This debate is for bsh1's Round Robin Tournament.
A fence ought to exist on the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
1. First round is for acceptance only
2. Second round is for cases only
3. BOP is shared
4. No kritiks/semantics
5. Voting is on arguments only
Thanks to 16k, and let's rock
Seeing as it is June 6th, this is appropriate.
Through the gates of hell
As we make our way to heaven
Through the Nazi lines
We've been training for years
Now we're ready to strike
As the great operation begins
We're the first wave on the shore
We're the first ones to fall
Yet soldiers have fallen before
In the dawn they will pay
With their lives as the price
History's written today
In this burning inferno
Know that nothing remains
As our forces advance on the beach
Aiming for heaven though serving in hell
Victory is ours their forces will fall
Through the gates of hell
As we make our way to heaven
Through the Nazi lines
On the 6th of June
On the shores of western Europe 1944
D-day upon us
We've been here before
Used to this kind of war
Crossfire grind through the sand
Our orders were easy
It's kill or be killed
Blood on both sides will be spilled
In the dawn they will pay
With their lives as the price
History's written today
Now that we are at war
With the axis again
This time we know what will come
6th of June 1944
Allies are turning the war
Normandy state of anarchy
= Case =
A border fence along the US-Mexico border would be beneficial as it would reduce crimes such as illegal immigration and drug transportation and would lessen the harmful effects that come from both. It would be a means of security and protection for Americans as well.
C1) Illegal Activity
Illegal immigration has been a long-term problem in America. A fence would be a good solution to this issue, as it would stem immigration done illegally and further control the amount of Mexicans that decide to go into the country without permission. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that a fence along the border would reduce future illegal immigration by up to half, keeping out of thousands of crossers. This proves that a fence is, in fact, effective as what it is needed to be, and should remain existent along the border.
While that may just be a prediction, it's nothing compared to Jim Henry personal witness of what has changed since a border fence has been built. As a Border Patrol Agent of the San Diego sector, he stated that before the fence "it was an area that was out of control. There were over 100,000 aliens crossing through this area a year." He also reports that the number of apprehensions down there dropped by 95% from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year. The reason for this is because the cable that once was on the border of the two nations was now double and (in some places) triple layer fences stacked 10 to 15 feet high with metal mesh and 150 feet between each, making it virtually impossible to cross between countries illegally. Border infrastructure does work, and as Henry affirms, it is highly effective.
Pew Research confirms that the illegal population has declined, peaking in 2007 following the border fence enactment just the year before. Mexican unauthorized immigrants living in the country dropped from 6.9 million to 5.9 million. With less unwanted activity, a fence is a benefit to the US.
Drug trafficking is also a huge problem. Mexico is the main supplier of marijuana and methamphetamines in the US, and smuggles in a ridiculous amount of drugs. In fact, 90% of the cocaine that enters the US transits through Mexico. A border fence would make it more difficult to transport harmful substances illegally from Mexico to the US.
Transportation of illegal firearms happen often between the countries. In fact, "Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths." It is safe to say at this point that fencing would be a good means of prevention as it would deter illegal activity such as exchanging illegal guns and drugs across the border, both which can be lethal.
C2) Crime Spillover
A border fence has controlled immigration, thus reducing the crime spillover effect that has been a problem in the past. The US Government Accountability Office released a report focused on the 2004 to 2011 period that stated that "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." This is significant because fence security enactment happened back in 2006, meaning that a fence had a big effect on the drop in crime. Illegal aliens also tend to join gangs which commit lots of crime. An example of this is in one of the eastern states, in which “25-50% of all gangsters arrested in northern and western Virginia are estimated to be deportable aliens. Gang investigators estimate that 90% of the members of MS-13, the most notorious immigrant gang, are illegal aliens”. Gangs are also said to make up 80% of all national crime, which illegals are often included in, since they join gangs a lot. Juarez, a Mexican city that lies right near the US border is known to be the murder capital of the western hemisphere, an example of one border city where many are slain by drug cartels due to the “drug war” that is currently ongoing around there.
It is illogical to assume that illegal immigrants are going to follow the law. Having broken it trying to get into the US, there's no reason that they wouldn't try more criminal activities to get what they need to survive. The US cannot trust such people unless they show they are willing to abide by the laws of the land by coming over legally and doing what they should in order to be given the rights of a law-abiding citizen. Logically, one can easily conclude that more unlawful immigration will lead to higher violent crimes in the regions in which there is no border fence.
C3) Harmful Residential Effects
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, illegal aliens take up 8 million jobs in the US which could normally be occupied by US citizens. Since the job market is limited, it's unfair for these jobs to go to illegals who don't even belong in the country when legal workers and citizens who have earned their right to residence are being stripped of labor opportunities.
Immigrants who reside in the country illegally are extremely costly for the nation in so many ways. More unauthorized immigrants mean providing more law enforcement, education, and medical services, which is the reality of the massive influx of crossers of the southern border. Although illegal aliens pay virtually nothing in taxes, they receive “tens of billions of dollars worth of free education benefits, free health care benefits, free housing assistance and free food stamp benefits.” Giving these people a free ride puts a much larger burden upon taxpayers who ensure the free benefits to illegals who did nothing to earn it in the first place. More of a cost is detrimental to taxpaying citizens and uses up government resources quicker. This can be reduced by using a fence to prevent the amount of illegals coming through.
As we see, a border fence would be very beneficial to the US in so many ways.
C1) The Border Fence is environmentally destructive
Border fence proponents have claimed that the border fence would not negatively affect the environment. These claims have not been verified by academic researchers. University of Texas scholars have investigated these claims; the research concluded that border fencing would adversely impact the ecosystem in Texas. The scholars argued that any data claiming that the border fence would have no impact is “nonR08;existent.” 
Border fences restrict movement and cause habitat fragmentation. Animals which migrate or need to move to survive are negatively impacted by border fences. Other organisms need to be in a single, un-fragmented, habitat in order for breeding to occur. This is especially threatening to endangered species which could theoretically be separated by a fence and lead to inadequate breeding populations. The border fence would actually go through the Wildlife Refuge which is home to many endangered and migratory species which would be harmed by a fence. The government has already spent $80 million in order to make sure the aforementioned habitats could effectively house the animals present. This also took negotiations with the Mexican government in order to allow the same to occur on their end. According to the University of Texas study, erecting a border wall in Texas would “fragment over 500 acres of land, of which over 400 serve as wildlife habitat. Destruction and/or alteration of this habitat will impose additional stress on wildlife in a region that has already been cleared of 95% of its native vegetation.” The fence would also cause “increased road mortality along access and patrol roads, loss of habitat cover and connectivity, altered wildlife behavior and range due to high intensity lightning/construction/operational noise, and the interruption of mating activities necessary to sustain wildlife populations over time. These effects are significant and irreversible.”  The study also suggest that the Mexican grey wolf, one of most endangered species in America, would be negatively affected by a border fence.
Another study published by the American Institute of Biological Science looked at how the border fence would affect wildlife in Arizona. The study found that the wall would harm javelinas, ocelots, and the Sonoran pronghorn. The fence could also prevent Jaguars from repopulating Southern Arizona .
Fences also disrupt local black bear populations. Most black bears on the border are closely related to those on the other side, and are thought to migrate indiscriminately to breed with Mexican bears . Border fencing, according to new research, would separate these groups and prevent them from thriving. Not only are fences fragmenting their habitat; new highways and urbanization pose a threat, too. Reducing the impacts from fencing would mitigate some of the harms caused by urbanization and infrastructure.
C2) Fiscal cost
Any benefits from fencing must be weighed against the fiscal cost of building a fence along the border. The length of the US-Mexico border is 1,933 miles long . The USFG has completed 652 miles of fencing . Bloomberg has estimated the cost of completing the fence would be $28 billion per year . Anti-immigration groups find the cost of illegal immigration at the federal level to be $29 billion dollars, or about the same as construction of the fence . Of course, state costs are more, but as Varrack has already argued fiscal costs, and I will respond to these flawed calculations later.
Forbes has calculated that a border fence would cost $40,000 per illegal immigrant apprehension .
We must also take into account deportation. The border fence would have no effect on the immigrants currently here. As Varrack argues immigration is a bad thing, it seems logical that we would deport illegal aliens as well as seal the border. Deportation could cost up to $600 billion . Coupled with the cost of completing the fence, border enforcement is actually much higher than allowing immigrants to stay here using the flawed calculations by anti-immigration groups.
C3) Many immigrants do not even cross the border
Assume that the fiscal cost of immigration is negative. Assume it is larger than the costs of a fence. Even under that scenario, it still does not justify a border fence. The reason is simple: a large percentage, maybe even a majority, of immigrants no longer cross the border. Those immigrants would not be stopped, slowed, or in any way hindered by the construction of a border fence. Even assuming immigration is a bad thing, if enough immigrants will not be deterred or apprehended due to border fencing, the fiscal cost of increased enforcement and fencing would not outweigh the effects of reduced immigration.
I will first cite the anti-immigration think tank, the Center for Immigration studies (CIS). The CIS offers convincing evidence that it is possible that a majority of immigrants in this country came here legally but overstayed their Visas (which, in turn, makes them illegal). The CIS cited a DHS report which found that 27-57% of illegal immigrants were here due to Visa overstays. They then cite a GAO report which says the DHS report has underestimated the problem, suggesting that the Visa overstay problem could be more significant than 57% . The border fence would be unable to stop more than half of the immigrants who enter this country illegally. The “benefits” from reducing immigration would be outweighed by the fiscal cost of construction and border patrol utilizing the fencing for apprehension.
Not only that, Mexico is no longer the largest source of immigrants. According to the Wall Street Journal, the immigration debate is caught in a time warp. Conservatives assume that most immigrants come from Mexico and cross the border (the second assumption already refuted), so a fence would significantly impact immigration. This is incorrect. China and India have now surpassed Latin American countries as the largest source of immigration. The WSJ notes, “China [has] replaced Mexico as the top country sending immigrants to the U.S. … immigration from both China and India has been increasing for a decade, and inflows from other Asian countries are climbing as well, while immigration from Mexico has been declining.”  A Pew Research study found that, in 2010, 36% of new immigrants were Asian; only 31% of newcomers were from Latin America .
Asian immigrants do not cross the Southwestern border; any fencing would be ineffective at preventing Asian immigrants. If we couple that with the 57% of immigrants who overstay their Visas, that means 93% of immigrants do not physically cross the border where fencing would be stationed. So only 7% of immigration could be deterred or prevented. I highly doubt that a 7% reduction of the “cost” of illegal immigration would outweigh the fiscal impacts a border fence would have. To actually crunch the numbers, the Fence would cost $28 billion. According to the extremist anti-immigration study , immigration costs $113 billion. A 7% reduction would mean we would reduce costs of immigration by $8 billion—or, in other words, the fence would leave us $20 billion worse off.
C4) Immigration is a good thing
There needs to be one thing Varrack is required to do if he is to win this debate: prove that illegal immigration is a net negative. Economists don’t agree. Only 16.7% of economists think that the current rate of immigration is too high .
Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, argues that “illegal, immigration has made a significant contribution to the growth of our economy.”  Greenspan discusses supposed wage depression and the fiscal costs which Varrack has already alluded to, but suggests that “wage suppression and fiscal costs are relatively small, and economists generally view the overall economic benefits of this workforce as significantly outweighing the costs.”
Illegal immigration is just the trade of labor. Like the trade of goods and services, free trade benefits the economy. The same applies to labor; allowing the free movement of people will cause the economy to expand, not contract. Many vocal anti-immigration advocates have begun to concede that immigration is a net positive for the economy. Their estimates suggest that immigration—both legal and illegal—have a net benefit of $22 billion each year. Newer calculations have found a benefit of $36 billion each year. Although this number may seem small compared to the entire economy, economists agree that if the US was not so strict about restricting the number of immigrants, the economic benefits would be much higher .
Immigrants affect prices. A 1% increase of immigrants as a share of a city’s population reduces prices by 0.5% . This has a few effects. First, it reduces inflation. So an influx of immigrants during a time of high inflation could benefit the US economy. Second, it means demand increases. Not only is there more demand because there are more people, but lower prices spur more consumption. This increases economic growth. And third, the larger economy due to economic growth leads to a larger tax base and more revenue. Immigration in the UK has been associated with lower housing prices which means the housing sector of the economy would also grow due to more immigration .
The fiscal and job aspects of immigration will be refuted next round.
The fixed version of my earlier picture can be found in the references.
R1) Environmental Impacts
A fence will not likely have a positive effect on the environment I will admit, but this shouldn't be a major barrier to a fence being put up because that would be assuming that the lives of species are as or more important than human lives. I'd argue that keeping our country and citizens safe is more of a priority than protecting bears and wild animals. We can't take both options, so when it comes down to higher human atrocities in border states or some habitats, I would take the former option first.
Illegals used to tromp through sensitive areas of the Tijuana estuary, so a fence wouldn't be all bad as it would decrease the amount of crossers that could damage the environment anyway.
R2) Cost & Effectiveness
Of course a fence isn't going to necessarily be cheap, but the benefits of it outweigh its expense. From Con's own source, illegal immigration costs $29 billion at the federal level but another $84 billion at the state and local level, totaling to $113 billion, which is over quadruple the cost of illegal immigration.
It's not my job to argue for or against deportations since the topic at hand is the fence. However, if I concede that $400-$600 billion used for deporting all 11.2 illegal immigrants is too expensive, the argument in favor of a fence still stands. We must also acknowledge that a fence would reduce illegal apprehensions anyways as less illegals would cross through and have that effect. As shown earlier, the fence is effective and has slowed immigration along with crime down to record lows. 16k states that border enforcement is more expensive than allowing immigrants to stay, but the evidence for this is unclear.
Con says that the US-Mexico border won't stop Asian immigrants from entering into the US. This is not an issue because 1) it's not supposed to, it's meant for Mexicans, and 2) the fence is designed to control illegal immigration, not necessarily legal. 16k combines the two, making the numbers seem different than they already are. If we look at the effects the fence has on border states, we see that it is effecient in what it is supposed to do. That's like arguing we should cut down an apple tree because it doesn't produce pears.
In the last round I presented CBO's prediction of illegal immigration being halved by a fence, as well as Pew Research's report that Mexican illegal immigrant residence dropped a whole million in just five years, from 2007 to 2012. If we follow the trend, the amount of Mexican illegals would have reached 9 million by 2012, but thanks to border security 3 million illegals have been prevented from residing unlawfully in the US. Imagine how much higher costs would be for taxpayers if those 3 million were allowed to stay - more people would have to pay for their free health care, education, and benefits, as well as make up for the taxes the most of them don't pay. Not to mention, if deportations continue, there will be less of them. We must also recognize that the border fence isn't finished yet. The section that does exist has been effective in preventing the amount that I showed, which is actually really effective. With the whole fence completed, the numbers would go even lower.
As well as significantly decreased crime in border states, "Apprehensions decreased by 67 percent in southern Luna County in New Mexico thanks to the construction of a border fence and increased resources...In Columbus, N.M., a 6-mile pedestrian fence has resulted in decreased apprehensions by 60 percent and a 100 percent decrease in narcotics." By this point it should be quite clear that a fence actually does have a positive effect on country.
R3) Net effect of immigration
With increased immigration, we must understand the reality of the negative effects. Crime spillover has been proven and shown to rise with less border security, and drop with more of it, meaning that illegals have an effect on the stability of society. The workforce is scarce, and when more immigrants take jobs, they rob American citizens of the jobs that they had a right to. Immigrants also put a strain on the education and health care systems, as was mentioned earlier. We both agree that illegals cost America $113 billion, but Con suggests that they have a net benefit of $22-36 billion, but this positve doesn't outweigh the costs of hosting illegals.
The Center for Immigration Studies suggests that immigrants actaully have a negative impact on wages. On a table of the wage impact by immigration influx shown by the CIS, "if immigrants increased the total number of workers in a skill group by 10 percent, the wage trends observed over the past 50 years would suggest that the weekly earnings of working men would fall by 3.7 percent." The reason for this is that immigrants are often unskilled and take the jobs with the lowest wages. Con suggests that prices would be reduced and inflation would decrease, but I fail to see how lower prices means lower inflation. If anything, lower prices create more room for inflation.
R1) Crime spillover
Varrack argues that a border fence would reduce crime spillover. The best way to gauge this is to analyze the GAO report he cited. He claims that the GAO report showed crime at the border decreasing after the 2006 border fence law. The results are more ambiguous than Varrack suggests.
The border fence was passed in 2006. However, in 2006 the fence was not even built because it was passed that year. So 2004 – 2006 can be considered pre-fence. 2007 – 2011 can be considered post fence when results should be seen. I graph the results on violent crime and border counties (p. 39):
The observations put a hole in Varrack’s argument. For Arizona, you see crime falling *before* the 2006 border law. It continues to fall afterward, but the rate is slower. If anything, it shows an increase in crime due to the trend change. California shows crime falling before, but crime fell faster after 2008. New Mexico shows an increase in crime from 2004 – 2006, a decrease in 2006 – 2009, and an increase in 2010 – 2011. New Mexico shows no real evidence. Texas actually saw an increase in crime from 2007 – 2009 before it fell. This shows no effect. So, of these, only California shows any effect from the wall. But there is a caveat: they had a border fence before 2006, so any changes could not be related to new fencing. This data does not support the fence-crime hypothesis. It shows no effect.
There is a problem with this data: it has no control variable. Varrack noted how crime fell faster in nonborder counties than border counties. Border counties have a fence built, nonborder counties don’t, so nonborder can be our control. Does this analysis prove a fence worked? No. To quote the report, one state (NM) actually shows that the fence increased crime. “The decrease in crime rate in border counties (8 percent) was smaller than the decrease in nonborder counties (19 percent).”  As the report shows nonborder counties having a larger crime drop, it shows that fences may have increased the crime rate.
California data shows no effect. According to the report, “For border counties, the [crime] rate was 26 percent lower in 2011 than in 2004. The violent crime rate in California’s nonborder counties generally decreased and was 25 percent lower in 2011 than in 2004.” As the difference was only 1%, and 1% variation could easily be caused by other factors. California does not prove that fences reduce crime.
Arizona and Texas do show a fence-crime relationship. However, as NM and CA show no relationship at all, the data is ambiguous. There is no proof that fences have reduced crime. The data Varrack cited proves that fences have no effect.
Varrack’s next argument is that immigrants cause crime, so reducing immigration with fences reduces crime. There are a few points: first, the fence may cause more deaths than they prevent; second, immigrants do not increase crime; and third, it assumes a fence works.
The fence causes thousands of deaths by causing immigrants to go to areas where fences are weaker, are patrolled less, or alternate more dangerous routes. Border fences in San Diego and El Paso caused immigrants to enter the country through rugged and desolate terrain; enforcement areas also were avoided. Border fences are responsible for a doubling of immigrant deaths between 1990 and 2005 .
Although Varrack shows that many gangs use immigrants as members, most immigrants do not join gangs. In fact, the number of unauthorized immigrants in this country has almost quadrupled between 1990 and 2010, but violent crime has fallen 45% over the same time period . Foreign born men also have much lower incarceration rates (0.7%) compared to native men (3.5%). These differences could not be attributed to immigrants being deported for their crimes or harsher immigration laws deterring crime . They are simply less likely to commit crime. A new peer-reviewed study found that immigration actually reduces crime . Fences could actually increase the crime rate, not decrease it.
The GAO study shows spillovers are not significant; fences cause thousands of deaths; and immigration lowers crime.
Correlation does not equal causation. A decrease in illegal immigrant apprehensions explains the decline in the Mexican population; it suggests that fewer Mexicans are coming to the US. Varrack claims this is because of the border fence. But apprehensions actually fell well before the 2006 border fence laws. They began to fall—and fall dramatically—in 2000 . Eventually, this lead to more immigrants leaving the country than those who came in. But as the decline in incomers occurred in 2000, not 2007, other factors than the border fence are causing the decline.
The San Diego fence did not work. The number of immigrants apprehended in 1992 was about the same as those apprehended in 2004, ten years after the fence was built in 1994 . Deterrence does not seem to work, either. 92-97% of those apprehended and sent back to Mexico will keep trying to cross the border until they are successful . 97% of immigrants who try to cross the border eventually end up succeeding . The efficacy of a border fence is questionable at best.
If fences didn’t cause the decline, what did? The Mexican birthrate has been falling at a consistent rate since 2000 . Lower birthrates mean fewer people will cross the border. Mexico’s GDP per capita has also significantly increased since 1999 . If more Mexican people are wealthy, the financial reasons to move to the US decrease. And, of course, in 2007 and 2008 we hit a recession. The sluggish recovery since then is just another reason immigrants won’t come here. If things in Mexico are improving and things here are stagnating, there is no reason to come to the US.
Varrack cites a CBO report, but the results are not good. The amnesty portion of the bill would be great for the economy, but the border security is actually a net negative. The CBO did estimate that unauthorized immigration would fall, and very small decreases social service spending would occur. But the report said that more border fences and enforcement would actually increase the deficit. To quote the report itself, and not a conservative newspaper, “[t]he increased spending on border security would further reduce the number of unauthorized residents in the United States. That reduction in population would reduce the taxes paid by, or on behalf of, unauthorized residents by $3.2 billion over the 2014-2023 period.”  Compare this to the decreases in spending coming from the border fence: -0.8 billion dollars. Building a fence would increase the debt by $2.4 billion.
I have provided evidence that the decline in border crossings began before large fences were built. I also demonstrated how local fences in San Diego have questionable efficacy. I have given reasons why Varrack’s graph does not prove causation; other factors are causing the decline in immigration, not border walls. The CBO report, even though it assumes that a border fence works, proves that a border fence working would be a negative for the economy. If it works, Varrack loses—costs of building the fence are a waste, make economy shrink, increase debts. If it doesn’t, he still loses.
R3) Economic harms
The job displacement argument is false. The argument relies on a basic supply and demand model: supply increases, demand stays the same, so unemployment rises. But this model assumes nothing else changes. By its very definition, immigration changes everything. They increase demand for new goods and services. This causes economic growth. So for those who are displaced, economic growth means demand for workers increases, so another job opens up. Immigrants are cheap labor. This translates into lower prices which benefit everyone. A study by NBER says that illegal immigration increases employment for native born workers. Immigrants work for lower wages. This means labor costs decrease due to immigrants. Overtime, this means the employer has more money and is in a better position to create new jobs. The study mentions that both deportation and border enforcement—which includes fences—increase unemployment rates among native workers . Reducing immigration would harm workers.
Immigrants won’t kill social services, either. As noted, building a fence would reduce revenue from immigrants by $3.2 billion and only reduce spending by $0.8 billion . This means fencing would increase deficits. Indeed, immigrants pay $11.8 billion in taxes every year . Immigration opponents ignore one key social program: social security.
Social security needs more younger people than older people. America has an aging population , which is worrisome for social security because you need more people paying into the system than those receiving. The conservative CATO institute argues that illegal immigrants pay payroll taxes but cannot reap any benefits, so they automatically help the system. Not only that, but immigrants come here when they are young. This means the younger population grows and can make up for our aging population. Immigrants, therefore, make the social security system work! According to the CATO study, “an increase in net immigration by 300,000 per year extends the solvency of the system by about one additional year.” 
The CBO report Varrack cited shows that fences would add to the deficit, not decrease it. Immigrants benefit social security and pay taxes. Fences would increase costs, decrease employment, and harm social security.
(2) It is very humble of you to concede
(3) Why did you deactivate? D:
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