Penn State International Law Review


Traditional international law rules that people must be free to move about the world without undue hindrance, coming and going with reasonable freedom. At the same time, the concept of the sovereign nation includes a right to say who will enter the nation's borders, who will be barred. These two principles are at odds with each other: who is to say that because one may travel freely, any given nation must allow that person to enter? It is conceivable that no nation may allow the traveller to enter. There is no law or right which dictates that every traveller must be guaranteed a welcoming destination or even one which is of the person's own choice. This dichotomy, the right to leave versus the right- to exclude, has created a modern class of Dutchmen, presently typified by the Irish. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland are free to leave as they choose, but where may they go? Sovereign nations which traditionally received outflows of Irish immigrants have exercised their right to exclude. -Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States no longer have 'open door' policies for immigrants. England accepts the Irish, but they are barred from citizenship. Driven by economic crisis, these newest Dutchmen are caught in the dichotomy: free to leave, no place to go.