The Instigator
Lee001
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Sapphique
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Border Fence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Sapphique
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,070 times Debate No: 73827
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (35)
Votes (3)

 

Lee001

Pro

This is the next round of the March/April Tournament. I'd like to thank bsh1 for taking the time and effort to organize this tournament it is well appreciated.

Resolved- "The United States Federal Government should expand the border fence along its southern border" with Mexico.

"The Mexico United States border is an international boundary running from Tijuana, Baja California, and Imperial Beach, California, in the west to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas, in the east. The border, separating Mexico and the United States from each other, traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from major urban areas to uninhabitable deserts. It is the most frequently crossed international boundary in the world, with approximately 350 million legal crossings being made annually." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Structure:

1st round- Acceptance from Con
2nd round- Argument's
3rd round- Arguments and Rebuttals
4th round- Arguments and Rebuttals
5th round- Conclusion

Good luck!
Sapphique

Con

Thanks to bsh1 for organizing this tournament, thanks to our mentors for their advice and guidance, and finally thanks to my opponent for instigating. I look forward to an engaging debate :)
Debate Round No. 1
Lee001

Pro

I look forward to debating with you Con! :)

First off, we need the Border Fence for 2 main reasons. 1. Ensure the safety of America Citizens and 2. To stop illegal immigration.

What is a Border Fence?

[1] The Mexico–United States barrier – also known in the United States as the Border Fence or Border Wall – is a collection of several barriers, designed to prevent illegal movement across the Mexico–United States border. The barriers were built as part of three larger "Operations" to taper transportation of illegal drugs manufactured in Latin America and illegal immigration

Now lets note that this border specifically protects against illegal drug transportation, immigration and human trafficking and other illegal crimes that could be committed.

As of 2012 [2] "The US and Mexico share a common border of about 2,000-miles (3,200-km). As of February 10, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security had completed 651 miles of fencing out of nearly 652 miles mandated by Congress, including 299 miles of vehicle barriers and 352 miles of pedestrian fence"

I will be arguing that expanding out Southern Mexico is not only effective, but doesn't cost as much as you may think. It's allot safer as well.


Argument #1

Why do we need a border?

Like stated above, to stop illegal crimes, such as drug transportation, human trafficking and illegal immigration.

*Human Trafficking [3]" Human trafficking is the third-largest global criminal enterprise, exceeded only by drug and arms trafficking, … By some estimates, the industry is growing, and the [worldwide] illegitimate gain from the industry is as high as $32 billion per year."

* Drug Transportation- [4] In April, authorities said they broke up a drug trafficking ring that brought at least 40,000 pounds of marijuana into southern Arizona from Mexico. U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke said Tuesday that the smuggling ring was extremely sophisticated. Illegal selling and smuggling of drugs is one of the mail problems. Having a border just makes it even harder to commit these crimes

* To stop transportation of firearms/ weapons

These are just a few issue we have, but there are many more.

The border is so effective that fewer people are attempting to try and get away with things.
Before the actual border was established [5] "Before the fence was built, all that separated that stretch of Mexico from California was a single strand of cable that demarcated the international border.[6]" This was completely ineffective. Immigrants were able to cross over easily and did whatever they wished. Border Agent Jim Henry states that ""It was an area that was out of control," Henry says. "There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year." But now that we HAVE a effective border, these rates have completely gone down. Few people are trying to cross the border because they know they wont achieve.

[7] "The extra fencing will cost at least $35 million. But Claudio Smith, an attorney and border activist, says the toll has been much higher in human lives. She says the fencing has simply forced immigrants to take more dangerous routes through the mountains and scorching-hot deserts.
"It didn't stop people from crossing," she says. "It just forced them to cross in the deadliest stretches of the border."
An estimated 3,600 people have died crossing the U.S. border since the fences went up."
It may be costly but it is in fact very effective. I'm not saying that having 3,600 people die is bad, that was their choice. But they weren't able to cross our border to commit these crimes.
As George W. Bush states
"The bill authorizes the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fencing along our southern border...We're modernizing the southern border of the United States so we can assure the American people we're doing our job of securing the border. By making wise use of physical barriers and deploying 21st century technology we're helping our Border Patrol agents do their job."

As a country, we need to not only protect our citizen's but also ensure their safety and let them know that these problems are infact being dealt with.


Duncan Hunter, JD, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (R-CA), stated on his presidential campaign website (accessed Oct. 15, 2007)

[8]"I know fencing helps secure our nation’s borders because criminal activity in every statistical category has been eliminated or decreased since we built the border fence in San Diego County. What was once a porous border, susceptible to illegal aliens, drug trafficking and terrorism, is now the standard mode in preventing drug smugglers from bringing narcotics into our neighborhoods and allowing border enforcement personnel to reinforce areas of greater need.

These results led me to write the Secure Fence Act, extending the San Diego fence 854 miles across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Building fences in strategic locations along our international borders is a proven method of keeping America safe and, despite recent attempts to undo the Congressional mandated funding provided for this effort, I am committed to this effort and confident the fence will be built."

So as you can see, having a border is effective! why would you say that expanding our southern border is bad? It's clear it has in-fact protected the citizens from events that could have taken place if we didn't have a border. Expanding it will only help us. What's the crime in that? Expanding the border will only make us safer.
Sapphique

Con


Thanks again to Pro for instigating this debate. My main contentions against the expansion of the current fence are as follows.


1) Cost


Although estimates for the cost of the existing border fence very widely, it is undeniable that the fence is extremely expensive. “Customs and Border Protection spent $2.4 billion between 2006 and 2009 to complete 670 miles of border fence, and the vast majority of that was single-layer…according to a Government Accountability Office report.” [1] In 2006, the Secure Fence Act was passed (although it has only partially been implemented since Obama froze construction in 2010). It called for “a reinforced, two-layer 15' fence, separated by a 100-yard gap, along the entire length of the US border with Mexico.” [2] The full cost of constructing such a fence has been “estimated at US$4.1 billion, or more than the Border Patrol’s entire annual budget of US$3.55 billion.” [3] At least some of this money would invariably come from taxpayer dollars. And if the fence was effective, it might even be worth it. But unfortunately, that is not the case, as illustrated by my next argument.



2) Effectiveness


The Official Border Patrol estimates that only “1 in 5 illegal aliens are apprehended and arrested.” [1] In addition, increased fencing has not had a significant impact on the number of attempted crossings. According to research, “tightened border enforcement since 1993 has not stopped nor even discouraged unauthorized migrants from entering the United States. Even if apprehended, the vast majority (92–97%) keep trying until they succeed”, usually on the first or second try. [4] For example, after walls were built in San Diego in 2004, the Congressional Research Service found that the number of apprehensions that year was the same as the number apprehended in 1992, which highly suggests that migrant routes have simply shifted to more remote and inhospitable areas in order to avoid the fence. [5] We can therefore conclude that no matter where the fence is expanded, migrants will continue to find ways around the barrier, which defeats the purpose of extending it in the first place.



3) Price in human lives


Within the last 13 years, there have been around 5,000 migrant deaths. [3] This is because crossing such inhospitable terrain is extremely dangerous, and yet many are willing to risk it if it means a better life for themselves and their families. There are three main very powerful incentives that Mexicans have for migrating—1) strong U.S. demand for immigrant labor, 2) the 10:1 wage gap at most low-skilled jobs between Mexico and the U.S., and 3) the fact that 60% of migrants have relatives in the U.S., which creates strong desire for reunification. [4] These reasons expose another large problem with extending the border fence—it does absolutely nothing to reduce the forces that drive migrants to cross the border. According to interviews conducted with the migrants themselves, “more than two-thirds had seen or heard PSAs warning of the dangers of clandestine border crossings, but fewer than one out of ten said that such messages would have any effect on their plans to migrate.” [4]


Rather than reducing illegal immigration, extended fencing will actually have the opposite effect, the reasons for which I will now explain. Extending the border fence will increase the risks of crossing. Therefore, smugglers, called coyotes, will become essential to ensure migrants’ safe passage. But while the heightened danger has not deterred migrants in the slightest, it will give coyotes “an additional pretext for raising fees; divert clandestine crossings to more remote and dangerous areas, multiplying migrant deaths that are already running at 500-1,000 per year…and induce more migrants and their family members to settle permanently in this country” in far greater numbers. [4]



4) Environmental impact


The Real-ID Act of 2005 gave the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to completely waive around 30 environmental protection laws to construct the fence, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Historic Preservation Act. [3, 6] In addition, his decisions are “not subject to judiciary review.” [3] This has led to serious concerns about the preservation of the environment. “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filled in the canyon known as Smuggler's Gulch…with over 2 million cubic yards of earth that had been ripped from adjacent mountaintops, and planted the border wall on top of the berm. With no regulations in place and no oversight by other agencies, DHS put little effort into erosion control, and the still bare slopes of the earthen dam…wash tremendous amounts of dirt into the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, which is only 600 feet away.” [7] Several endangered species are also threatened. The bighorn sheep and desert tortoise suffer from habitat fragmentation resulting from the border and patrol roads slicing through their territory. The DHS also cut down more than 100 rare tecate trees, which are the host plant for the rarer Thorne’s hairstreak butterfly which is found nowhere else in the U.S. [7] These are but a few examples of the incredibly destructive impact that the border fence has had on the environment. Plenty more are described in the source referenced for those who are interested.



5) Better Alternative


For reasons stated above, extending the border fence is evidently not the best solution to illegal immigration, as it does not address any of the issues that drive migrants to cross the border. Instead, we should focus on a plan that provides an easier path to citizenship and improves legal immigration, which would reduce the need to migrate illegally. HR-15 is one such plan. In short, it calls for “a Registered Provisional Immigrant program for undocumented immigrants that allows them to apply for citizenship in 13 years, after paying taxes and penalties, passing criminal and security background checks, and maintaining employment.” [8] It also “increases the number of immigrant visas, increases visas for highly skilled workers in technical fields, eliminates or changes some family-based immigration programs, and creates a new merit-based system that is based on points accrued through education, employment, and family ties.” [8] By making opportunities for a better life far more accessible to would-be migrants, such a program would reduce much of the incentive for immigrating illegally. This would also partially solve for problems presented by illegal immigrants already in the U.S., which is an impact that my opponent cannot claim since extending the border fence has no effect on those who are currently in the country illegally. This point shall be further elaborated on in the following rounds (I am nearing my character limit).



Sources


[1] http://usnews.nbcnews.com...


[2] http://www.globalsecurity.org...


[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[4] http://commdocs.house.gov...


[5] http://www.no-border-wall.com...


[6] http://immigration.about.com...


[7] http://www.no-border-wall.com...


[8] http://www.latinamericancoalition.org...


Back over to Pro.



Debate Round No. 2
Lee001

Pro

Thank you Con for your well written response!

I will begin by rebutting some of your arguments.

1)Cost

It's no secret that the Border fence is fairly expensive, but it is in fact effective. [1] "The number of people caught crossing illegally has dropped dramatically from 600,000 a year in the early '90s to just 153,000 last year" What if we didn't have the fence? Then what would we do? What do you suggest that we do instead? We have already built it, it's not like we can just tear it down, then that would be a waste of money. Since we have already built it, it only makes sense to keep building onto it since it actually works. If we didn't have the fence, we would have a much higher crime rate, more illegal immigration occurring, transporting of unsafe deadly drugs and of course, Human trafficking.



2)Effectiveness

As mentioned in my previous argument in the round aboive, i have proven that by building the fence, the rate of them trying to trespass has declined.

[2] "Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this month, found that the average rate for both violent and property crimes had dropped in the US Southwest border states. Arizona saw the most significant decline, of 33 percent over the seven-year time period. Other decreases were seen in Texas (30 percent), California (26 percent), and New Mexico (eight percent from 2005 onward).Significantly, violent crime was found to be lower in border counties than in non-border counties for all the years examined in three out of the four states -- California, New Mexico and Texas -- with Arizona the only exception." As shown above, cmuch more crimes appear in states with "lower in border counties" than in non-border counties. So how is this not effective? [3] "n Columbus, N.M., a 6-mile pedestrian fence has resulted in decreased apprehensions by 60 percent and a 100 percent decrease in narcotics. “It is clear that the implementation of infrastructure in targeted areas of New Mexico has had a tremendous impact on reducing the volume of apprehensions in those areas,” El Paso Sector Chief " Again, just another example to show the effectiveness.

3)Price in human lives

Yes, I agree many have died in attempt to cross the border. But many of these people crossing are not just crossing to try to have "better lives" for their self's and their families. Trying to cross the border is a dangerous act. You would be risking your families life's. As a citizen living in Mexico, you should know that trying to cross the border is dangerous. So why would you try to acheive such a thing? What about the people bringing over deadly drugs? Those who are involved with Human Trafficking? no matter what the case, for then likely if they get caught, they are going to have to pay the cost. They know how dangerous it is to try and cross the fence, yet they still want to try? How is it our fault that they are dying? We're just trying to protect OUR citizens from their dangerous act's. It's not our fault that they are dying by trying to commit dangerous crimes. They know their actions, they know the effects and consequences.


4)Environmental impact & Better Alternative

The problem here with the "Enviormental issues, is that there really is no threat to the enviorment. All you really say is "“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filled in the canyon known as Smuggler's Gulch…with over 2 million cubic yards of earth that had been ripped from adjacent mountaintops, and planted the border wall on top of the berm." You state the problem, but yet there has not been any major issues with this.

Then you go on to say that " Several endangered species are also threatened. The bighorn sheep and desert tortoise suffer from habitat fragmentation resulting from the border and patrol roads slicing through their territory. The DHS also cut down more than 100 rare tecate trees, which are the host plant for the rarer Thorne’s hairstreak butterfly which is found nowhere else in the U.S" It seems as if you are insinuating that the species live's are more important then humans. I mean what's more important, keeping species safe, or protecting our country and citizens?

Better alternative?

"For reasons stated above, extending the border fence is evidently not the best solution to illegal immigration, as it does not address any of the issues that drive migrants to cross the border. Instead, we should focus on a plan that provides an easier path to citizenship and improves legal immigration, which would reduce the need to migrate illegally" This is a horrible idea. America is already over popluated [4]""We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction" March 9, 2009" as told by New York Timesmagazine reporter. We don't have enough room to keep brining in Immigrant's. It's already tough enough for American Citizen's to find a job here in America. [6] Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care,
and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.

Argument #2 Unemployment & Why legal immigration is bad

[7] Household Survey Data

In March, the unemployment rate held at 5.5 percent, and the number of unemployed
persons was little changed at 8.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and
the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.8 million,
respectively.

This argument goes along with your "Better Alternative" plan. I mean, America already suffers a low unemployment rate, and if we did make it easier for immigrants to come over, more jobs would be taken, or it would be harder for them to find a job, thus causing them to have no money.

[8] The unemployment rate of immigrants fell to 8.1% in 2012, the same as the jobless level for people born in America. This marks the first time in several years that immigrants have not had a higher jobless rate.

More Immigrants= A higher Unemployment rate.

[9] We have a million legal immigrants per year, and the vast majority of them enter the labor market competing with Americans for scarce job opportunities. The result is wage depression, though there are other factors that restrict wage growth, and persistently high unemployment above the 5 percent level that most economists believe is unhealthy.

As you can see, making it easier and legal, for immigrants to come live here in America is not only bad because of the high unemployment rate, but for American's who have been living in poverty and have been trying to find a job for months to put food on the table for their own families.

10. More reasons as to why legal immigration is bad.

[10]

1: over population
2: taking jobs away from citizens who are capable and trained
3: terrorists get visas too
4: chain immigration (the ability to bring in unlimited family members)
5: adequate growth cannot be planned for schools, homes, roads, hospitals, because of fluctuation in age groups.
6: at least 40% of visa holders over stay and become illegal.
7: legal immigrants with little or no education also put a heavy burden on welfare services.
8: birthright citizenship. Your child should be a citizen only if at least 1 parents is a US citizen.
9: No plan in place to adequately supervise peoples return to home country when visa expires.
10: No adequate screening in place to check for criminals, terrorist etc.

Here are just few facts as to why we don't need more legal immigrants. First off, we put up a border fence to PROTECT American's from them, and to stop illegal immigration, but know we are just going to waste our money with the fence, and just make legal immigration okay? We don't need more immigrant's. We need to worry about OUR own citizens and help them first. Our country should come first.


Sources:

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com...

[2] http://www.insightcrime.org...

[3] https://www.numbersusa.com...

[5] http://rense.com...

[6] http://www.bls.gov...

[7] http://www.bls.gov...

[8] http://economy.money.cnn.com...

[9] http://nationalinterest.org...

[10] https://answers.yahoo.com...


Sapphique

Con

The following are rebuttals to Pro’s case and more arguments for mine. Quotes from my opponent are in quotation marks and italicized.

1) Cost

“It's no secret that the Border fence is fairly expensive, but it is in fact effective…We have already built it, it's not like we can just tear it down…Since we have already built it, it only makes sense to keep building onto it since it actually works. If we didn't have the fence, we would have a much higher crime rate, more illegal immigration occurring, transporting of unsafe deadly drugs and of course, Human trafficking.”

Pro concedes that the border fence is extremely costly. Furthermore, the statistics she used do not show that the border fence itself is the cause behind the drop in apprehensions. Even Pro’s own source 7 from R2 admits that the fence did not stop immigrants from crossing. As shown in my previous round, migrants will do anything they possibly can in order to cross the border as long as incentives exist for them to do so. They will tunnel under the fence, go around it, though it, or above it, ‘“in some cases in less than a minute”’. [1] Several other explanations for this trend of fewer apprehensions include increases in border patrol agents and improved technology such as “Unmanned Aerial Systems including the Predator aircraft”. [2] Pro also states that expanding the border fence will reduce a number of crimes, but no proof is given of how or why doing so will ameliorate those harms.

2) Effectiveness

Pro cites data showing that crime rates, apprehensions, and the sale of narcotics has declined in border counties, but once again fails to show how the border fence itself is responsible for these reductions. As stated above, improved technology and increased border patrols could also account for the decreases. Migrants have been proven able to overcome much more than a 6-mile pedestrian fence, so it is highly unlikely that this deterred them in any significant way. A far more plausible reason for these statistics is simply that the people in question—migrants, criminals, drug dealers, be what it may—shifted their patterns to avoid areas where the fence had been built. [1] Pro has yet to show that the border fence is effective in achieving its intended purpose, or how an extension of the fence will bring more benefits than harms.

3) Price in human lives

“Yes, I agree many have died in attempt to cross the border. But many of these people crossing are not just crossing to try to have "better lives" for their self's and their families…We're just trying to protect OUR citizens from their dangerous act's. It's not our fault that they are dying by trying to commit dangerous crimes. They know their actions, they know the effects and consequences.”

Pro concedes that the border fence brings with it a high cost in human lives. She tries to argue that migrants do not only cross to gain a better life, but this claim is unsourced. Interviews with immigrants revealed this as the prevailing sentiment: ‘“We don't care if we have to walk eight days, fifteen days—it doesn't matter the danger we put ourselves in. If and when we cross alive, we will have a job to give our families the best.’” [3] These are people who will risk their own lives if it means they can support their families. They know the dangers all too well, and yet they still cross. Trying to shift the blame does nothing to erase the fact that people do in fact die by the thousands while crossing the border. Pro proposes extending the fence, which will only contribute to the amount of deaths by increasing the risks of crossing. On the other hand, more legal immigration along the lines of the HR-15 plan explained in R2 can counter this harm by providing safe routes for immigrants.

4) Environmental impact

“The problem here with the "Enviormental issues, is that there really is no threat to the enviorment…You state the problem, but yet there has not been any major issues with this.”

“It seems as if you are insinuating that the species live's are more important then humans. I mean what's more important, keeping species safe, or protecting our country and citizens?”

Pro again doesn’t dispute that the border fence extensively changes the environment for the worse and endangers rare plants and animals. She says that there have not been major issues, but, as I stated clearly, “the still bare slopes of the earthen dam…wash tremendous amounts of dirt into the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, which is only 600 feet away.” [4] Also, “grates built into the base of the wall to allow for the passage of water…acted as a dam, with floodwaters…causing millions of dollars of damage to private businesses and government buildings.” [4] The massive impact that the border fence has on ecosystems is not to be underestimated. Expanding the fence will mean expanding the environmental destruction as well, which will result in the extinction of many species in much of the Southwest United States. While this may not seem as important as human life, one need only look at the roots of any civilization to understand that the wellbeing of any community or nation greatly depends on the wellbeing of its natural resources.

NOTE: Due to time constraints, which I have explained to my opponent, I was not able to complete the last bit of this before submitting. Voters are welcome to award conduc to my opponent, but I ask that this incident not have any bearing in deciding the actual arugments. I will include what I missed here in the next round. I apologize to readers and to my opponent for this inconvenience.

Sources:

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com...

[2] http://www.usnews.com...

[3] http://commdocs.house.gov...

[4] http://www.no-border-wall.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Lee001

Pro


I do understand that my opponent is busy. I do expect her though to rebut my "Unemployment" argument in the final round.



1) I said it's no secret. But the government spends a great amount of money on other things. Sure the Border Fence is one of them, but as I have stated before, it is for our protection. This is something that WE NEED. I have showed you on multiple occasions that it actually dose prevent immigrants trying to cross the border. Con goes on to say that " They will tunnel under the fence, go around it, though it, or above it, ‘“in some cases in less than a minute”’ Didn't I just state in my previous rounds that the number of immigrants trying to cross has gone down tremendously? Even if they did try to get here through another way, we have border patrol's that secure the whole entire area in which the Border is located. As many have failed trying to get here in their own way, many do fail.


2) Con states " Migrants have been proven able to overcome much more than a 6-mile pedestrian fence, so it is highly unlikely that this deterred them in any significant way." Where's the evidence for your claim? She then goes on to state that I have NEVER gave any evidence to prove that the Border has lowered the rate of immigrants trying to cross....maybe you skipped reading my argument is R3 where it states "Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this month, found that the average rate for both violent and property crimes had dropped in the US Southwest border states. Arizona saw the most significant decline, of 33 percent over the seven-year time period. Other decreases were seen in Texas (30 percent), California (26 percent), and New Mexico (eight percent from 2005 onward).Significantly, violent crime was found to be lower in border counties than in non-border counties for all the years examined in three out of the four states -- California, New Mexico and Texas -- with Arizona the only exception." As shown above, cmuch more crimes appear in states with "lower in border counties" than in non-border counties. So how is this not effective? [3] "n Columbus, N.M., a 6-mile pedestrian fence has resulted in decreased apprehensions by 60 percent and a 100 percent decrease in narcotics. “It is clear that the implementation of infrastructure in targeted areas of New Mexico has had a tremendous impact on reducing the volume of apprehensions in those areas,” El Paso Sector Chief " Again, just another example to show the effectiveness. So...how does this not support my claim that it is effective?


3)Con states " Trying to shift the blame does nothing to erase the fact that people do in fact die by the thousands while crossing the border. Pro proposes extending the fence, which will only contribute to the amount of deaths by increasing the risks of crossing. On the other hand, more legal immigration along the lines of the HR-15 plan explained in R2 can counter this harm by providing safe routes for immigrants." It seems as if Con encourages immigrants crossing. I mean, immigrants will cross over the border to brings drugs to America. Our own citizens can die as well from these drugs, also violence. We need to worry about the poverty here in America, before we begin to worry about other's in other countries. According to the Census Beru [1] "The current Population Survey data show that 15 percent of Americans, roughly 46.5 million people, live at or below the government-defined poverty line—which, as most who work with the hungry, the homeless, the uninsured, and the underpaid or unemployed know, is itself an inadequate measure of poverty. By more reasonable measures, poverty in this country is even more pervasive." is it not true to say that we need to worry more about America right now? We don't need to worry about other countries.


4) Now, I couldn't really rebut her argument because she never gave me PROOF that there was any *damage* caused. She then goes on to give me 1 point, after the fact that I tried to make a *rebuttal* It's kind of hard to rebut something when you don't give any proof or evidence to back up your own claim. You kind of just tried to rebut my point after the point was made.



Sources: http://www.thenation.com...


Sapphique

Con

First, I shall rebut Pro’s response to my fifth point about a better alternative together with her second argument about unemployment and legal immigration since they kind of go hand in hand. I will then respond to her R4 and support arguments for my case.

5) Better Alternative/Argument #2

Pro seems to be saying that more immigration makes it harder for Americans to find jobs. However, her statistics seem to contradict the point she is trying to make. Pro states that employment actually increased, while unemployment remained nearly the same. She also claims that America “suffers” a low unemployment rate, when low unemployment rates are clearly a good thing. That aside, Pro also claims that immigrants take scarce job opportunities. This is incorrect. First, very few low-skilled jobs are filled by Americans. Those are mostly filled by immigrants, who are vital in helping to improve our economy. Certain industries, like agriculture, are almost entirely dependent upon illegal immigrants. For example, “retail milk prices would increase by 61 percent if its immigrant labor force were to be eliminated.” [1] The truth is that “most unskilled immigrants don't displace American workers. They fill niches — not just farmhand, but also chambermaid, busboy and others — that would otherwise go empty.” [2] “Of the 2.5 million farm workers in the U.S., over half (53 percent) are illegal immigrants,” which goes up to 70% if labor unions are added. Over two decades of research has proved that all types of revenue generated from illegal immigrants exceed the cost of the services they use. [1] “Every farm job supports three to four others up and downstream in the local economy,” so the idea that immigrants detract from the job market is untrue. [2] The standard of living for most Americans actually increased as a result of their contributions—and this is according to the consensus of over 500 economists who have researched this topic. [1]

1) Cost and 2) Effectiveness

Pro once again admits that the cost of maintaining and expanding the border fence would be very substantial. She continues to reference her statistics about the number or attempted crossings going down as evidence that the border fence is effective and should be extended. Perhaps I was not completely clear in my previous round, but the problem is this: Pro has not shown that the border fence and the border fence alone is responsible for these decreases. I cited different factors—increased border patrols and better technology, for example—that would explain those statistics equally well, if not better. Merely restating statistics will not change anything. Pro has provided evidence, but the evidence does not speak for itself. She has failed to link this evidence specifically to the border fence. Therefore, her argument is unwarranted. Even if we accept for a moment that the fence actually does reduce the number of illegal crossings, it is far from certain that expanding the fence would outweigh the potential harms that I have explained—the extremely high cost, the environmental impact, and most importantly the price in thousands of human lives. Pro even partially acknowledges this when she says that many do fail in crossing the border—and yet her proposal to expand the fence would only claim more lives. In the light of these other factors, what we would gain from expanding the fence is almost negligible. It remains Pro’s burden to prove that expanding the border fence can have substantial positive impacts using reasoning that goes beyond simply arguing that because something is slightly good, much more of it is definitely better. Not everything that is good in small amounts is beneficial in larger portions.

3) Immigration and poverty

Pro says that I support immigrants crossing. I would like to reiterate that my argument is for legal immigration. Reforming the existing system along the lines of what HR-15 proposes will take away the incentive for illegal crossings and encourage people to migrate legally instead. One thing must be made clear: immigration will exist, regardless of whether the fence is expanded, and regardless of whether reform is implemented, because the incentives exist for them to migrate. The difference is that, under Pro’s proposal, these immigrants will remain illegal, more people will die crossing, and people smugglers make much more money. My plan for immigration reform will take away the incentive for migrants to cross illegally, greatly reducing the money smugglers and traffickers can make. And when their motivation for dealing in this kind of business, namely money, is gone, they will no longer remain in that kind of work. This would partially solve for the harms regarding drug trafficking and human trafficking that Pro brought up earlier. Pro seems to assume that more immigration leads to poverty in America, a point that I have proven false in the paragraph above. Legal immigration also does not prevent us from dealing with poverty. Pro’s claim here is once again unwarranted.

4) Environmental impact

I fail to see how Pro concludes that I have not provided evidence for the immense environmental destruction that the border fence has already caused and will continue to cause if it is expanded. I cited specific examples, but those are hardly the only ones of their kind. I also referenced readers to the appropriate source listed in my R1 for more instances of the detrimental impact on our ecosystems.

Sources:
[1] http://thehill.com...
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...

Back over to Pro for the final round :)

Debate Round No. 4
Lee001

Pro

I'd like to thank Con for debating this topic with me, it has been fun! Also thank you bsh1 for putting on this tournament!
Conclusion
Voter's please notice that in R2 that Con stated "Environmental impact" that the fence had major impacts on the earth, yet she NEVER gave any proof of this "impact" until I mentioned it in R3 when I stated "where is the proof?" Then she decided to give me proof later on in the debate. She only gave quotes and opinions of other people and *how it was effecting the earth* yet, there was no evidence that it *actually* was effecting it until later on in the debate after I had pointed that out.
In R4 Con never address's my argument that Americans wont be able to find job's. She never fully rebuts that point, instead he goes on to her own argument.
She never addresses my other argument in R3, which was [10]
More reasons as to why legal immigration is bad.

[10]

1: over population
2: taking jobs away from citizens who are capable and trained
3: terrorists get visas too
4: chain immigration (the ability to bring in unlimited family members)
5: adequate growth cannot be planned for schools, homes, roads, hospitals, because of fluctuation in age groups.
6: at least 40% of visa holders over stay and become illegal.
7: legal immigrants with little or no education also put a heavy burden on welfare services.
8: birthright citizenship. Your child should be a citizen only if at least 1 parents is a US citizen.
9: No plan in place to adequately supervise peoples return to home country when visa expires.
10: No adequate screening in place to check for criminals, terrorist etc.

These 10 factors are the most important in this debate. All of these support my claims in the previous arguments to show that immigration is a bad idea. Thus, by ignoring all of this proves to show that it is a bad idea.I have effectively showed that immigration is a bad idea, and by building onto the fence, since it is effective as shown in previous rounds, the Border Fence is infact a good thing. It's worth spending the money on to protect Americans. Vote Pro!
Sapphique

Con


Over the course of this debate, my main arguments have been about cost, effectiveness (or rather, the lack thereof), the price in human lives, environmental impact, and the fact that there is a better alternative.


1) Cost


Pro drops this argument completely. She does not contest that extending the border fence will cost billions of dollars, but rather tries to justify this by arguing that the border fence is effective, even though the evidence she cites to prove this are not directly linked to her argument.


2) Effectiveness


Pro cites statistics showing that the number of apprehensions has gone down since the border fence was constructed, but she fails to explain how the border fence is the cause of these declines. As I mentioned, they could easily be explained by increases in border patrols or improved technology. In addition, the Border Patrol itself admits that they only apprehend 1 in 5 illegal migrants. It has also been proven through the testimony of migrants themselves that the border fence in no way deters them from attempting to cross the border. Even if the fence was actually effective, the benefits of extending it remain questionable and do not outweigh the far more solid harms of cost, loss of human life, and environmental damage. I will also reiterate that extending the fence will do nothing to take away the incentives that migrants have for crossing—namely our country’s strong demand for immigrant labor, the large wage gap between the U.S. and Mexico, and the desire for reunification among families.


3) Price in Human Lives


Pro drops this argument as well and posits that it is not our fault the migrants attempt to cross the border. If harms to humankind indeed outweigh other harms, however, then certainly loss of life should win out over the uncertain economic harms that she proposes will occur as a result of immigration. Extending the fence will only increase the number of deaths caused by forcing migrants to cross in ever more treacherous terrain. It will also contribute to the growth of people smuggling as prices rise due to the necessity of having a coyote guide in order to cross safely.


4) Environmental Impact


Pro also drops this argument. No matter when this point was made, the fact remains that Pro did not rebut them and so they stand uncontested. Pro also does not explain how any of the harms she presented about employment outweigh the endangerment and extinction of many species in the Southwestern U.S.


5) Better Alternative


Pro argues that more immigration along the lines of what HR-15 proposes will be detrimental to employment. I refuted this by pointing to the numerous industries in this country that rely almost entirely on immigrant labor. HR-15 also partially solves for the incentives that drive migrants to cross the border, while extending the border fence does not. Immigration will exist whether the border fence is expanded or not, but the difference is that under Pro’s proposal these immigrants remain illegal, while under mine they become valuable contributors to our nation’s society and economy.


Regarding Pro’s list of ten points, she lets her source speak for itself, providing no warrants that connect the evidence she cites to her arguments. Furthermore, I have already countered a number of these claims when I pointed to the benefits of legal immigration on the economy and the job market. The remainder of her points are not very potent, especially since they are unsupported, and they certainly provide no reasoning as to how extending the border fence will be beneficial to the U.S. I would like to remind readers that it was not my burden in this debate to respond to these poorly-constructed points; rather it was Pro’s burden to show beyond a doubt that extending the fence—not merely having the existing fence, but expanding upon it—is a net benefit to the United States. She has not done so, and as a consequence I should win this debate.



Thanks to Pro for an engaging debate, thanks to voters for taking the time to read and vote on this debate, thanks to our mentors who gave me tips and advice, and thanks to Bsh1 for organizing this Beginner’s Tournament. Vote Con.


Debate Round No. 5
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
Close debate, but ultimately Pro suceeded in providing a cogent case for expanding the border fence; namely the 10 impacts of immigration that are undesirable to America.

Pro provides many statistics that correlate the increase in border fence with an decrease in both crime and immigration levels. Whilst this does not entail an inarguable causal relationship, it was never stated in R1 that Pro's burden of proof had to be anything more than an inductive proof.

Con argues that the cost is substantial, human lives will be lost and that there would be environmental damage. Pro concedes the cost argument, but rightly argues that the effectiveness of the fence renders the cost a moot point. In regards to the human deaths, Pro makes the valid point that the immigrants know the risks of attempting to emigrate and do so anyway, so it is their fault if they die (sounds harsh, but it's true). Finally, Con only gives evidence that previous construction of the fence has caused environmental damage, but she didn't provide evidence that an *extension* to the fence would necessarily harm the environment more - proper procedures could be taken in future construction. Finally, Pro made the valid point that the government is more concerned with human lives than animal and plant lives.
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
Lol, thank you for the detailed RFD.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
*Deep breath*

Okay, that's it... Hopefully none of that got cut off.

Actually, I had to delete part of it - the the final R4 impact calculus. Here it is:

Impact Calculus: CON wins on cost, effectiveness, human lives, smuggling, and economics.

And I now see, in typical DDO fashion, that much of my punctuation has been converted to double quotation marks.. sigh...

Anyway, great debate, both of you, and my apologies for the endless stream of notifications, lol.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
==RFD==

This was a pretty interesting debate, though I felt as though it became a bit one-sided following Round 2 " mainly because PRO didn"t really engage a number of CON"s most significant impacts (cost, effectiveness " the post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc fallacy in PRO"s arguments " environmental impact, etc.), and only CON provided me with a tangible weighing mechanism. No matter whether I awarded arguments by tallying up points (which is obviously a really suboptimal way to score it), or if I weighed impacts, the overwhelming impact calculus lies with CON.

==Burden of Proof==

Neither debater really laid out the burdens they had. I think it would"ve been beneficial to have done so earlier in the debate " either as part of the terms of acceptance (e.g., a rule that the BOP is shared) or as part of a broader framework analysis, which also wasn"t present. It puts me in a position where, as a judge, I need to assign the BOP " though, obviously, I would otherwise defer to the one discussed by the debaters. Nevertheless, with a normative resolution, I default to a shared burden of proof because failure to do so would afford unwarranted bias toward the status quo. Therefore, it"s PRO"s burden to prove that we should expand the fence, and CON"s burden to prove that we ought not to.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
==Evaluation of PRO"s Round 2==

PRO tells me that the border fence serves as a safeguard against crime, drug transportation, and human trafficking. However, these can"t add to the impact calculus because there isn"t an explicit link to the border fence. She tells me, for instance, that human trafficking is the "third-largest global criminal enterprise." All this really says is that human trafficking is prolific and that, if her plan were able to stop it, this would be a significant impact " but without any explicit evidence that this impact is "because of the fence," it doesn"t build her case. On drug transportation, she cites a clear example of drug trafficking, and this tells me that it must be a clear problem (which was probably implicit, to be honest), but she doesn"t actually link this. In other words, she doesn"t make an effort to prove this last sentence: "Having a border just makes it even harder to commit these crimes" " and the same goes for the point on firearms. She asserts that these would result from an expansion of the border fence, but all of these boil down to whether or not the fence is actually effective at addressing its intended goals; obviously if that points falls, these points also haven"t any weight. Not to mention, even if the initial fence itself did guard against these crimes, there"s no link as to how expanding the fence would magnify these impacts.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
She then goes on to tell me that rates of border crossing have gone down and that, prior to the establishment of the fence, crossings were much more frequent. I"m not given at this point any sort of before-and-after comparison, so the impact of "X fewer crossings per year" or something of the sort doesn"t materialize. Even if it did, though, I wouldn"t have any reason to buy causation without some explicit link to the fence, and CON brings this point up (correlation doesn"t equal causation) later in the debate, which to a large effect seals the deal.

PRO then provides a quote from NPR citing the cost of the extra fence, the toll of human lives, and the fact the fence " via a quote from Claudio Smith " wouldn"t stop immigrants from crossing, but would only make it more dangerous. I"m not sure why she opted for this point, because it"s clear territory for CON, who did in fact raise these points later in the debate. This would"ve been an effective point if PRO were able to refute it " though, admittedly, I"m not too convinced that a preemptive rebuttal would have been optimal in this case " but without even addressing these, she concedes that they are in fact harms, which is clearly negative utility for the affirmative case. She even gives me a number " 3,600 deaths " which is extremely hard to outweigh. In the future, PRO, I"d highly advise against handing your opponent impacts. I"m sure this wasn"t your intention, but it"s extremely ease to seize upon these points.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Further, PRO only tries to mitigate these points by saying that (a) it was "their choice" to cross which I suppose is intended to undermine the fact that 3,600 deaths are bad and (b) that they can"t commit crimes. There"s no evidence on the crimes, so that point falls, and I haven"t any real reason, in the absence of a fully developed moral argument (the likes of which I haven"t thus far seen, though perhaps she could"ve raised), to buy the first point, nor could that outweigh the impact of 3,600 lives lost.

Then she provides two quotes, one from George W. Bush and one from Duncan Hunter, but these cannot substitute for actual, tangible evidence " if she wanted to evidence some of the claims within and use these as an illustration, that would be one thing, but she doesn"t do so, and thus these boil down to appeals to authority. For instance, she still doesn"t prove that a border fence would prevent drug trafficking, and Duncan Hunter stating as much, without provide some sort of citation or study to that effect, doesn"t much change that, nor does an assertion that this is a "proven method of keep America safe" when neither he, nor PRO for that matter, have really proven why this is the case.

Impact calculus: I"m not seeing any real, tangible, linked offense. If anything, her evidence (loss of lives, cost of the fence, ineffectiveness of the fence at actually preventing crossings) were in fact negative utility.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
==Evaluation of CON"s Round 2==

CON begins by pointing to the fence"s immense cost. Since the resolution deals with expanding the fence, rather than a question of whether it ought to have been constructed in the first place, the number of $2.4 billion from 2006 to 2009 doesn"t add much of an impact unless CON wanted to extrapolate from the fence would cost X billion per mile, and with Y miles left, the remaining cost would be X billion * Y miles. I don"t see any sort of calculation of that kind, though PRO providing a number for the additional fencing in her Round 1 sort of accomplishes that. She does provide a number for the entirety of fence " $4.1 billion " so it may be possible to back out from this what has already been spent to calculate the remaining cost, though CON doesn"t do so. The impact from this contention, therefore, is slightly muted " and largely a function of PRO"s concession at the immense cost of the offense. Therefore, when calculating impacts, I"m left with " strictly from CON"s R2 case " that the fence would be expensive, though obviously a hard number would make this impact far more tangible. CON notes that this may come from taxpayer dollars, even, which is obviously true, though she could have magnified this impact if she were to give a number and even highlight the opportunity cost, saying something to the effect of "it would cost taxpayers X per year, which is money that could have better been spent on Y, Z, and B, which we need because [insert reason here]." Nevertheless, CON sets up a weighing mechanism whereby cost depends on effectiveness by noting that this cost may be worth it if the fence were in fact effective " so, instead of looking at gross cost, I"m left looking at effectiveness per dollar or some other abstract measure. Regardless, I"m in a situation where whoever wins effectiveness wins costs " and I do think that CON could have obviated that by stressing where that money could otherwise have gone.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
CON cites a study showing that tightened border enforcement hasn"t had a significant impact on crossings, and provides a number from the Border Patrol showing that only 20 percent of illegal aliens are even arrested, the likely cause of which is migrants shifting their routes irrespective of the establishment of a fence, with San Diego in 2004 as a plausible example thereof. This is a significant impact, and thus far CON has provided more evidence that the fence wouldn"t achieve its stated aims than PRO has that it would " so thus far both cost and effectiveness are going to CON.

CON then capitalizes on PRO"s earlier concession by noting the price of human lives, citing a figure of 5,000 deaths, or 500 to 1000 a year, which, again, is a huge impact " and pointing out that the fence does nothing to address the underlying incentives that migrants have for attempting to cross the fence. Further, she provides a survey showing that fewer than 10 percent were deterred by the possible, life-threatening danger of attempting to cross the fence. Further, CON magnifies the impact of risks to crossing, and thus of deaths, by pointing to the increased demand for coyotes.
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Next, CON points to several deleterious environmental impacts, including waiving 30 environmental protects laws, the impacts to endangered species, and the uprooting of rare trees " all of this counts as offense for CON.

Finally, CON provides a counterplan to the effect of HR-15, which addresses the underlying incentives for migrants to cross illegally, though she doesn"t much expand on the beneficial aspects of the plan. She obviously wasn"t obligated to flesh out a counterplan in order to win, though there isn"t at the moment that much offense emanating from this point.

Impact Calculus: Effectiveness, and thus cost, magnified loss of human lives, and environmental impact.

==Evaluation of PRO"s Round 3==

PRO concedes on the point of cost, but seeks only to argue effectiveness " which aligns with the weighing mechanism CON set up earlier. She notes that illegal crossings have fallen appreciably since the early 90s, but there is, again, no explicit link to the border fence. Further, she goes to argue that w "can"t just tear the fence down" " though that is, obviously, outside the purview of this resolution, whereby she must argue for expanding the fence, and "it only makes sense to keep building onto it" doesn"t quite get us there because she hasn"t given us any reason that we ought to favor it. She says that, without the fence, we"d have a higher crime rate, more illegal crossings, and more drug and human trafficking, but she doesn"t provide any evidence to that effect, so once again this doesn"t contribute to the impact calculus.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Philocat 1 year ago
Philocat
Lee001SapphiqueTied
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Vote Placed by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
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Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 1 year ago
Ore_Ele
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