The Corner

Enforcement Wins — in Manhattan?

I did a debate last night in New York hosted by Intelligence Squared on the motion “Let’s stop welcoming undocumented immigrants.” It’s an Oxford debate format, but with electronic voting by the audience, both before and after, to see if any minds were changed. (It’ll be broadcast on WNYC and other NPR stations at some point.) Given the venue, naturally I expected that I and my teammates (the marvelous Heather Mac Donald and labor economist Vernon Briggs) would get clobbered. But at the start of the debate, we were actually slightly ahead, 42-35, with lots of undecideds. And we actually won the second vote, 60-36, with virtually all the undecideds breaking our way. It didn’t hurt that the other side wouldn’t agree to any kind of immigration enforcement until they got their amnesty and increased immigration. Nonetheless, maybe we’re not doomed after all — if enforcement can make it here, it can make it anywhere.

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