Open to Debate Debates “Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship” in NYC and Livestreamed, October 26

September 28, 2016
Open to Debate Press Release

In this election, no single issue has been more divisive than immigration. Donald Trump has at times called for deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants, while Hillary Clinton supports giving some the opportunity to become citizens. But beneath the heated campaign rhetoric, the question of whether to create a path to citizenship is complex and nuanced. Do undocumented immigrants contribute to the economy and complement our workforce, or do they burden taxpayers and create competition for jobs? Should they get a chance to earn citizenship, or would that reward them for breaking the rules and encourage more of the same? On Wednesday, October 26, just two weeks before the election, America’s premiere debate series Open to Debate will inform voters on the deeper issues beyond the rhetoric with a debate on the motion “Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship.”

Debating in support of the motion are Angela Kelley, who worked on immigration in the Obama administration, and Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center. Opposing the motion are the Center for Immigration Studies’ Steven Camarota and National Review editor Rich Lowry.

This debate will be held at NYC’s Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Open to Debate” On October 26, online viewers can tune in at Open to Debate’s new website ( ).

WHAT: Open to Debate Debates “Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship”

WHEN: Wednesday, October 26, 2016/ 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:

* Angela Kelley: Executive Director, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Angela Maria Kelley is the executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a senior vice president at the Center for American Progress. Kelley’s work focuses on politics, progressive policy, immigration and integration policy, media, Latino issues, and race and ethnicity. Kelley took a leave of absence from American Progress in November 2014 to work as advisor in the White House on immigration executive actions. She has also served as the vice president for campaigns and advocacy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, director of the Immigration Policy Center, and deputy director at the National Immigration Forum.

* Marielena Hincapié: Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center

Marielena Hincapié is the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, the main organization dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants in the U.S. Under her executive leadership, NILC has grown to be one of the premier immigrants’ rights organizations, strategically using a combination of litigation, policy, communications, and alliance-building strategies to effect social change. Hincapié began her tenure at NILC as a staff attorney leading the organization’s labor and employment program. She then served as NILC’s director of programs, after which she became executive director.

Arguing against the motion:

* Steven Camarota: Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies

Steven Camarota serves as the director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a research institute that examines the consequences of legal and illegal immigration on the United States. The Center promotes an informed debate on comprehensive immigration reform by providing policymakers, academics, media, and citizens with fact-based information on immigration. In recent years, Camarota has testified before Congress more than any other non-government expert on the economic and fiscal impact of immigration.

* Rich Lowry: Editor, National Review

Rich Lowry became editor of National Review in 1999 when selected by William F. Buckley, Jr. to lead the magazine. Today, National Review remains a conservative guidepost, helping to bring to prominence rising conservative leaders and advance conservative policies. A contributor to FOX News Channel, Lowry appears regularly on shows such as The Kelly File. He is a syndicated columnist and his insight and analysis can also be found in Politico where he writes a weekly column.


A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Open to Debate was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 120 debates and counting, Open to Debate has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated Open to Debate since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

For more information on Open to Debate, please contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.