Biden, Trump Spar on Immigration during First Debate, RFK Jr. Responds | – Federation for American Immigration Reform

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FAIR Take | July 2024

As most Americans know, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off last week in the first debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle. The debate was hosted by CNN in Atlanta on Thursday, June 27 and was the earliest televised presidential debate in U.S. history.

The logistics and rules surrounding the debate were approved by the campaigns in advance.  The debate lasted 90 minutes and was moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash. Candidates were required to stand the entire time, not permitted to consult staff or prepared notes, and agreed that their microphones would be muted when they were not speaking to minimize interruptions.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did not participate in the CNN debate but livestreamed his responses to debate questions.


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Illegal immigration proved to be a top issue throughout the debate, with candidates discussing border security, illegal alien crime, national security threats, drug trafficking, and jobs lost to illegal alien workers. For the purposes of member education, FAIR has produced a video of the immigration portions of the CNN debate and comments from Mr. Kennedy so that everyone can hear the candidates in their own words.​

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