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The Citizen-Makers:

Ethical Dilemmas in Immigrant Education

Liberal democracies are citizen makers. They have a long tradition of attempts to "Protestantize" Catholic immigrants and "Westernize" non-Western immigrants. In contemporary liberal democracies, the ultimate goal of the naturalization process is to "liberate" the illiberal and channel immigrants into the dominant customs, beliefs, and values of the dominant majority—by, for example, Anglifying or Germanizing the immigrants. This process is tricky—how to be citizen makers without being law breakers? More importantly, in order to make "good" citizens out of immigrants, liberal states must define not only the qualities that make one a good citizen, but also the specific qualities that make one a good national citizen (American, German, etc.). To answer this challenging question, states must explore who they are and which elements define their national character. The process which a non-citizen undergoes to become a citizen is one of the most fascinating disciplines to explore constitutional identity. The project explores legitimate and illegitimate criteria for regulating immigration and access to citizenship. It designs an analytical framework that delineates the legal and moral limitations imposed on liberal states in regulating admission and citizenship requirements, and develops a theoretical and comparative account of legitimate and illegitimate immigration and citizenship criteria.

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