November 2014 in review

November 2014 has been a busy month for Open Borders: The Case. This post summarizes some of the most exciting developments.

Obama’s deferred action announcement sparks interest in migration

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, United States President Barack Obama announced his plans for deferred action for illegal immigrants. In the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the announcement, interest in migration peaked. One question many people had was that of the constitutionality of migration restrictions. Guest blogger Ilya Somin‘s blog post Immigration and the US Constitution, written back in March 2013, received a huge amount of traffic this month. Initially, the traffic was entirely from Google Search (via search terms such as “what does the constitution say about immigration”). Later, we also got traffic from Somin’s Volokh Conspiracy blog post and from Facebook shares of the post.

Our bloggers offered their own takes on Obama’s announcement. The most detailed review is lawyer and activist David Bennion’s blog post Executive Action, Not Legislative Reform, Is How U.S. Immigration Policy Gets Made Now. Michelangelo Landgrave, himself an unaccompanied child and undocumented migrant, offered Obama some unsolicited advice prior to the announcement, and later praised Obama’s actions as a small step in the right direction.

For more information on Obama’s announcement and responses from people with open borders sympathies, see our backgrounder page on the Obama November 2014 deferred action announcement. If you’re interested in open borders advocates’ responses to immigration-related developments in the US over the last few years, check out this page.

An in-depth analysis of Argentina’s Constitution

The case for open borders is universal, and the value of our site lies in how we connect the dots between the moral case and examples around the world. Given the interest in the United States surrounding the constitutionality of migration restrictions, Vipul Naik mooted the idea of doing a blog post or posts on what other countries’ constitutions have to say on the subject, citing old Open Borders Action Group posts on Argentina and Ecuador.

John Lee promptly wrote a blog post on how Argentina’s constitution had entrenched migration as a human right. This post, being of both topical and long-term interest, generated plenty of buzz. Bryan Caplan blogged about it, and charity evaluator GiveWell said they’ll look into the matter.

What part of “immoral” don’t you understand?

On our site and in our blog, we’ve covered the issue of “illegal immigration” from numerous angles. See for instance here, here, here, and here. One might think we’ve beaten the topic to death.

But a blog post by John Lee titled What part of “immoral” don’t you understand? breathed new life into this old debate. Lee argued that the question wasn’t what part of illegal you don’t understand. The question, rather, was what part of illegal one could understand, given that the typical native simply acquired citizenship in his current country of residence by birth.

Thanksgiving special

John Lee’s blog post Let them come: treasuring the immigrant legacy of Thanksgiving, published to honor the occasion of Thanksgiving in the United States, has become one of our most liked posts of all time. As of the time of this writing, the post has had 282 Facebook engagements.

Also relevant are Thanksgiving posts from previous years by Nathan Smith and Chris Hendrix.

Reviving old popular blog posts

In light of the increased interest in migration as a result of Obama’s announcement, we promoted some of our older posts. Here are some of the posts for which we got good responses:

An explosion in Facebook likes

The like count for our Facebook page almost doubled in November, from about 1800 to about 3400. The initial growth in likes was sparked by the interest in migration driven by Obama’s announcement, and that alone would have increased the number of likes to about 2000. We also engaged in paid page and post promotions to a number of new audiences, and attribute the rapid increase in like count largely to that. Even excluding likes obtained as a result of paid promotions, however, the growth was pretty impressive.

Other metrics

  • The total pageview count of the website, as measured by WordPress, was 38,743. This excludes pageviews by administrators when logged in. The corresponding, slightly lower, number reported by Google Analytics is 37,863.
  • Our Twitter follower count now stands at 970.
  • Our Facebook discussion group, Open Borders Action Group, crossed 600 members and its current size is 643.

Site revamp

John Lee and Vipul Naik started on a site revamp that will hopefully be completed in the month of December. You might already see some changes such as better social sharing and author bios at the bottom of posts. More this coming month.

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