The case against removal: Jus noci and harm in deportation practice (Barbara Buckinx & Alexandra Filindra, Migr Stud (2015) 3 (3): 393-416)

The United States removes from its territory almost 400,000 noncitizens annually—Germany removes about 50,000 people each year, France 26,000, and Canada 12,000. In this article, we focus on the impact of removal, and we argue that many individuals—often those who are best integrated in their countries of long-term residence—will suffer significant physical, psychological, economic, and social harm upon their return. Democratic states have normative reasons for taking the harm of deportation into consideration, and we also find qualified support for this position in existing refugee and immigration law. In response, we articulate jus noci as a normative principle for harm avoidance in deportation practice. According to jus noci , democratic states must take into consideration the expected harmful effects of territorial removal and refrain from deporting individuals whose removal is, all other things being equal, likely to impose significant harm.