Freedom, Markets, and Well-being Fall 2018

Dobbs on Immigration


Professor Dobbs of the Politics Department did a guest presentation of her work on immigration. Her project concerns how social benefits work in a world where significant numbers of people are not citizens in the places where they live.

Her theme was that the linkages between civil rights, political rights, and social rights as described by T.H. Marshall are coming undone in a world with significantly higher levels of immigration.

I thought it was fascinating. The observation that politicians respond to non-citizens really rang my bell. It touches on a question I have had for a long time: why did the Democratic party switch positions on immigration? You would think that organized labor would be opposed to expanding the labor market, creating more competition for its members. And yet that doesn’t seem to be what is happening.


Marshall, T. H. (1949) 1992. Citizenship and Social Class. London: Pluto Press.