What should be next for the Open Borders movement?

Readers of Open Borders: The Case will have noted the slowing down of new content in the site. Is this a sign that my co-bloggers and I have lost interest in the cause? Not at all, the slowdown is but a sign that we have made the general case for open borders and are at this point working on closing up any leftover holes in the argument. This begs the question: Now that the case has been made what should the open borders movement do?

Below are some ideas of what the movement should do next. I encourage my fellow bloggers and our audience to offer their own suggestions.

Taking the next step at a crossroads

Taking the next step at a fork. Source

In the short term:

In the immediate future my hope is that we can compile the best articles on the site and edit them into a comprehensive booklet that can be easily digested by the general public. To cut down on costs the booklet could be initially released via online format.

If possible this booklet should be translated into the major world languages in order to better reach non-English audiences. Open Borders: The Case already has a German-language sister site, Offene Grenzen, but it is not difficult to imagine the benefits of making the case for open borders in Spanish, Russian, or Chinese.

Another minor changes that we could pursue is formalizing a system to deal with media inquiries. On occasion we have received requests from media outlets or journalists and they have been resolved through proxy.  It should not be difficult to organize a ‘Press Info’ page with a general summary of the case for open borders and procedure to contact us for further inquiries.

In the longer term:

My longer term hope though is the creation of a group that actively proposes practical steps towards an open borders world to the general public and government officials. Open Borders: The Case has touched upon some possible solutions such as Nathan Smith’s Don’t Restrict Immigration, Tax It (DRITI) or my own proposal to use NAFTA and other trade agreements to expand the free movement of labor but more could be done. Open Borders: The Case has managed to make an elaborate case in favor of an open borders world. What we need now is a group that works on translating the case for open borders into a reality, an “Open Borders: How to Implement” group if you will.

Due to resource constraints such a group should focus on encouraging pro-immigration policies in the United States, the European Union, and Australia-New Zealand as lifting immigration barriers to these areas would do the greatest good.

Some may feel that the creation of such a group would be redundant as several pro-migrant groups already exist. However pro-migrant is not the same as pro-immigration and this leads to times where our allies favor public policies that are not necessarily reconcilable with a pro-immigration view.

There may be several professional pro-migrant advocates, but pro-immigration professionals are much rarer. This shouldn’t be confused to mean that the open borders movement is small. There are many academics, think tankers, and other policy advocates who favor open borders, but only a small fraction of them concentrate their day jobs on advancing the open border case.

I imagine that our best course of action would be to set up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only is the Bay Area home to a large number of migrants, but it houses many firms with a vested interest in seeing immigration restrictions eased. As with any organization it will be important to find a reliable pool of patrons for activities and the Bay Area seems as the best option.

For an idea of how much revenue would be needed to set up shop I have compiled a listing of think tanks and similar advocacy groups in the Bay Area:


And here are figures for some think tanks and similar groups devoted to immigration issues:


Proxy offices will have to be opened up in DC, Canberra, Brussels, and elsewhere to reach government officials, but a Bay Area office should be the center piece in outreach efforts with the general public. Costs can be minimized due to the advent of telecommuting but a physical location is necessary to allow for regular events aimed at the general public and government officials to be conducted.

By all means work on Open Borders: The Case should be continued and, as I noted above, there are still a few patches in the overall argument that need to be filled. As these things are done though work should begin on creating an “Open Borders: How to Implement” group.

Michelangelo Landgrave is an economics graduate student at California State University, Long Beach.

8 thoughts on “What should be next for the Open Borders movement?”

  1. What’s the minimum set of things we would need to get started with such a group? It would be nice for you to do a follow-up post with a more detailed plan on this.

  2. There should be a general “shut down the borders” movement with a general restoration of all peoples to their respective homelands, traditional or long-occupied. No race of people wants to be miscegenated beyond recognition. Mass immigration should not be practiced, otherwise it’s genocide for some. Allowing peoples to remain unchanged in their basic character is humane whereas forcing them to be altered to the point of extinction is inhumane and illegal.


  3. If we start with premises that 1) all people have the right to emigrate, 2) in order to avoid absolute ostracism all countries should at minimum enable their people to emigrate, 3) just as we would not buy a product from someone we knew was saving up to buys guns and equipment to commit bank robbery, we know it is wrong to buy commodities directly from criminal regimes. For example, a certain percentage of the oil money we indirectly pay to the Saudi’s for a gallon of gas goes to enforce their repression within Saudi Arabia, and finances the spread worldwide of their oppressive worldview, if not funding direct terrorism from errant but financially enabled family members. That makes us witting, or unwitting accomplices.

    Consistent with the above, it is suggested that we create a credit card, or equivalent, that adds perhaps 2% to gas and other purchases of a similar category, with the money used to help overcome the harm that is done by financially strengthening a noxious regime. The money can be used to support asylum for the oppressed. This is like a voluntary carbon credit for somewhat unavoidable support of criminal regimes in today’s interconnected world. Perhaps ships can be purchased which can go to different ports around the world and pick up emigrants who have been sponsored or have otherwise been accepted. On the ship they will have access to education and opportunities to do work and find sponsors or countries who will accept their immigration via on-board web connections. The asylum ship would have a web page which would include video introductions, and other information about the passengers. Successful emigrants might promise a percent of future returns once a certain level of success has been achieved, to go to similarly aiding the asylum of others.

  4. How about open borders for Israel? Lord knows there are many hungry and job seeking black Africans being cruelly denied entry to the country every day. There are also many Arabs and Indians and other people from diverse backgrounds seeking entry to Israel and being cruelly denied entry 🙁

    The time has come for mass third world immigration to Israel. It will enrich Israeli society and fundamentally transform Israel from a land of ethnic and religious conflict with its neighbors to a gorgeous mosaic of humanity. It will be a difficult transition, but it is one that Israel must make if it is to survive.

  5. Publicity.
    I think a lot of people would back the case if they only knew. I have been re-politicised by a plaque that someone had put up near my house that said ‘Fit In or F*** Off’ and my reaction to it led me to find this site. Many others would support it and some maybe become activists if they were aware.
    How about releasing thought provoking quotes that people can share on social media (say daily or weekly) some of which, if simply and well put could go viral.?
    How about approaching people who work in promotion to see what they would recommend?

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