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"Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses" Says Intelligence Squared US Immigration Debate Audience

Kris Kobach, Arizona Immigration Law Co-Author, & Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, Defeats Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio & Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA
/ Source: GlobeNewswire

Kris Kobach, Arizona Immigration Law Co-Author, & Former Congressman Tom Tancredo, Defeats Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio & Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA

Debate to be broadcast on NPR stations nationwide and to be telecast on Bloomberg TV globally beginning Monday, May 9 at 9:00 PM EST

NEW YORK, May 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the first anniversary of Arizona's illegal immigrant law just behind us, last night's debate at Intelligence Squared US, "Don't give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses", was a rousing, heated exchange on the nation's hottest issue.

According to live audience voting, the Kobach/Tancredo team made the more convincing argument by moving the most audience votes to their side at the end of the evening although the Castro/Jacoby team carried 52% of the final vote.

This latest intellectual matchup was IQ2US's penultimate debate in its themed season, "America's House Divided", moderated by ABC News Nightline's John Donvan. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

Key Excerpts for the Motion:


"Look at the jobs. There are 14 million Americans out of work.  A vast majority of the 11.3 million illegal aliens have those jobs, about seven million are in the workforce.  Many states are realizing the simple truth, if you want to create a real job for a U.S. citizen tomorrow, deport an illegal alien today.  It actually works."


"What happened in the past is that the numbers allowed for, and also the timeouts that I mentioned earlier, allowed for an assimilation process. Even if people didn't want to, they were almost forced into it in order to get ahead in the country. Of course, there was the issue of English. My grandparents, I can remember so distinctly my grandmother and grandfather in the back seat of the car, Sunday afternoon drive, after a couple of hours, they had been together for probably long enough in that close a proximity so they started to argue about things. And my grandfather would lapse into Italian and my grandmother would yell at him, "Speak American, dammit!"

Key Excerpts Against the Motion:


"I believe we need to continue to welcome not only the wealthy but the poor from other countries.  We need to do that for several reasons.  The first is that immigrants are vital to our national economy.  Immigrants actually found companies at almost twice the rate of native born U.S. citizens.  Companies founded by immigrants in the years between 1995 and 2005 actually created 450,000 jobs in the United States of America."


"…Go to any immigrant neighborhood, they revitalize the neighborhoods.  They open shops.  They open restaurants.  They've taken burnt out neighborhoods across the country and revitalized them on the same way they create small businesses, and they're -- and they're consumers. But the truth is immigrants bring economic vitality, and they create jobs."

Before the debate, the IQ2US audience voted with the following:

After carefully considering the points, Tom Tancredo and Kris Kobach won the debate -- the team that moves the most votes at the end of the evening is determined the winner.

To learn more about the debate and review a detailed breakdown of how the audience voted pre- and post-debate, please visit our Facebook page at:

The showdown at NYU's Skirball Center in New York City (566 LaGuardia Place) puts the leading public intellectuals in the limelight in front of a live audiencefor nearly two hours of heated debate.


  • To view transcripts and videos, download audio or video clips or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. please visit:
  • Bloomberg TV will air the debate Mon., May 9 and Wed., May 11 at 9:00pm EST with additional repeats ongoing throughout the weekend. To find Bloomberg TV in your area, please visit:
  • NPR will air the debate on stations nationwide and the podcast will be available to download on Mon., May 9. Please check with your local NPR stations for additional details or visit:
  • 2011 marks Intelligence Squared Debates fifth series and is themed, "America's House Divided." IQ2US' first debate of the spring season featured health care reform. Wed., June 8, will mark the last debate for the season: The First Amendment Does Not Entitle The Press to Publish State Secrets.
  • IQ2US' 2010 fall season highlighted issues including: the treatment of captured terrorists, whether Islam is a religion of peace, big government, the war in Afghanistan and airport profiling.


Rethink your point of view with Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US), Oxford-style debates live from New York City. Based on the highly successful debate program based in London, Intelligence Squared, Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented close to 50 debates on a wide range of provocative and timely topics. From global warming and the financial crisis, to Afghanistan/Pakistan and the death of mainstream media, Intelligence Squared brings together the world's leading authorities on the day's most important issues. Since its inception in 2006, the goals have been to provide a new forum for intelligent discussion, grounded in facts and informed by reasoned analysis; to transcend the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological; and to encourage recognition that the opposing side has intellectually respectable views. The Rosenkranz Foundation initiated the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debate Series and continues to provide major support.

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