The 1.5 Generation: On Jus Nexi, Rootedness, and Citizenship
Joel Sati (City College of New York)

ABSTRACT: Citizenship debates pit the consensualism view against the jus soli view. Consensualism argues that citizen consent overrules humanitarian obligations to outsiders and is is necessary for sovereignty. The strictness of a state’s immigration policy is a marker of consent; if a people elect their legislators, there is a connection between the electorate and the laws, which reflect a people’s ideals.  Consensualists argue that jus soli – or citizenship based on birthplace – violates a basic liberal principle that citizen consent determines membership. In criticizing consensualism, I cite Robin Jacobson, who argues that consensualism allows for racist policy as opposed to racially egalitarian jus soli. However, both views exclude the 1.5 generation, who are not first-generation immigrants (they immigrated at a young age), and are not second generation (they were not born in their new state). I argue for the jus nexi view, which allows for earned citizenship upon genuine ties toward the political community. I utilize Ayelet Shachar’s work to argue this view, using the 1.5 generation as an example for how jus nexi can complement current citizenship practices.

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