Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “The U.S. Should Let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees” at NYC’s Kaufman | Shore Fire Media

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16 December, 2015Print

Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "The U.S. Should Let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees" at NYC's Kaufman Center and Online, January 13

During the Vietnam War, the United States took in 120,000 Vietnamese refugees. After World War II, the U.S. took in 400,000 Eastern Europeans. But since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, we have taken in just over 2,000 Syrians. The Obama administration has pledged to take another 10,000 in 2016, a pledge that is being hotly debated both in Congress and local state governments. Do we need to put a higher premium on national security in the age of ISIS, or should we be doing far more than we are? On Wednesday, January 13, Intelligence Squared U.S. hosts a live debate on the motion "The U.S. Should Let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees."


The debate kicks off the tenth anniversary year for the "always intelligent and provocative" (Wall Street Journal) Intelligence Squared U.S., America's debate series. Debaters for the motion include former UK foreign secretary David Miliband, who President Bill Clinton called "one of the ablest, most creative public servants of our time." Debaters against the motion are David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic and a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, and Jessica Vaughan, the Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies and former State Department foreign-service officer.


The debate will be held at New York's Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." On January 13, online viewers can tune in here ( or via IQ2's app (


WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "The U.S. Should Let in 100,000 Syrian Refugees"

WHEN: Wed, January 13, 2015 / Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:15 PM

WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit


Arguing for the motion:

* David Miliband: President & CEO, International Rescue Committee

David Miliband is president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he oversees the agency’s humanitarian relief operations in more than 30 war-affected countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in 25 U.S. cities. Under his leadership, the IRC has expanded its ability to rapidly respond to humanitarian crises and meet the needs of an unprecedented number of people uprooted by conflict, war, and disaster. Previously, in the U.K., Miliband was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Secretary of State for the Environment, and a member of parliament. His accomplishments have earned him a reputation as an effective and passionate advocate for the world's uprooted and poor people. As the son of refugees who fled to Britain from continental Europe during WWII and its aftermath, Miliband brings a personal commitment to the IRC's work.



Arguing against the motion:

* David Frum: Senior Editor, The Atlantic

David Frum, a senior editor at The Atlantic, is a contributing editor at The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of eight books, including An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, Why Romney Lost, Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, and Dead Right, described as “the most refreshing ideological experience in a generation” by William F. Buckley. From 2001 to 2002, he served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush, and, from 2007 to 2008, he served as senior foreign policy adviser to the Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign. Frum is the chairman of trustees of the British think tank Policy Exchange. He also serves on the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

* Jessica Vaughan: Dir. of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies

Jessica M. Vaughan serves as Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a DC-based research institute that examines the impact of immigration on American society and educates policymakers and opinion leaders on immigration issues. She has been with CIS since 1992, and her area of expertise is immigration policy and operations, covering topics such as visa programs, immigration benefits, and immigration law enforcement. Vaughan recently completed several major projects on immigration and crime, including a Department of Justice-funded project studying the use of immigration law enforcement in transnational gang suppression efforts. Previously, Vaughan was a foreign-service officer with the State Department, where she served in Belgium and Trinidad & Tobago.



A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts and interactive digital content. It is one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes, and has won the 2014 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Feature Program and three consecutive 2013-2015 New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Paul Krugman, Laura Ingraham, Nicholas Carr, Arianna Huffington, Peter Thiel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Andrew Solomon, and Hannah Rosin. With over 100 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

For more information on Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.