Tag Archives: Open Borders Day

Open Borders Day 2015 roundup

Open Borders Day is held every year on March 16, to commemorate the launch of Open Borders: The Case, the website, back on March 16, 2012. The day was first celebrated in 2014, and you can see a roundup of last year’s posts here. Open Borders Day this year was bigger and better, with much of the focus this year being on the Open Borders Manifesto.

Posts from the site

Posts from elsewhere on the Internet

Social media

The Independent Institute did a series of posts about Open Borders Day on their Facebook page, such as this, this, this, and this.

You can also see all tweets with the #OpenBordersDay hashtag here.

You can also read some criticism of Open Borders Day at the (NSFW, PG-13) mpcdot forum.

Fourth-year priorities for Open Borders: The Case

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.

Related reading

I describe more of my own reasons for continued commitment to and interest in open borders in these posts:

These posts on open borders advocacy and what’s next for the movement are also relevant:

Open Borders Manifesto

Every year, we mark Open Borders Day on the 16th of March. We honour this day because, as Open Borders: The Case founder Vipul Naik puts it:

Open Borders Day is an occasion for us to step back from the status quo and imagine a radically different world. It’s a time for us to think not so much of the migrants in our midst, but rather, of the way our border regime shapes the world we live in, the moral argument for open borders, and how to get to a world with substantially freer migration.

This year, we are publishing a manifesto summarising the aims of our movement. The moral and empirical cases for free migration rest on a variety of premises and originate from a variety of worldviews. No document could hope to do all these justice in merely a few hundred words. Our intention in publishing this is to make our objectives clear, and set forth the principles that unite all of us who seek open borders — irrespective of our national, religious, ethnic, or ideological backgrounds.

We welcome signatories; if you would like to add yourself to the signatory list, please contact us (preferably via email: openborders@googlegroups.com) and provide your name, with professional or academic affiliations if applicable. The list of signatories published in this post will only be updated through the end of Open Borders Day, 16th March 2015. For an updated list of signatories after that date, refer to our Open Borders Manifesto page.

(If you are interested in the background of the manifesto’s drafting, you may refer to the following posts in the Open Borders Action Group: Nathan Smith’s on 6 March 2015, John Lee’s on 6 March 2015, Nathan Smith’s on 9 March 2015, and John Lee’s on 14 March 2015.)

Open Borders Manifesto

Freedom of movement is a basic liberty that governments should respect and protect unless justified by extenuating circumstances. This extends to movement across international boundaries.

International law and many domestic laws already recognise the right of any individual to leave his or her country. This right may only be circumscribed in extreme circumstances, where threats to public safety or order are imminent.

We believe international and domestic law should similarly extend such protections to individuals seeking to enter another country. Although there may be times when governments should treat foreign nationals differently from domestic citizens, freedom of movement and residence are fundamental rights that should only be circumscribed when the situation absolutely warrants.

The border enforcement status quo is both morally unconscionable and economically destructive. Border controls predominantly restrict the movement of people who bear no ill intentions. Most of the people legally barred from moving across international borders today are fleeing persecution or poverty, desire a better job or home, or simply want to see the city lights.

The border status quo bars ordinary people from pursuing the life and opportunity they desire, not because they lack merit or because they pose a danger to others. Billions of people are legally barred from realising their full potential and ambitions purely on the basis of an accident of birth: where they were born. This is both a drain on the economic and innovative potential of human societies across the world, and indefensible in any order that recognises the moral worth and dignity of every human being.

We seek legal and policy reforms that will reduce and eventually remove these bars to movement for billions of ordinary people around the world. The economic toll of the modern restrictive border regime is vast, the human toll incalculable. To end this, we do not need a philosopher’s utopia or a world government. As citizens and human beings, we only demand accountability from our own governments for the senseless immigration laws that they enact in our name. Border controls should be minimised to only the extent required to protect public health and security. International borders should be open for all to cross, in both directions.

Signatories, listed in alphabetical order by surname:

  • Thorvald Aagaard, Associate Professor, Director of Theater, Pacific Union College
  • Brian C. Albrecht, PhD candidate, Economics, University of Minnesota
  • Pedro H. Albuquerque, Associate Professor, KEDGE Business School
  • Jesús Alfaro, Professor of Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Shanu Athiparambath
  • Ben Bachrach
  • Dave Barnes
  • David Bennion, Attorney
  • Daniel Bier
  • Niklas Blanchard, PhD candidate, Human Capital Management, Bellevue University
  • Luke Blanshard
  • Joseph Bonneau, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Computer Science, Stanford University
  • Donald J. Boudreaux, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
  • Sam Bowman, Deputy Director, Adam Smith Institute
  • Jason Brennan, Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Georgetown University
  • Steve Buller
  • Jason Lee Byas, Fellow, Center for a Stateless Society
  • Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
  • Leonel Caraciki
  • Ryan Carey
  • Simon Cartledge
  • Richard Yetter Chappell, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of York
  • Grieve Chelwa, PhD candidate, Economics, University of Cape Town
  • Lars Christensen
  • Andrew Jason Cohen, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Georgia State University
  • Phillip Cole, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of West of England
  • Paul Crider
  • Christopher Dobrogosz
  • Bryan Joseph Dodson
  • Eli Dourado
  • Charles DuHadway
  • Robert Eckerson, Attorney
  • Margaret A. Elberson
  • Ross B. Emmett, Professor of Political Economy and Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy, James Madison College, Michigan State University
  • Mustafa Erdogan, Professor of Political and Constitutional Theory, Istanbul Commerce University
  • Bryan T. Fine
  • Nicholas Fletcher
  • Scott Freeman
  • Joshua Gans, Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Toronto
  • Giuseppe Germinario
  • Casey C. Glick, Graduate Researcher in Physics, UC Berkeley
  • Zachary Gochenour, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, Western Carolina University
  • Nathan Goodman, Lysander Spooner Research Scholar in Abolitionist Studies at the Center for a Stateless Society
  • Maithreyi Gopalan, Ph.D. candidate, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University
  • Manick Govinda, Visiting Artists Co-ordinator, Manifesto Club
  • Jameson Graber
  • Joe Green, Associate Professor of Political Science, Dixie State University
  • Priscila Guinovart
  • Jeff Hallman
  • Robin Hanson, Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
  • Mikael Hellstrom, Instructor, Political Science, University of Alberta
  • Christopher Hendrix
  • Javier S. Hidalgo, Assistant Professor, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond
  • Fergus Hodgson, Editor-in-Chief, PanAm Post
  • Jeffrey Horn
  • Steven Horwitz, Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, St. Lawrence University
  • Michael Huemer, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado
  • Giancarlo Ibarguen, Former President, Universidad Francisco Marroquín
  • Tom Jackson
  • Peter Martin Jaworski, Assistant Teaching Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
  • Scott A. Jenks, Instructor, Department of Medicine, Emory University
  • Nathan Jones
  • Emmanuelle Baya Julien
  • Valdenor M. Brito Júnior, Attorney
  • Angela Keaton
  • Rick Kelo
  • William Kiely
  • Milo King
  • Gavin A. Kitchens
  • Thomas L. Knapp, Director, William Lloyd Garrison Center
  • Anna Krupitsky
  • Chandran Kukathas, Chair of Political Theory, Department of Government, London School of Economics
  • Michelangelo Geovanny Landgrave Lara
  • Daniele Latella
  • Mark LeBar
  • John Lee
  • Daniel Lin, Professorial Lecturer, American University
  • Anthony Ling, Editor-in-Chief, Caos Planejado
  • Raffaele Lo Moro
  • Ryan P. Long
  • Roderick T. Long, Professor of Philosophy, Auburn University and President, Molinari Institute
  • Ray Lopez
  • Trent MacDonald, PhD candidate, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University
  • Pedro Magalhães, Attorney and PhD candidate, Law and Economics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  • Akiva Malamet
  • Rafael Bortoluzzi Massaiol
  • Kevin McGartland
  • Jeremy McLellan
  • Justin Merrill
  • Jared Meyer, Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
  • Gary Miguel
  • Walter Morris, Director, Acton School of Ballet
  • Joe Munson
  • Darren Nah, PhD candidate, Politics, Yale University
  • Vipul Naik
  • Janet Neilson, Program Developer, Institute for Liberal Studies
  • Chad Nelson, Attorney and Fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society
  • Sebastian Nickel
  • Eric Nielsen
  • Joel Newman
  • Federico Oliveri, Research Fellow, Sciences for Peace Interdisciplinary Centre, University of Pisa
  • Yaël Ossowski, Programs Director, European Students for Liberty
  • George Pareja
  • Andrew Pearson
  • Alicia Perez
  • Graham Peterson, PhD candidate, Sociology, University of Chicago
  • Kaveh Pourvand, PhD candidate, Political Theory, London School of Economics
  • Shaun Raviv
  • Jose L. Ricon
  • Dylan Risenhoover
  • Fabio Rojas, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Indiana University
  • John Roccia
  • Trish Ruebottom, Assistant Professor, Goodman School of Business, Brock University
  • Antonio Saravia, Assistant Professor of Economics and Director, BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism, Mercer University
  • Paul Sas
  • Philip Saunders
  • Yaakov Schatz
  • Eric Schmidt
  • James Schumacher
  • Andrew Scobie
  • Hafiz Noor Shams, Founding Associate, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs
  • Joshua Shurley, PhD candidate, Politics, University of Manchester
  • Sarah Skwire, Fellow, Liberty Fund, Inc.
  • Ben Smith
  • Evelyn Smith
  • Nathan Smith, Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at Fresno Pacific University
  • Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law
  • Piero Stanig, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Università Bocconi
  • Marilyn Steffen
  • Wouter Stekelenburg
  • Barry Stocker, Assistant Professor in Philosophy, Istanbul Technical University
  • Drew Stonebraker
  • Scott Sumner, Professor, Economics, Bentley University
  • Kyle Swan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, California State University Sacramento
  • Alex Tabarrok, Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University
  • Batur Talu
  • Laron Tamaye
  • Fernando R. Tesón, Tobias Simon Eminent Scholar, Florida State University
  • Bas Van der Vossen, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosopy, UNC Greensboro
  • Brian Wagers
  • Tyler Walker
  • Hansjörg Walther
  • Ladan Weheliye
  • Nicholas Weininger
  • Christoph Widenhorn
  • Michael Wiebe, PhD candidate, Economics, University of British Columbia
  • Samuel Wilson
  • Stephen Winkler
  • Barrett Young
  • Zachary Yost
  • David Zetland, Assistant Professor of Economics, Leiden University College
  • Matt Zwolinski, Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of San Diego

Reminder: The above list was current as of Open Borders Day, 16 March 2015. For the current list of signatories, refer to our Open Borders Manifesto page. If you are interested in attaching your name to this declaration, please contact us (preferably via email: openborders@googlegroups.com) and provide your name, with professional or academic affiliations if applicable.

Three years of open borders

Open Borders Day is held every year on March 16, to commemorate the founding of the site on March 16, 2012. Given the global nature of the website, celebration starts at the beginning of Monday, March 16, GMT+12, and ends at the end of Monday, March 16, GMT-12. That gives us 48 hours to celebrate the day. So officially, the day has already begun!

Since the last Open Borders Day, the site has grown considerably in content as well as in engagement.

  • In the last 365 days, Google Analytics recorded about 283,000 pageviews for the site, compared to 159,000 for the previous 365-day period.
  • Our Facebook like count has increased from about 1125 just before the last Open Borders Day to 4315 at the start of this Open Borders Day.
  • The Open Borders Action Group has grown from about 200 members to over 900 members. Some of our most popular posts hae been published in the last year, and some of our older content has continued to do well and acquire canonical reference status.
  • Since at least July 2014, our site has been the top search result for open borders.

The site’s status as the hub of the open borders movement makes these metrics particularly important as gauges of the growth of the open borders movement, but success is ultimately measured by more than engagement and pageviews. It’s measured by our ability to influence public opinion and policy. In the last year, we have started planning a shift towards covering more of the migration status quo and better understanding opportunities for marginal change that are aligned with a long-term vision of open borders. We’ll do a separate blog post soon about plans for the coming year.

As site founder and blogger Vipul Naik wrote a month back, Open Borders Day differs from the ostensibly similar International Migrants Day, in that the former focuses on a long-term vision of a very different world than today: a world where migration is unremarkable and largely unfettered. We are very far from this world, but the potential gains from such a move are large enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Stay tuned for more Open Borders Day updates! In the meantime, here are some links to check out:

If you’re new to the site …

Begin with:

Tracing the site’s growth

  • Site story describes the story of how the site grew internally (including the addition of each new blogger).
  • External coverage lists main external coverage of the site, starting from launch till now.
  • We’ve done monthly reviews since November 2014. You can see all our monthly reviews using our month in review tag.

The most popular site content

This stuff has been popular in the past, so it’s a good place if you’re looking for stuff to share. The stuff is not necessarily representative of the rest of our site.

Other stuff to check out

PS: If you’re interested in writing for Open Borders: The Case, check out our potential guest blogger contact form (you might want to read this blog post for some context).

International Migrants Day versus Open Borders Day

Last year, we decided to observe March 16 as the annual Open Borders Day. The date was chosen because Open Borders: The Case, the website, officially launched on March 16, 2012. Broadly, the goal of the day is to ponder a world with open borders, the moral case for it, and how such a world might differ from the status quo.

Before settling on March 16, we had an internal debate among our regular and some of our guest bloggers about the choice of date. Various dates, including the Fourth of July, had been proposed, but we ultimately decided to go with our own day, so that it would be free of the baggage (positive or negative) of other days, and could be used to highlight open borders as an issue in its own right. At the time, I (and as far as I can make out, the others participating in the discussion) weren’t aware of perhaps the closest contender: International Migrants Day. The day was designated and is recognized by the United Nations to be on December 18 each year, starting in the year 2000. The Migrant Rights Network has a nice-looking website devoted to the day.

In this blog post, I explain three ways that International Migrants Day and Open Borders Day differ:

  1. Focus: the status quo versus open borders
  2. The attention to migrants as a separate class of people
  3. The focus on migrants, territorialism, and the overlooking of quantity issues

Continue reading International Migrants Day versus Open Borders Day