A Conversation with Anne Applebaum and Katie Couric: The State of American Democracy


Thursday, April 25, 2024, 12:00 pm EDT


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Immigration Reform and Next Steps with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Political Strategist Lis Smith

April 3 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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BigTent was thrilled to host Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) in conversation with political strategist Lis Smith. Senator Murphy was the lead Democratic negotiator of the breakthrough bipartisan border reform agreement.  He had a firsthand view of both Republicans coming together for immigration reform and then Republicans’ stunning about-face on border security. The bill was filled with tough, conservative policy, including an ability for the President to shut down parts of the border to asylum claims when the system is overwhelmed. It was endorsed by the Border Patrol Union, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Heading into the final seven months of the 2024 election, there is no issue with greater importance  than border security.The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll showed that immigration had overtaken inflation as the top issue for 2024 voters. Polling in swing states in a recent Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll showed that in states that will decide the Electoral College, immigration and the economy are the two top issues for voters, and for key independent voters.

What both sides agree on is that any immigration reform bill must prioritize strong and fair border policies, and one that supports legal immigration and a pathway to citizenship. Senator Murphy and Lis Smith discussed immigration reform, what went wrong and where do we go from here?


Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), the junior United States Senator from Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families. Senator Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws, and a forward-looking foreign policy.

Senator Murphy is a consensus builder and many times throughout his political career has worked to bridge the political divide. He led a bipartisan effort to reform the mental health system, working across the aisle to craft the first comprehensive mental health bill in the Senate in decades. Following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, Senator Murphy became one of the leading proponents of commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence. He has championed a number of bipartisan bills aimed at expanding background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. And most recently, he was the lead Democratic negotiator of the breakthrough bipartisan border reform agreement.

Lis Smith has been hailed as a “next-gen gunslinger,” “not your grandfather’s political consultant,” and “the hard-charging New York operative [who] helped turn an obscure Indiana mayor into a national name.” She is one of the most in-demand strategists in today’s political environment. Named to Fortune’s “40 under 40 in Government” and Crain’s “50 Most Powerful Women in New York,” Smith continues to work as a strategist and regularly contributes opinion pieces to publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Vanity Fair, in addition to appearing as a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.


April 3
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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