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Global Refugee Crisis

Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

 

April 1, 2016

It is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Over 300,000 dead in Syria. One and a half million injured or disabled. Four and a half million people fleeing the country as refugees. And Syria is just one of a growing number of failed or failing states in the Middle East and North Africa. How should developed nations respond to human suffering on this mass scale? Do the prosperous societies of the West, including Canada and the U.S., have a moral imperative to assist as many refugees as they reasonably and responsibly can? Or, is this a time for vigilance and restraint in the face a wave of mass migration that risks upending Western nations’ openness, tolerance and ultimately their very way of life?

To engage with the geopolitical debate of the moment, the Spring 2016 Munk Debate will move the motion: “be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

Debate Results

Pre-Debate Results

77% Pro 23% Con

Post-Debate Results

55% Pro 45% Con

Con wins with 22% vote gain.

Debaters

Pro

Louise Arbour

“Our long suit has been a very generous approach on the humanitarian side, particularly to taking in refugees.”

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Pro

Simon Schama

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of about having an emotional response to the suffering of 4 million Syrian refugees.”

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Con

Nigel Farage

“We’ve sent out a message to the world that anyone can come. That is why they’re coming.”

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Con

Mark Steyn

“Germany et al are declaring the interests of untold millions of “refugees” trump the interests of their own citizens.”

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