Should the U.S. Have Free Immigration?

The Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh and attorney Francis Menton debate immigration policy.


The Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh and attorney Francis Menton debate the resolution, "The U.S. should have free immigration except for those who pose a security threat or have a serious contagious disease."

Taking the affirmative is Nowrasteh, the vice president of economic and social policy studies at the Cato Institute, where most of his work has focused on immigration. He's the co-author (with Benjamin Powell) of Wretched Refuse?: The Political Economy of Immigration and Institutions. A native of Southern California, Nowrasteh received a master's degree in economic history from the London School of Economics.

Taking the negative is Menton, who writes at and was a litigation partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP before retiring in December 2015 after over 40 years with the firm.

The debate was held at New York City's Sheen Center and hosted by The Soho Forum, which receives fiscal sponsorship from Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this site.

Audio editing by John Osterhoudt.