A lot of Western countries have problems with illegal immigrants – people who, one way or another, made it to the other side of the border without being noticed. Or should I say without getting caught? Because those countries do all they can to keep outsiders where they ‘belong’ – out.
Stopping people at the border is not considered wrong. If you don’t have some sort of identification proving you may be here, well, then you may not. But what if those immigrants do get past? They build a new life in a new country. Should they still be sent away? Many would say yes, for one because immigrants don’t have that little yet very important paper we call passport. And second because it would be an invitation to others.
How do you send someone away? In the Netherlands, there was a guy a few years ago who didn’t pay for the bus. The ticket control then looked up his case. He, being illegal, was discovered and was sent back to the country of his origin. I don’t think there’s something wrong with this. The goal of the (ticket) control wasn’t to find out whether he was illegal or to get him out of the Netherlands. The goal was to check whether he had paid or not.
What if for example a police officer thinks someone is illegal? Is it right to walk up to that person and check whether he does have a passport or not? No, because that would be discrimination, a.k.a. suspicion based on appearance. The only way to not make it look like discrimination is checking a whole bunch of people. That would be checking a whole restaurant. But in a way that is discrimination too, why check this restaurant and not the other one?
What if you could find a way to check someone’s passport without discriminating and the person is indeed illegal. Is it right to send him out of the country? In other words, it is right to punish someone just for being somewhere? In my opinion, the world is for everyone. Assuming there is no way to check someone without discriminating, sending someone away would be double discrimination.
Talking about passports, what exactly is the difference between someone with and someone without a passport? What gives person A the right to be somewhere, while B may not?
I think punishing illegality is wrong, especially when someone’s illegality is the only thing someone ‘does’ wrong. But not punishing illegality would be welcoming whoever wants to come in. Is the moral wrongness more important than the practical function?