Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration

First Second. Oct. 2019. 256p. notes. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781250316974; pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781250316967.
Gr 9 Up–Caplan, professor of economics at George Mason University, takes a heroic stab at parsing out the reigning schools of thought regarding immigration and makes an earnest case for open borders across the globe. Marrying historically long and convoluted political arguments with layers of statistics, charts, and graphs would be a risky move, but Caplan nevertheless creates a humorous graphic novel that unravels the immigration debate that rages on in the United States. Drawing on significant research and inserting himself into the narrative as a guide, Caplan patiently looks at all the perspectives of the issue: cultural, philosophical, moral, and, of course, economic. Most intriguing, he finds viable compromises between the two seemingly unmitigable sides. Caplan is unabashed in his push for unrestricted immigration, using his own expertise in economics as the backbone of his arguments. Weinersmith’s cartoons follow the pace of the arguments effortlessly, sprinkling in hard data along with dynamic interpretations of Caplan’s examples. The graphic quips keep things both entertaining and educational. While the author has a clear agenda, he is respectful in his depictions of the most common opposing arguments.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all libraries’ graphic novel collections and for teachers seeking alternatives to more didactic texts on immigration.

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