October 17, 2019
Press Contacts:
David Bennion, 646-441-0741, david.bennion@freemigrate.org
Fabio Rojas, 812-369-5242, frojas@indiana.edu

What: Keynote speakers Satsuki Ina and Michael Huemer will be joined by activists, scholars, students, and organizers in a day-long dialogue on open borders.
Where: The New School, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011.
When: Saturday, October 19th, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The one-day 2019 Open Borders Conference will be a space for people to come together to learn about an immigration policy framework based on the human right of freedom of movement. Conference presenters will lead a dialogue exploring immigration policies that protect human liberty and dignity instead of further militarizing the border and persecuting immigrant communities.

As Jamila Hammami, Adjunct Professor of Social Work and Community Organizing at Hunter College, PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center for Social Welfare, and co-organizer of the conference explains, “We live in a system meant to profit off of migrants and their bodies by putting folks in cages and under state surveillance through ankle shackles. The only true solution to create a just world is to have open borders, where nations are not able to continue to profit off of people.”

Around the world in recent years, governments have fanned the flames of xenophobia, enacting policies that persecute migrants seeking safety, freedom, and economic security. Impacted communities have responded with renewed calls for the elimination of national borders, asserting a right to belong regardless of unjust, racist laws. Groups across the U.S. have called to #AbolishICE and close migrant concentration camps. But the political imagination has not yet challenged the premise that each country has an absolute, inherent right to exclude and deport noncitizens. From this perspective, it can seem easier to imagine the end of the world than a world where humans are free to move where they please. 

The 2019 Open Borders Conference aims to create a space to collectively imagine a world without borders. Speakers will address pathways for enacting this vision and arguments for why open borders politics would dramatically improve public safety, prosperity, and equality.  

As Fabio Rojas, Professor of Sociology at Indiana University and co-organizer of the conference explains, “Those who favor open borders imagine a world where migration is simple and easy: no deportations, no detention camps, and where getting a visa is easier than renewing your driver’s license.”

Free Migration Project advocates for recognition of migration as a basic human right and supports the growing movement to abolish immigration enforcement and open the borders.