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The Ethics of Resisting Deportation
Can anti-deportation resistance be justified, and if so how and by whom may, or perhaps should, unjust deportations be resisted? In this paper, I seek to provide an answer to these questions. The paper starts by describing the main forms and agents of anti-deportation action in the contemporary context. Subsequently, I examine how different justifications for principled resistance and disobedience may each be invoked in the case of deportation resistance. I then explore how worries about the resister’s motivation for engaging in the action and their epistemic position apply in the specific context of anti-deportation action and consider in what circumstances there is not merely a right but a duty to resist deportation. The upshot of this argument, I conclude, is that the liberal state ought to respond to anti-deportation action not by criminalising disobedience and resistance in this field, but rather by creating legal avenues for such actors to influence deportation decision-making.