As we celebrate three years since the founding of Open Borders: The Case, it’s a time to think more clearly and strategically about the next steps. Now that the site tops web search for open borders, gets a nontrivial amount of traffic, and has over 4000 Facebook likes, it’s time to work harder to improve the site’s quality and practical value to making open borders a reality. In this blog post, I describe some of my own priorities, as Open Borders: The Case founder, site administrator, and blogger, to help take the site and movement to the next level.
Complete the site revamp
A revamp of the site menus has long been in the works (the last update in the Open Borders Action Group was on December 28). There’s a lot of small things that need to be finished and cleaned up so that we can successfully wrap up the revamp. I hope to be done with the revamp in the next 2-6 weeks. Simplifying and improving the site structure can be crucial to attracting more people to it and helping them find content easily by navigating it.
Translation to Spanish
Noelia Rojo, who introduced herself to the Open Borders Action Group in December 2014, has agreed to work on a translation of the website into Spanish. She’ll begin working on the translation after I am done with the revamp. We hope to have it done by the end of this year.
More personal anecdote posts by people approaching migration from different vantage points, including people who don’t necessarily identify as pro-open borders
Some of our most popular posts have been our personal anecdote posts. Most of these posts have been written by one-time guest bloggers and occasional bloggers, rather than regular writers for the site. I’m hoping to expand to personal anecdote posts by people who may not themselves be migrants but have experience with other aspects of the migration system, perhaps as immigration lawyers or advocates or consular officers or enforcement agents, as well as people whose interaction with migration has been peripheral but who have nonetheless been influenced by their personal experiences to form opinions on the subject.
Move my own effort, as well as potentially that of other regular bloggers, to a deeper understanding of the status quo, the opportunity for marginal reform, and what these say about the long-term prospects for change
The personal anecdote posts by occasional and guest bloggers are part of a larger shift in vision that I outlined in an these two Open Borders Action Group posts. The upshot is that we are shifting to understanding hitherto undescribed aspects of the migration status quo, or exploring previously studied aspects from a new angle, with an eye to how change can be achieved in the short term, as well as the potential for laying the foundation for long-term change.
There are several types of exploration that fall within this broad category. Some that are most salient to me are listed below:
- Exploration of current visa regimes, including regimes for high-skilled work visas, guest worker programs, family reunification, asylum, and the treatment of people in violation of immigration regulations. The high-skilled hacks series that I started earlier this year is an example. I also expect to do more one-off posts describing aspects of the de jure and de facto immigration regime similar to my posts on carrying Green Cards and the USCIS being funded by user fees.
- Continued exploration of the “origins of immigration restrictions” series that co-blogger Chris Hendrix started in 2013 and began with a post on the Chinese Exclusion Act, and that I revived earlier this year.
- A look at the efforts of philanthropic and advocacy organizations in the domain of immigration law and de facto practice. Our first post in this realm will be published fairly soon.
I describe more of my own reasons for continued commitment to and interest in open borders in these posts:
- Open borders advocacy: a Drake equation, November 2, 2013.
- Why I’m sticking with open borders, or, plucking the not-so-low-hanging fruit, November 19, 2014.
These posts on open borders advocacy and what’s next for the movement are also relevant:
- What should be next for the open borders movement? by Michelangelo Landgrave, October 20, 2014.
- Philosophers, wonks, and entrepreneurs by Vipul Naik, November 18, 2014.
- Why the Open Borders Movement Should (Mostly) Avoid Emulating the Gay Marriage Movement by Nathan Smith, December 22, 2014.