The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Two Interviews on Migration Rights, Foot Voting, and the War in Ukraine

Recordings of recent interviews on these topics with T.J. O'Hara for the Deconstructed podcast, and Areva Martin on her talk show program, Special Report.


Ukrainian refugees. Przemsyl, Poland.


I recently did two interviews issues related to migration rights, one with T.J. O'Hara on the IVN "Deconstructed" podcast, and one with civil rights attorney Areva Martin, for her digital talk show, "The Special Report."

The "Special Report" interview arose from my New York Times article making the case for accepting Ukrainian refugees and Russian immigrants. Much ground was covered, including how accepting Russian immigrants could weaken Putin, the relevance of the history of racial discrimination in immigration policy (it is arguable some countries are more welcoming of Ukrainian refugees than others fleeing war and oppression, because the former are white Europeans), my critique of proposals to expel Russian students from the US, and whether it is right to bar family members of Russian oligarchs from the US (I say the answer is "no," unless they themselves committed some grave wrong; it's unjust to punish people for the misdeeds of their family members). My segment runs from about 21:15 to 38:45.

I previously discussed the relationship between migration restrictions and racial discrimination here. While Ms. Martin didn't raise any such point, it is perhaps worth noting that I cannot easily be accused of supporting only white migrants and refugees, given my previous writings on behalf of Syrian refugees, Afghan refugees, Arab and African victims of Trump's travel bans, and migrants fleeing China's cruel regime, among others.

The "Deconstructed" interview is a much more general discussion of migration and foot voting, which covers foot voting within countries, as well as between them. Among the issues covered are the advantages of foot voting over ballot box voting, why the poor and disadvantaged stand to gain the most from expanded foot voting opportunities, and how to address the danger that immigration might increase crime and terrorism.

Some of these issues are covered in greater detail in my book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom.

Unfortunately, I cannot figure out a way to embed the Deconstructed podcast into this post directly. But you can listen to it here and here.