The Instigator
abard124
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Yraelz
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

A border fence is useless

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,920 times Debate No: 7335
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (10)

 

abard124

Pro

Just a little disclaimer: Illegal immigration is a problem. If you believe that illegal immigration is just fine, this debate isn't for you. If you are for loosening regulations, as I am, feel free to debate.
Because illegal immigration is a problem, people look for a solution. To many, the most practical solution seems to be a fence.
Now, I'm not saying that it should be completely open. There should be some fence, but not a big 50 foot tall one. Look, if you build a 50 foot wall, someone will build a 51 foot ladder.
In this debate, I plan to discuss a few issues, including:
1) Explicitly spell out why the border fence wouldn't work
2) Find more reasonable alternatives
3) Understand how and why people immigrate illegally, then attack those things.
Yraelz

Con

Sure, I'll debate this. And I'll disagree. A border fence just simply isn't useless. Here's an interesting article on how it has decreased immigration back to the 1970's levels. http://www.latimes.com...

Secondly I'll argue that a 51 foot ladder would be really conspicuous and would alert authorities that someone had recently crossed the border wall. This would allow the border patrol to better search the vicinity where the person crossed.

Anyways, state your three point case. I'm excited to refute, and thanks for the debate!
Debate Round No. 1
abard124

Pro

That article was very interesting. It seems to prove your point, but I think it might be different in 5 years. Obviously, in this argument, we will be focusing mostly on Mexico. We don't get too many people hopping the border from Canada. Now, why is it that we seem to get so many illegals from Mexico? A very simple answer. Mexico is much less developed than other North American countries. Its economy is in shambles, its on the verge of collapse because of the drug wars. It is not a good place to live. I'll get back to that later.
For the sake of formality, I will elaborate on my arguments in chronological order (I love writing so formally here! I promise, that isn't usually how I talk).
1) The border fence, while working now, pretty soon, people will find a way to get over it. Even looking at the picture in the article that you posted, you can see the one border patrol guard, and once he gets far enough away, it would not be hard for the people to cross and run, with no report. And your comment about them being suspicious of a 51 foot ladder, what if the ladder is in 5, 10 foot pieces. If they find a 10 foot ladder next to a 50 foot border fence, and another a ways away, maybe they wouldn't be so suspicious. Now, I guess when I first made this argument, I overreacted just a little bit. I don't think a wall is so "useless" as it is not worth it. Yes, it will keep out a few illegal immigrants, but the sheer amount of money it costs, you'd be better off with no fence and the illegals in.
2) Well, now I'm getting back to my first point on here. The reason we have so many Mexican illegals is that things are HORRIBLE there. America is obviously a better place to live. The best way to attack illegal immigration from Mexico is to attack the root. I don't mean attack Mexico. I mean make Mexico a better place to live (we could also make America worse, but that isn't worth it, of course). We can put foreign aid there, and it's beneficial to us because it should correlate well with the number of illegal immigrants. It's a win-win situation. I understand that it isn't cheap, but neither is a border fence. We also need more national guardsmen at the border. In the picture in that article you posted, there was one guy in the whole picture. If there were more, maybe they would catch the illegals more easily. The last thing we could do is mandatory citizenship/green card checks before you are hired at any job. At least they could get a job back home.
3) Once again, in almost every case, people immigrate illegally because things aren't good in their home country. I can't impress enough that the best deterrent for illegal immigration is to attack the root. It's just like what scientists are trying to do with AIDS. It isn't AIDS that kills you, it's complications from another disease that your body could usually fight off. However, the only way to make the people live a normal life it to cure AIDS. Mexico is AIDS. The illegals are the complications. It doesn't make much sense to cure the complications when you should be working on curing AIDS. I heard an interesting viewpoint a while ago. I was listening to Lars Larson (who I very rarely agree with, and I think is not a terribly nice person anyway), and he was starting to get mad (as he often does) at a fellow Republican, Allen Alley (don't be fooled, not all Oregon Republicans have double names like that), because Allen Alley thought that illegal immigration wasn't much of a problem (well, it is Oregon, we're bordered by the Pacific, Washington, California, and we have our "buffer zone" to the east, OreIdo). But I couldn't help thinking about Lars's idea. He analogised it to a line at even a very informal instance (I believe he used a line at the movies). He basically said that it was like cutting in line at the movies, and they would get mad at you even then. I don't entirely agree, but it is one of the few things he has said that makes good sense. The problem is, that line is 14 years long. I wouldn't wait in a line for two and a half hours to see Barack Obama speak (true story). The problem is, the movie is really full (it's the premiere of a really well advertised movie on a popular book), but there is only one ticket counter open, and Fandango wasn't working. Doesn't make much sense, does it. They should have as many lines as they can open. Right now there is one 14 year line into the U.S. from Mexico. You could have 2, 7 year lines. Think, One figurative line more than there is now, and it cuts the wait time in half. Yes, I know that is the basic multiplication property of equality. That is why it confounds me that nobody has done that yet.

I look forward to your rebuttal, as I'm sure it will be very good. I'm always up for a challenge, and I can tell you can deliver.
Yraelz

Con

The nice thing about leaving debate is that one always comes back with new and interesting ideas. So let's play with some new ideas.

========================================
First I'm going to argue a moving target/unstable advocacy abuse story. It has four parts.

1. My interpretation on this is that any given person in debate should start with a stance and have to stick with that stance throughout the entirety of the debate. In this debate the topic says "A border fence is useless"; this is quite literally my opponents position.

2. My second is going to be a violation. My opponent violates the interpretation of fair debate in numerous ways. First he shifts out of the present tense, "fence *is* useless" when he says, "but I think it might be different in 5 years." Secondly my opponent shifts out of his original argument when he says, "Yes, it will keep out a few illegal immigrants." Suddenly his argument has shifted from it *is useless* to it *is relatively useless*.

3. Three is standards that support my interpretation.
a. I'd argue that having a stable advocacy that never shifts is the only fair position in a debate round. This allows both sides to argue from a clear position without having a blurry in between ground.
b. Additionally I'd argue that having a moving advocacy or being a moving target is infinitely regressive. What I mean by that is simply that it allows one to always make up a new position and never actually respond to the arguments of the opponent. Without having a stationary advocacy my opponent would always be able to simply say his argument was something else in the next round which would always make my last round useless.

4. The 4th argument is why this should be a reason to vote in this debate.
a. First I'll argue that my opponent having a non-stable advocacy is highly abusive to me; simply because such an advocacy destroys my ability to debate in this round. The example in this case would be my first round. Suddenly all of my responses don't mean a thing because my opponents position went from "A border fence is useless" to "A border fence will be kind of useless in five years."
b. Additionally I'd argue that this is a more important reason to vote than the actual outcome of this debate. This is true because having a stable advocacy and a fair debate is my gateway into this round. If the debate isn't fair and skewed in favor of my opponent then I can never actually access this debate round. Thus I argue that having a fair debate is always going to be a more important reason to vote than the actual outcome of a debate.
c. Finally I'd say that voting my opponent down for this reason is beneficial to the debate community as a whole. Such an action would deter my opponent from setting up debates in the future where he didn't have a stable advocacy. Secondarily anyone who judges this debate would additionally be able to see why a non-stable advocacy is problematic. Thus, in this debate round, there is one very justifiable reason to vote Con.

=====================================
Additionally, let's focus on the three actual points my opponent has.

1. BORDER FENCES~! First I'll still extend my point from the first speech. It's really suspicious when random ladders are sitting around at the base of fence. At the very least this allows authorities to know where people crossed and lets them have a better chance of finding the illegal immigrants. Secondarily though.... I thought about this some more and I just don't think a ladder would work period. If you climb the ladder to the top of the wall you still have to get down the other side...... Hefting another 50 foot ladder to the top of the wall so that you can get down the other side just wouldn't work. To heavy and lift with one hand while climbing the first ladder. Third..... five "ten foot" lengths of ladder randomly lying around would still be horribly suspicious. Especially so in the middle of a desert. Finally.... fences don't cost all to much. Fences cost less than fixing Mexico at the very least.

2. ATTACK THE ROOT~! This whole contention just isn't responsive to the topic..... "A border fence is useless". Furthermore since I've already proved that border fences are useful I think we can do all of my partners alternatives along with a border fence. Tah dah~!

3. GET MORE LINES~! Still not responsive to the topic what-so-ever. Secondarily we can do more lines while simultaneously up keeping a wall. Finally this point just doesn't make sense..... The 14 year line to get into the United States is a figurative line not a real one. If you go through due process it could take fourteen years to get into the United States. But there are already a multitude of crossings into the United States. You can't make variations of due process that would somehow reduce the wait time 7 years.

Anyways, I await your response. Have fun.
Debate Round No. 2
abard124

Pro

Wow! You are one technical person! So be it. I can respect that.
Now, the problem with debate over a few days, as this is, is that you read what you have written, and you just think that it was incredibly stupid to say what you said. I'll be the first to admit that I mess up frequently on many things. The focus of this argument would have been much better served if it was, "There are alternatives to a border fence which would be much more cost effective as well as effective in general."
I messed up. I'm human, my brain is full of kluges that make me say and do stupid things like that ("Kluge" by Gary Marcus).
Luckily, you seem to be a very intelligent person, so you refuted my "unstable" points quite well.
I will refute your arguments in chronological order.

1) Yes, it is suspicious when ladders are lying around in the middle of the desert. I won't argue that. My idea of 5, 10 foot ladders was not a good one. My brain was experiencing a kluge. More precisely a kluge about a kluge (Kluge: a system and especially a computer system made up of poorly matched components. I thought it might be a good idea to define one of my more frequently used words. The brain kluge references come from one of my favorite books). The main idea about the 51 foot ladder was never really meant to be literal, per se, although it could have been interpreted as such, and be both seemed to take that route. The point I was trying to make by that was that people will find a way over. But to get back to the ladders, even if they did find the ladder, the border state with the smallest population still has almost 2 million people, and that state (New Mexico) also has the least land directly contacting Mexico. It would be very hard to find the person, even if there were good forensic investigators, as the perpetrator doesn't legally "exist" within the United States. Maybe fences do cost less than fixing Mexico. Once again, I won't argue that. However, you can't look at cost, you have to look at cost per person averted. If you don't like that, than you can consider this: We are fixing Iraq because it is a mess, mostly due to us. We should be fixing Mexico, because it is a mess, and it is directly affecting us. We need to take initiative. The equivalent to a "border fence" with Iraq is shutting all communication with them and leaving them for dead. Now, I understand that Mexico has slightly different circumstances, as we didn't create the mess in Iraq, but the idea is that we're shutting out the mess that is inconvenient to us in Mexico, but we couldn't leave Iraq without fixing it.

2) I'm sorry that you weren't a fan of my focus statement, but I clearly said that I would cover that in my opening statement, so I still believe that I have the advantage on that one.

3) I didn't ever mean that people were standing in line for 14 years. That is ludicrous. What I meant figuratively was that they could allow twice as many people in at once. We pride our nation (no comment on my city) for being the most diverse nation on earth. It wasn't so diverse before the late 19th century to the early 20th. Granted, it is easier to immigrate now, but the point is, we are not an exclusive country. It is unacceptable that it should take 14 years just to move here. Absolutely unacceptable.

I would like to thank you for a very exciting and challenging debate, and I would just like to end by saying that you make strong points, but you spent too much time on the logistics instead of the topic at hand. It could help you or hurt you, only time will tell. I am excited to see what will come out of your final argument, and may the best man win.
Yraelz

Con

Yeah, I'm for sure a technical debater. Parli ftw!

Anyways. In this debate I believe there a firmly two ways to vote. In the first world, you as a judge, can believe that the resolution should be, "There are alternatives to a border fence which would be much more cost effective as well as effective in general." However this resolution shift completely falls under by entire abuse story which goes un-refuted. My opponent concedes that shifting his position halfway through the round is a bad thing and he concedes that a shift in position is a reason to vote him down. Thus this road will only end in a loss for my opponent.

Secondly, you as a judge, can believe that the resolution is, as stated, "A border fence is useless". In this world all that has to happen is an extension of my original article that a cite and an extension of my ladder arguments. Specifically I make a point in my last speech that postulates that there would be no way to jump a 50 foot border wall with a ladder. This argument goes dropped. Thus the border wall does do something. Secondarily though, even if that analysis wasn't to be believed then I still have the possibility of finding the illegal immigrants because they leave behind suspicious ladders. My argument is simply that the border patrol would know a rough area to search if they found a suspicious looking ladder. This gives a border fence a benefit as opposed to the world of no border fence where the border patrol would never know where to search (no suspicious ladders). Thus, once again, I can only see a loss for my opponent.

Finally my opponent brings up alternatives. I argue that both can happen at the same time and that point is dropped. Thereby even if one was to buy all of my opponents analysis they can still both happen and border fences are still useful.

Having said all this I thank my opponent, Abard124 for a fantastic debate, and wish everyone else a good read!
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by seraine 6 years ago
seraine
I really think you should make a new debate, but with a better resolution, as this had the potential to be a terrific debate. I would take it if I was able to believe in the con position.
Posted by abard124 8 years ago
abard124
Funny how one sentence (unfortunately, the focus statement) was what absolutely destroyed me. It wasn't how I argued...
Had I said something more reasonable in the focus, who knows...
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro conceded that the fence would not be useless, so it goes to Con. Odd that Con did not argue that a fence is useful for stopping trucks being driven across the border, loaded with drugs, illegals, and possibly terrorist WMDs. Trucks now cross frequently. An argument not made does not count, of course.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
In my attack on contention 2 where I said "we can do all my partners alternatives" I definitely meant "we can do all of my opponents alternatives".
Posted by Alex 8 years ago
Alex
So if i picked this up would we be debating that a border fence is useless or that thee are better alternatives?
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
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abard124YraelzTied
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Vote Placed by abard124 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by SPF 8 years ago
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abard124YraelzTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by trendem 8 years ago
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