In this essay Bosniak discusses the normative idea of ethical territoriality: the conviction that a person’s physical presence within the territory of a state should be the basis for extending important rights and recognition. Bosniak examines commitment to ethical territoriality that is often found in legal and political thought. Why should the simple fact of the person’s presence in a state’s territory serve to ground rights and recognition there, and are the implications of thinking in such a manner? The essay specifically deals with the ethical territory argument in relation to irregular immigrants who are within the territory of a state without formal permission. According to the author, territoriality is still a dominant idea, but becomes in practice less justifiable.