I consider perhaps the most controversial step: allowing them to transfer to “legal” status, which would allow them to live and work legally in the United States. I will criticize the most popular existing defense of legalization, which focusses on an immigrant's becoming a member of the community, and offer a new argument for legalization, which focusses on the importance of securing freedom for unauthorized migrants. I will focus on the U.S. as a case study, but my findings will be applicable to the many other liberal democracies, such as the United Kingdom and Italy, with significant populations of unauthorized migrants.

Monday, November 18, 2013 at 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Hardin Hall, 235 Hardin Hall


Philosophy and Religion, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Target Audience





Contact Name:

Candice Delmas

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


Recent Activity