The utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer has constructed an interesting analogy for the purpose of illustrating the costs and benefits of accepting immigrants into another country. His scenario involves a nuclear fallout in the Middle East that severely endangers and sickens those exposed to it. Only those who are in fallout shelters can expect to live in a reasonably healthy manner. Those who were farsighted enough to predict the nuclear conflagration in the Middle East, having observed previous international conflicts, have purchased accommodations in the fallout shelters. Each shelter can accommodate about 10,000 people for 20 years, and have elaborate and sophisticated security systems that allow them to admit whosoever they choose and prevent others from entering. Now suppose that word came that the effects of the nuclear fallout would not last as long as was initially anticipated, and will instead last from eight to ten years. Above-ground, a mass of about 10,000 people have gathered pleading to be allowed inside a certain shelter. The 10,000 could be accommodated since the shelter for the 8 to 10 years since the supplies were initially supposed to last for 20 years, and only half would be used should the original 10,000 be the only inhabitants. However, it should be noted that the shelter was designed to function as a luxury retreat when not used for a real emergency, and the current inhabitants are making full use of the tennis courts and swimming pools contained therein. If the 10,000 outsiders were to be permitted inside, the tennis courts and the swimming pools could no longer be used for their intended purpose, as they would instead function as accommodations for the outsiders. However, if the 10,000 are not permitted to enter, they will live a wretched existence above-ground. Many will starve to death, or suffer from excruciating disease and eventually wither away. Would you hold that the 10,000 ought to be permitted inside the shelter, even though they have no "property rights" claim to the shelter? I would say so. It is morally unacceptable to deny the 10,000 admittance to the shelter, because of the consideration of marginal utility that must be taken into account. Permitting the outsiders to enter the shelter would incur a far lesser burden of suffering, in terms of duration and intensity, upon the current inhabitants, than would be incurred on the outsiders were they forced to remain above-ground. If you were to permit the entry of the above-ground victims, I would question why or how one can have a profoundly different opinion on the issue of immigration, especially considering that the analogy represents a worst-case scenario for immigrants. In the analogy, the outsider group intended to represent foreigners was partially responsible for their own plight because they did not invest wisely. In American society, Mexican immigrants (the majority group), are not directly responsible for their plight in the same manner. Quite the opposite, in fact. The trade treaty that forced them to relocate because of the destabilization of the Mexican economy, (the North American Free Trade Agreement), was passed against their will. It was the callous decisions made by governmental authorities, including American governmental authorities, that forced them to relocate. Moreover, we are assuming that the outsiders will cause at least some degree of suffering to the shelter inhabitants, even if the marginal utility of their suffering pales when compared to that of the outsiders if forced to remain above-ground. As I have attempted to demonstrate with the statistics that I have cited in the other thread that I started in this forum, the very opposite is arguably true. The immigrants may bring increased happiness rather than increased suffering. We also held that the immigrants had no legitimate "property right" whatsoever to the underground shelter. This is untrue in the case of Mexican immigrants descended from indigenous tribes. They have been robbed of their right to land inheritance by past generations. In the same vein, if Jim's grandfather were to steal something from John's grandfather and pass it down to Jim, the fact that Jim had not personally stolen it would not change the fact that the possession should righfully belong to John. This is true for Mexican immigrants both in the sense that their land was stolen from them in the course of European conquest, and in the course of broken promises of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Hence, while considering these additional factors, the denial of the right to emigrate seems especially unjust and brutal, an addition of insult to injury, and it is difficult to conceptualize how any morally just person could oppose it.