Pro-open borders people

Many people have advocated for substantially more open borders around the world. The names of some of these are included below. Links are to pages about them on this website. Some of the people may not identify themselves as being “pro-open borders” because they do not agree with the term and its connotations, but they generally agree that migration restrictions should be loosened significantly and there should be a considerably stronger presumption in favor of freedom of movement throughout the world. Note: Some of the writings and videos of these people are excerpted/quoted/embedded/linked to on this website. However, the people listed here are not affiliated with this website or responsible for any content on the website, unless indicated otherwise.

Note that the subdivision below of people based on the types of arguments made is not strict, as most advocates of open borders have employed a mix of arguments. The subdivision is based on the people’s relevant areas of expertise and the focus of their arguments.

People who have made primarily libertarian-leaning philosophical arguments in support of open borders

  • Bryan Caplan, libertarian economics professor at George Mason University.
  • Benjamin Powell, a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
  • Donald Boudreaux, libertarian economics professor at George Mason University.
  • Walter Block, a libertarian Austrian economist.
  • David Henderson, a libertarian and an Associate Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
  • Michael Huemer, philosopher at the University of Colorado.
  • Nathanael Smith, author of Principles of a Free Society. Smith also blogs for Open Borders.
  • Will Wilkinson, blogger and writer, who earlier worked at the Cato Institute.
  • Ken Schoolland, a libertarian and an Associate Professor of Economics at Hawaii Pacific University.
  • Jacob Hornberger, a libertarian who founded and heads the Future of Freedom Foundation.
  • Jesús Huerta de Soto, a libertarian Spanish economist who subscribes to Austrian economics and advocates anarcho-capitalism.
  • Harry Binswanger, an Objectivist and Forbes columnist.
  • Lynn Atherton-Bloxham, a libertarian and writer for the American Daily Herald.

Philosophers and others who have made philosophical, political science, and religious arguments drawing on multiple sources

  • Joseph Carens, who makes the case for open borders from libertarian, utilitarian, and egalitarian perspectives.
  • Jacqueline Stevens, who makes the case for a purely residency-based, rather than birthplace-based, citizenship.
  • Jerry Bowyer, who has made a case for immigration based on his interpretation of Christianity and on commonsense humanist grounds.
  • Filip Spagnoli, who has argued for open borders from a human rights perspective.

People who have made utilitarian-universalist arguments (in terms of global welfare)

  • Michael Clemens, development economist working at the Center for Global Development.
  • Lant Pritchett, development economist at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
  • Robert Guest, business editor of The Economist.
  • Philippe Legrain, a London-based writer on issues of globalization and migration.
  • John Lee, a blogger at Open Borders and a Malaysian currently working at a US bank.

People who have argued for immigration in a US-specific context while drawing from libertarian, utilitarian and/or egalitarian argument bases

  • Ilya Somin, Associate Professor at the George Mason University School of Law.
  • Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at George Mason University.
  • Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute. Some of Nowrasteh’s writings have been re-published as Open Borders blog posts.
  • Jason Riley, a writer for the Wall Street Journal and author of the book Let Them In: The Case For Open Borders.
  • Shikha Dalmia, an analyst at the Reason Foundation.
  • Adam Ozimek, an economics consultant and blogger for Modeled Behavior.
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