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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Introduces Immigration Ethics Program

SANTA CLARA, CA, UNITED STATES, February 26, 2021 / -- Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics announced the creation of a new focus area on immigration ethics led by Jonathan Kwan, Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow in Immigration Ethics. The new program will offer resources and ethical analysis on the moral issues that arise from the movement of individuals across borders.

Although much of the debate on immigration over the last few decades has been framed in binary terms—one is either for or against immigration—it includes many issues beyond the question of whether states should limit immigrant admissions. For instance, once immigrants have entered a state, what rights and privileges should they have? Should unauthorized immigrants have access to a path to citizenship?

“Immigration continues to be a crucial issue, and we wanted to concentrate on this area and bring an ethics lens to an issue which is often politically charged. Jonathan Kwan is the perfect person to help us get a better grip on the ethical issues that surround immigration,” said Don Heider, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

"As the new administration is set to redefine our country's immigration policies, thinking carefully about the ethical dimensions of immigration will be critical,” said Jonathan Kwan, Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow in Immigration Ethics. “Immigration, insofar as it raises questions about who should be a member of our country, has always been a matter of not only what values we hold as a democracy but also how we conceive of the identity of our country itself."

Kwan has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His main areas of scholarly interest include social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, Indigenous philosophy, environmental philosophy, Chinese philosophy, and Buddhist philosophy. Kwan is available to speak with members of the media on issues associated with immigration ethics. Follow the Immigration Ethics program on Twitter at

Feb 26, 2021