The indirect gender discrimination of skill-selective immigration policies

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The immigrant admission policies of states often demonstrate a strong preference for ‘highly skilled’ migrants, while making it more difficult for ‘low-skilled’ migrants to enter. Although those policies only exclude low-skilled workers on paper, empirical evidence has shown that they may also have a disproportionate impact on the admission of female would-be migrants. In other words, it indirectly discriminates against them. In this paper, I argue that such indirect discrimination is wrongful because it worsens existing disrespect towards women, and should therefore be recognised as problematic by those who already acknowledge the wrongfulness of direct gender-based discrimination in immigration policy. It worsens disrespect because immigration policy makers have negligently failed to consider the social meaning of women’s difficulty in being admitted under the ‘skilled’ category, which worsens demeaning stereotypes about female workers in patriarchal societies. As a result, it gives us a pro tanto reason to object to states’ employment of talent-based immigration selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)906-928
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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