Basic Income and Immigrants

I support a Basic Income Grant. However, it is not without problems. Yogi Acharya and A.J. Withers from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty raise issues of exclusion of immigrants. The article is emotive, but has a good evidence base.


Proponents of basic income argue it will be a force for social justice. However, as our analysis demonstrates, the claim is without merit since BI proponents fail to adequately address the implication for migrants. At best, their proposals fail to comprehend the divisive and exclusionary role of the immigration system, resulting in proposals where the inclusion of some migrants is mere rhetorical flair. At worst, their plans bear a troubling resemblance to the xenophobic vision of the right in their attempts to dissuade and curtail migration. Between these two poles are those who simply don’t factor migrants into their plans for BI; this is a profound oversight and they cannot be as progressive as they claim. Furthermore, universal benefits impact marginalized communities differently and risk entrenching the social inequalities of capitalism. A UBI will be more unjust for some groups than for others. We reject the notion that social justice can ever be won for any of us without winning it for all of us, including migrants. This is one of the many reasons we reject the basic income.


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