Res Publica

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 495–511 | Cite as

Misinformation as Immigration Control

  • Mollie GerverEmail author


It is wrong to force refugees to return to the countries they fled from. It is similarly wrong, many argue, to force migrants back to countries with life-threatening conditions. I argue that it is additionally wrong to help such refugees and migrants voluntarily return whilst failing to inform them of the risks. Drawing on existing data, and original data from East Africa, I describe distinct types of cases where such a wrong arises. In ‘Misinformation Cases’ officials tell refugees that it is safe to return, when it is not, and refugees return who would have otherwise stayed. In ‘Omission Cases’ officials do not provide any information on countries of origin, and this omission causes refugees to repatriate. In ‘Relevancy Cases’ refugees are misinformed or uninformed, but would have returned even if better informed. In all of these cases, at least some state officials are blameworthy for their failure to inform refugees, and are engaging in a form of wrongful immigration control.


Immigration Refugees Informed consent Deportation Repatriation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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