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Bleg: border-crossing rights


Abusing the keys to the blog a bit here, but I thought I’d appeal to the substantial collective knowledge of our readership.

Another research project has piqued my interest in existing cases, historical and contemporary, in which particular groups (indigenous people, primarily) are granted international border crossing privileges by virtue of their membership in that group. Examples:

Indigenous peoples residing in the vicinity of the US/Canada border have extensive free passage rights and a right to reside in the country not of their citizenship, as outlined in the Jay Treaty (1794) and again in the Treaty of Ghent (1814). 聽More here.

On the US/Mexico border, no broad indigenous right of free passage exists. However, for at least some groups such arrangements have come to exist. The Kickapoo were chased out of the Great Lakes region and moved around for much of the 19th century, eventually settling in two locations: a federal territory created for them in Indian territory and some land granted to them by the Mexican government in Coahuila. The two groups maintained cultural, political and economic ties, and the INS informally granted the Kickapoo free and unfettered passage from the 1950’s on. That arrangement was eventually codified in the Kickapoo Band of Texas Act in 1983.

In 1751, the Stromstad treaty between Denmark and Sweden codified the boundary between the (then Danish) territory of Norway and Sweden. This law contained a “Lapp codicil,” which granted members of the Lapp people free passage rights across this border for the purposes of nomadic reindeer herding.

I’m looking for more examples of the phenomenon. I’d be interested in border crossing rights for indigenous peoples or other specific ethnic or national groups, whether achieved via international treaties, national legislation, and administrative practice.

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