Should the U.S. Shut Its Borders? A Live Debate.

The United States is home to more immigrants than any other country in the world. It is a truism that everyone who lives here at some point came from somewhere else. At…

The United States is home to more immigrants than any other country in the world. It is a truism that everyone who lives here at some point came from somewhere else. At the same time, debates about who and how many people to let in have roiled the nation since our very founding.

And in the past few years, things have heated up to a new level.

That’s no surprise, considering that unlawful attempts to cross the southern border hit a record high of about 2.5 million last year. In the past four years, nearly 5 million attempts to cross the border illegally occurred in Texas alone.

We’ve all seen the videos of mothers with babies shimmying under barbed wire, of migrant caravans marching toward Texas, of young men charging Border Patrol agents.

It’s why immigration is the top issue for voters in the 2024 election. Indeed, the influx has made even progressive cities, which previously declared themselves immigration sanctuaries, sound the alarm. Last May, former Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot said “we’ve reached a breaking point,” while declaring a state of emergency in her city. In September, New York mayor Eric Adams said the influx of migrants “will destroy New York City.”

All of this is the subject of our first live debate of 2024, which took place in Dallas, and that we wanted to share with you on Honestly today. The proposition: Should the United States shut its borders?

Arguing in the affirmative are Ann Coulter and Sohrab Ahmari. On the opposing side, arguing that no, the United States should not shut its borders, are Nick Gillespie and Cenk Uygur.

They also cover questions like: Is mass immigration is a net gain or a net loss for America? How do we balance our humanitarian impulse with our practical and economic needs? Do migrants suppress wages of the already strained working class? Do they stretch community resources impossibly thin? Does a porous border impact our national security? And what does a sensible border policy really look like?

We hope you listen, share, and discuss. 

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