Dallas To Host Debate on Border Security

Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter | Image by Rich Polk / Stringer via Getty Images

Two high-profile pundits will meet in Dallas on Thursday to debate the issue Texans have said is at the top of their minds: border security.

“Should the United States Shut Its Borders?” This will be the day’s question at a debate held at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre, where speakers will face off before a live audience. The event was organized by The Free Press, an Internet-based media company based in Los Angeles.

The Free Press’ founder and editor, Bari Weiss, described the debate — which she will moderate — in a press release obtained by The Dallas Express. She referred to the values of honesty, doggedness, and independence as “the bedrock of great American journalism.”

“Those values are why we are so committed to reviving civil, passionate debate about the most urgent issues facing Americans. Including immigration,” she said.

Weiss also nodded toward the greater political impact of the issue and its implications for the presidential election.

“On April 11th, at the historic Majestic Theatre in Dallas for a debate about the topic voters left and right say will determine the election in November,” she said. “Bestselling author Ann Coulter and Sohrab Ahmari, founder of Compact, will face off against Nick Gillespie, editor-at-large for Reason Magazine, and Cenk Uygur, founder of The Young Turks.”

Weiss has long worked to support pluralism and tolerance of alternative political voices.

Before resigning from The New York Times in 2020, she regularly penned columns critical of political intolerance. She also defended older free speech advocate staffers at the paper of record while they were being attacked by what she called younger “wokes” during a controversy regarding the publication of an op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (AR-R) calling for soldiers to be sent to support police efforts to prevent violent riots.

The speakers invited to the debate are known in whole or in part because of their views on the topic of immigration border security.

Ann Coulter and her partner will be arguing in favor of a restrictive immigration policy. One of her best sellers is her 2015 work Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole, which former President Donald Trump called a “great read” before he announced his candidacy in 2015, according to The Atlantic.

Coulter also authored the 2016 book In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! supporting Trump’s presidential bid because of his tough stand on unlawful migration and other issues, and she spoke on behalf of his candidacy at a rally in Iowa.

Both Coulter and the book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolf, chronicling Trump’s days in the White House, noted her early status as an outside advisor to the 45th president. However, Coulter’s relationship with Trump soured when she claimed he was not pursuing the issue of border security hard enough, amongst other faults she saw in his administration.

Gillespie is popular in libertarian circles and has previously supported a more open immigration policy, calling for “an Ellis Island approach to immigration.” At times, Gillespie couches his view of immigration in personal terms.

“The grandson of four uneducated, poor, unskilled immigrants who would not be allowed entry into the country under today’s laws, I will proudly and lougly [sic] argue the US should not shut its borders to peaceful, law-abiding people,” Gillespie said in a post on X promoting this week’s event.

Coulter and Gillespie’s partners are both foreign-born American citizens. Ahmari was born in Iran but received a law degree in the United States after teaching for several years in South Texas near the border with Mexico. Uygur was born in Turkey and previously ran for Congress in California.

If the debate has piqued your interest, there is still time to get tickets. There will also be a VIP afterparty, but be quick to reserve your spots because “they’re going fast,” Weiss said.

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