469 Comments

Loved the debate!

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Well done. A debate that made me think every speaker was right in their own way. I wish there could have been a breakdown afterwards where instead of trying to "win" they tried to focus on common ground.

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Your last point is a great one. I would like to see a forum where the first half is a debate and the 2nd half is a dialectic. The idea is to argue and "win" in the first half and the 2nd half is to determine what conclusions, if any, are supported by both participants. Perhaps people don't want to participate in both a debate and dialectic and they would have to be separated.

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Bari, my ancestors also came from Hungary and Poland.

I support DACA as long as they have not committed any crimes. I even support parents of citizens remaining if they have not committed crimes. The border needs to be shut down and men coming illegally should be turned away at once.

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What a ludicrous avalanche of confabulation, hyperbole, and (especially) logical fallacies. I'd say Cenk Uygur was the worst, but only by degree. Performative debates are useless. Give me the written word any day of the week.

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I have not watched it yet but I am tempted to not bother based on your comment about "performative debates". I know exactly what you are referring to which is why debates are rarely worthwhile exchanges unless they are rigidly controlled.

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May 6·edited May 6

A decade ago, I would have dismissed Ann Coulter; now I want to give her a smooch and a box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. I admire her for saying out loud what a lot of us think but recognize as impolitic. On the other side, Nick Gillespie was likeable and funny; I especially liked his idea of vetting immigrants in their home countries. l was most impressed, however, with Sohrab Ahmari. I found him the best prepared and most persuasive of all.

Thanks so much, The Free Press and FIRE, for hosting this illuminating panel!

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I think the Free Press framed the question incorrectly -- the question was "black/white," "all or none." But it felt like the debaters were debating 2 different issues. The question was about completely closing the border -- yes or no, with no in-between.. But the "no" debaters kept debating we should have legal immigration. -- which wasn't the question. The question forced an either yes or no, not "let's make it legal, the middle ground." The issue today is the massive illegal immigration and our country having no idea who is coming in. The FP should have framed the question differently, such as "Are you for the illegal immigration being allowed today?" or "How can legal immigration be enforced in our country?" Because the "yes" debaters were allowed to answer a different question than the one being asked, I did not find the debate helpful. I think the current polling of +70% of Americans being opposed to the current situation is about legal vs. illegal immigration, not about "all or none" immigration, which is what the FP debate question asked. I was disappointed in the debate content for this reason.

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May 9·edited May 9

Many of us are frustrated by the frequent juxtaposition of questions concerning illegal immigration and border control alongside the issue of legal immigration. I see them as completely different issues altogether. I am starting to see, however, in polling and argumentation that I am in the minority of those who want strong border enforcement alongside generous legal immigration policy. TO my chagrin, my profile is just not that popular in the US. If it was, Trump would have no chance of even winning the GOP primary net alone a general election.

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On the subject of immigration, please remind me of any country, anywhere on this planet that has been improved by Muslim immigration? Would that be Britain, France, Denmark, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Lebanon, United States, Canada... ? Surely the advocates of Islamic immigration, especially those now seeking to import displaced Gazans, can name at least a few sterling examples of how Muslim immigration has been a force for progress and tolerance. Okay, give me ONE! No? I think that is all you need to know.

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May 3·edited May 3

Wasn't a big fan of this debate. Not a lot of talk about economic impacts and not a single mention of the general degradation of agricultural towns when illegal immigrants move in. I think everyone in this debate should go to the small ag towns in the Central Valley of California that are mostly illegals and see what they've turned into. Run down town, run down houses, very few businesses, no supermarkets except a single Walmart, garbage everywhere, lots of homeless, and lots of quality of life crime. The majority of the central and southern Central Valley is like this now and if you keep letting them in it will be the same all over the country. Overall, I felt Coulter made the most good points (e.g. that the laws at the border are already in place but Democrats just don't enforce the law) but she comes off so rigid I think her ideas turn most people off. The other close the border guy makes some good points (e.g. that 'Americans don't want to do these jobs' being completely incorrect) but he came off extremely snarky. The libertarian was making factually incorrect statements about the workforce, and the progressive guy sounds like a first year college student that just took their first poli sci class. I think Bari's podcasts where she simply has a discussion with one or two people are much more effective.

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If you take an honest look at this issue you recognize that members of both parties have relied on immigration as an effective wedge issue to drive voters to the polls and to raise donations. You also recognize that decades of American foreign policy, and current issues like sanctions, are major drivers of the migrant crisis. In a way, members of Congress have a disincentive for working in a bipartisan way towards reforming US immigration policy. They'd be taking away a reliable wedge issue.

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Trump's latest move to persuade his party to vote against measures that border control advocates have been screaming about for the last 12 years is a strong data point to support your comment that immigration has become a "wedge issue" rather than a problem to be solved.

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Why is it that Bari is the only person on the stage who uttered “Darien Gap”? And no mention of Chinese invaders or Michael Yon’s work?

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Nick can kiss my bootie. he thinks it’s HIS debate. Why did he get to respond to EVERYTHING and INTERRUPT everyone? What a narcissist. Plus- his generalizations are nauseating. Next time- penalties for people who act like he did.

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They had valid points on both sides of this argument. In my opinion I think we should close to border for a period of time, but not forever. Currently our foundation is cracking, and we are unable to provide for our own citizens. Such as housing, medical care, living wages, education, and so on. Until we have stabilized ourselves, we cannot help others. You can't rescue a drowning person, if you yourself do not know how to swim. I wish they had addressed housing in the debate because this is a huge issue for younger Americans.

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Exactly what Ann said…shit it down until we get our books in order. Not knowing who is here is insane.

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Not much of a debate. People spouting rhetoric and convenient data. The best point made was that 4 billion people in the world live on $10 or less a day. We need to control immigration because the Lee isn’t enough free stuff for all.

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May 1·edited May 1

Unfortunately, this was quite a disappointing debate. First, the proposition being debated, "Should the US close its borders", was exceptionally poor, politically loaded, and not reflective of the real question. That being, "Should the US stop illegal, unregulated, migration"? This would have been a far better and fair starting point in alignment with the average voter. In my opinion, the only person on the stage qualified to have been there was Sohrab Ahmari, who was the single person actually communicating hard facts and statistics and expressing a disposition open to critical analysis. In summary, pretty disappointed in the entire starting premise and panel composition (whoever decided on this should do a little checking of their "Bias").

It would also have been good to bring in additional insight of how the introduction of AI and increased automation, which is accelerating, will further disturb the labor market threatening more middle class and elite professional occupations (an economist?). A lot of people on the fence on this public policy are really not fully perceptive of what is coming in the future, nor how different our immigration system is from almost all other countries in the world (birth right citizenship, proof of economic independence, skills, etc.). Further, and this is the most important thing to understand, there are 5 billion souls who yearn for better economic and living conditions. It is impossible, and I would argue inhumane, to reach that place by mass immigration. Instead, only by improving their living conditions and governance (the key) where they currently reside (energy, health, education, economic development) will their ambitions and potential be reached.

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I would love to hear more debates like this one. Bari is a great moderator and I so appreciate her podcasts and interviews. We need more civil discussions on the issues challenging our country today. It was a revelation to be introduced to a Sohrab Ahmari. Thank you, thank you!

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Love theFP, but I was really shocked to not have fentanyl and the drug cartels not be an issue. I mean, who do you think runs the Mexican border these days??

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