The Instigator
DrStrangeLuv
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Build the Border Fence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Cody_Franklin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,074 times Debate No: 14312
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (8)

 

DrStrangeLuv

Pro

I hold that a physical barrier built along the US-Mexico border should be pursued by the American government because it would provide security and safety to the American Public.

1) Such a barrier would hinder the drug trade that is becoming ever more violent in Northern Mexico. Buyers in the US spur drug cartels to illegally cross the border to sell their drugs. We stop or severely hinder their access, we effectively slow the drug trade.

2) Since border agents would not be required to be omnipresent along the border when such a fence is built, less would have to be hired and thus money would be saved in that regard.

3) Illegals enter the country everyday, and many do not survive the journey. A fence would force them to turn back, stopping a trip that would otherwise prove fatal.

4) It is in our best interest to know who enters the country. Be it for obvious national security reasons, or that fact that our society is taking on more people than it can support.

5) Illegals have access to publicly funded services, and can and do vote in elections, since proof of citizenship is not required to do so.
Cody_Franklin

Con

Probably not the best place for this, but I just noticed that the debate module also got a coding bar. This is so exciting. :) Anyhow...


The state enacts a lot of programs for the sake of national security interests. Such interests were, collectively, the progenitor of things like the PATRIOT Act, TSA's "enhanced security", and, on a more releveant note, legislation like the controversial AZ 1070 [http://en.wikipedia.org...]. The border fence suggested by Pro is, more or less, an addition to similar measures which already exist; however, all programs intended to protect "national security"--any government program, really--deserves a healthy amount of skepticism and scrutiny. It is this function I intend to fulfill. In fact, I intend to prove that a border fence is actually detrimental to what we might collectively refer to as "American interests", some of which, like a healthy-size population and personal safety, have already been fleshed out by Pro.


1. Hindering the Drug Trade



  1. If Pro's goal is to reduce drug crime, then a border fence seems to be counterproductive. The United States currently employs billions of dollars in resources and manpower in the ineffective "War on Drugs" in an attempt to respond punitively to the use, possession, and distribution of illicit substances; however, it's been proven time and time again that retributive justice is an ineffective means of reducing the negative effects associated with drug proliferation [http://online.wsj.com...]. Clearly, adding another measure like this, preventative though it may be, will only add to the failure of the War on Drugs while at the same time eating up valuable resources that could go to far more useful projects--building infrastructure or increasing education spending are a couple of examples that come to mind.

  2. In place of the fence, I offer the example of Portugal, which has seen amazing success in the decade after its decriminalization policy was put into place [http://www.officer.com...]. Though some say it is a bit soft, one cannot dispute the evidence in favor of such a policy--reduced drug crime and substance abuse, lower HIV infection rates (resultant from less sharing of dirty needles), and an attitude toward drugs that treats abuse and addiction as a health problem, referring users to health clinics and rehabilitation centers, rather than throwing them into prison.


2. Saving Money



  1. Earlier, I mentioned the War on Drugs. Though estimates do vary, we can clearly see a general range of spending targeted at curtailing drug activity, and it comes out to billions upon billions of dollars--upwards of $40-ish billion--per year [http://www.drugpolicy.org...]. A "Drug War Clock", which keeps a kind of ticker on money spent on the War on Drugs, estimates that, in the first few days of 2011, we've already spent over $867 million [http://www.drugsense.org...]. If Pro's goal is to save money, we could save a lot more by ending the war on drugs. And, where I've given you solid numbers to work with, Pro has yet to even offer a guesstimate of how much we might save by erecting a fence.

  2. It's also important to note that we already have border fencing, according to Homeland Security--about 370 miles of it in 2008. This is in addition to:



  • 18,300 border patrol agents

  • 300 miles of vehicle barriers

  • 105 camera and radar towers

  • Three additional UAVs


[http://www.dhs.gov...]


If measures like these are unable to keep out the massive number of illegal immigrants who successfully cross the border each year, how does putting up a fence and taking away active patrols increase the efficacy of border security? Pro has yet to offer any scientific analysis which even hints that this could be true.


3. Protecting Illegals



  1. Pro makes the assertion that many illegal immigrants die during the journey or after crossing the border; yet, he fails to offer up any evidence, particularly statistics, concerning the rough number of immigrants who are victims of these allegedly fatal conditions. 2006 estimates of the illegal immigrant population ranged from 7-20 million [http://www.csmonitor.com...]. Since Pro gives us no data indicating the total number of people who try to come to the United States, or the number of people who fail to make it, we cannot even do a basic statistical analysis of our own; therefore, we cannot accept Pro's argment at face value.

  2. Pro fails to account for the fact that, as dangerous as the trip to and across the border might be, Mexico is probably more dangerous. Mexico is a hub for drug violence and cartel warfare, some of which has migrated across the border into parts of the southern United States. Ignoring for a moment that such problems could be resolved with a solid decriminalization policy, consider also that the intensity of violence in Mexico hit record highs in 2010, and shows no signs of slowing up in the new year [http://www.dallasnews.com...]. If anything, we might try being more hospitable due to the horrific and dangerous conditions that potential immigrants south of the border are subjected to on a daily basis. Either way, a border fence isn't the answer.


4. Knowing Who Comes to the Country



  1. Honestly, this doesn't seem to be particularly relevant, primarily because the need to keep account of who enters the country in no way implies that we require a border fence. Basic non sequitur.

  2. If government action is really the way to keep track of immigration, then you can refer first to my point that reducing manpower as a trade-off for building a fence seems counterintuitive to establishing a tighter border. Second, we can perhaps work with programs like US-VISIT, started in 2004, which establish biometric/biographic security measures for immigrants and visitors like inkless finger scans, digital photographs, and cross-referencing with terror watch-lists [http://www.washingtonpost.com...]. Though I would be one of the first to question the efficacy of state-sponsored counterterrorism measures, programs like these seem to be more intricately-designed and better thought-out than "build a better fence".


5. Illegals and Public Goods


If we want to complain about illegal immigrants having access to public goods and services, then it again seems counterintuitive to say that building a fence is going to help, not only because of the necessary skeptical response to claims of increased border security, but also because tightening borders doesn't solve the actual problem, which is that government agencies supplying public goods like welfare, food stamps, and other entitlements aren't doing a good enough job keeping track of who they give handouts to. Pro's objection to easy access to public services, then, seems to be better addressed by systemic reform and a tightening of the criteria which determine who is able to gain access to those services. Since Pro brought up that proof of citizenship isn't a prerequisite for access to entitlements and public goods, perhaps we could seek a policy requiring verification of citizenship prior to access being given to public services.


With that, I'm more or less out of characters, so I'll hand it over to Pro.

Debate Round No. 1
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

Thanks for accepting the debate, Con. I'll start with a rebuttal of your points and then make my counter.


--Rebuttal--


1. Hindering the Drug Trade


1) "it's been proven time and time again that retributive justice is an ineffective means of reducing the negative effects associated with drug proliferation. Clearly, adding another measure like this, preventative though it may be, will only add to the failure of the War on Drugs..."


---Con makes the illogical assumption that since retribution does not work against WoD (War on Drugs), neither will preventive measures. Con's propoal of allocation of funds to infrastructure or education does not help end the WoD or secure th border, which makes this comment irrelevant to the debate.


2) Decriminalization of drugs is not the topic of this debate. But, even if it were decriminalized, US citizens would still be manipulated by Mexican drug cartels for two reasons: 1) drugs are addictive and 2) life for drug cartels would be easier than ever and to think they would just stop selling is absurd. Its their way of life, and a violent one at that.


2. Saving Money


1) Con states that ending WoD would save a lot of money. Who's money? Not my money, especially if I became addicted to drugs, then I would be buying them nonstop. I would then have to pay for my rehabilitation, because despite drugs being legal you still have to be rehabilitated for some reason. And then when I'm out I would be stealing money to buy more drugs, since drugs wouldn't be considered a taboo anymore. Don't you see its a vicious cycle, and that instead of allowing an addictive and life destroying substance to be allowed, and of course exploited, we can just build a freakin fence? Imagine how many more customers Coca-cola could get if it started (again) lacing its soft drinks with actual coke? Ending the WoD is not an option. Even places like Amsterdam still prohibit the use of cocaaine and other hard drugs [http://www.allamsterdam.nl...], and its for a good reason.


2) The US-Mexican Border is 1969 miles. Your source states that 370 miles of fencing exists. That doesn't cut it. The source also does not state if the other measures are evenly spaced, and they hopefully do not overlap. I would be more interested in hearing how long the stretches of unwatched desert are.


3. Protecting Illegals


1) I apologize for not providing evidence earlier, but over 1,954 people died crossing the US-Mexico border between the years 1998-2004 [http://en.wikipedia.org...] A fence could have easily prevented this as the majority of deaths resulted from exposure after wandering too far into unknown territory.


2) This seems to only warrant a fence even more so. Being able to process who comes into the country is an excelllent way of stopping violence in Mexico from spilling over into the US. Decriminalization would also probably not stop the cartels, since now they will try to compete with businesses in the US. To assume they wil drop their guns is foolish, the highly addictive nature of drugs makes it the perfect money maker for these men.


4. Knowing Who Comes to the Country


1) I think creating order in an otherwise lawless section of desert is an excellent way of knowing who comes into the country. And a fence would provide a physical barrier to anyone trying to enter with less than pleasant intentions.


2) Programs like the one you suggested would require that a border be sealed and that migrants would have to pass through checkpoints in order to be processed. As it stands, this would be a waste of money without a fence since many people would just bypass the system by walking around it. Reducing manpower is also not counter-intuetive, since that manpower would be concetrated at checkpoints and more effectively used, instead of patrolling empty desert all day.


5. Illegals and Public Goods


1) Do you realise the public outcry that would ensue if you required everyone to provide proof of citizenship everytime they wanted to use public services? The ACLU would be set for life, they would be burning money to heat their homes. The fact is, American citizens should not have to suffer because their system is being abused by those who don't contribute (i.e. taxes) to it.


--Arguement--


A) A big part of Con's arguement is that the fence would be a huge waste of money, and that money would be better spent elsewhere. But, instead of providing a cohesive solution to all 5 points of mine (like the fence does), he offers an individual solution for each one, which would probably end up costing more money than building a fence would. I know for sure that it would takes years more of legisaltaion for half of his ideas to become reality, such as the legalization of drugs.


B) This is not the place to discuss the WoD and its outcome. The WoD is but one of five points I have made and how the fence could dampen it effects. Removing the WoD is not an option since there will always be a WoD. And if you say your going to end the WoD drugs, its all the drugs, not just marijuana. Because then you'd still have a WoD.


C) What you should be asking youself is why so many policticans do not want a border fence. Since you don't need to prove citizenship, or anything for that matter, when you go to vote what is to stop illegals from voting? I am just highlighting a very real fact of life that votes = power, and that restricting or upsetting your voters is a way to lose power. Just throwing it out there, I don't have any hard facts to back it up, but it happens. Its alittle off topic, but not building the fence could be a way to please immigrants in order to keep their votes, something that should not be happening.


--Summary--


I await rebuttall to my rebuttal. and I'm having a lot of fun.

Cody_Franklin

Con

Hindering the Drug Trade
  1. Using preventative measures means that we're trying to tackle the source of the problem. Erecting a larger border fence doesn't solve the problem of drug crime and cartel warfare in the same way that decriminalization does. It might prevent a few more illegal immigrants from crossing the border (though I doubt that a mere fence is going to dissuade people who really want to make the trip), but it's not a solution for drug crime. Additionally, I'm not making an "illogical assumption" that prevention doesn't work. My conclusion is based on the fact that Pro provided no evidence suggesting that building a larger fence will decrease drug crime, or even that there is a correlation between the two. Finally, my point about other ways to allocate funds was used to impact my argument that valuable resources wasted on something that will likely only be minimally, if at all, effective.
  2. Decriminalization may not be the subject of the debate, but, if the point is reducing drug crime, the policy is immediately relevant. As far as manipulation by drug cartels:
  • "drugs are addictive; therefore, US citizens would still be manipulated by Mexican drug cartels" <-- This is a blatant non sequitur. There is no reason to believe that citizens would have to rely on foreign cartels when drugs are decriminalized. Even if this argument is true, it does not follow that erecting a fence will rectify the problem of manipulation. Rather, it suggests that we should use what influence we have left to diplomatically seek decriminalization in Mexico, using Portugal as a case study proving that the policy works in reducing drug crime.
  • "life for drug cartels would be easier... to think they would just stop selling is absurd, etc" <-- Again, see cases like Portugal and (somewhat) Amsterdam. Drug policy is far more liberal, and drug crime rates are basically negligible. When you decriminalize a market, the profitability of engaging in that market illegally drops significantly since market forces are now competing to deliver the same goods that dangerous cartels had previously monopolized. Basic economics.
Saving Money
  1. Pro's first response is based off of an irrational paranoia that decriminalization leads to huge rises in addiction, etc. Again, he provides no evidence that those circumstances would materalize as a consequence of decriminalization, while I have provided a clear example of the policy in action, statistics demonstrating a decline in addiction/rime/HIV rates, and two sources depicting the money we would save by cutting the War on Drugs (example: The Drug War Clock). We might also look at a historical example like Prohibition. Ban vs. No Ban. Prohibition--ineffective, costly, unpopular [http://www.associatedcontent.com...] After the 18th Amendment was lifted, the organized crime that had developed in response to clandestine demand for alcohol all but vanished. The same situation faces us now--the only difference is that we're looking at drugs that aren't alcohol. On top of that, I still fail to see how building a fence is going to mitigate the negative effects of drug use and addiction.
  2. In January 2009, it was actually reported that about 600 miles of fencing--short physical walls with cameras, sensors, and border patrolmen spaced in between [http://en.wikipedia.org...]--exists, with more under construction. No report on how evenly-spaced these measures are, but I imagine that the US government has a pretty keen interest on not leaving too many open spots. This, of course, says little about the kind of measures that state and local governments take in terms of policing, either.
Protecting Illegals
  1. So, approximately 2,000 deaths over a 6-year period? About 320-ish deaths per year? We might try weighing that against the 30,000 that have died in Mexico since 2006 as a result of the drug wars [http://www.google.com...], in addition to the evidence presented in Round 1 explaining that 2010 has been the most violent year yet. While a fence may have turned a few back, the trip to the border and back would still be quite perilous, which makes me doubt the efficacy of the fence in increasing the safety of immigrants, especially since the place that they're being turned back to is, statistically, about 23.5 times more deadly (your 320 deaths per year vs. my 7,500 deaths per year). At best, your thoughts on the results of building a fence are pure speculation. At worst, they're naive, unwarranted assumptions that ignore the reality of the plight of anyone living in, passign through, or in close proximity to Mexico.
  2. Again, refer to my argument that trading off manpower to get fence seems counterintuitive to establishing a more secure border, not to mention that you haven't brought forth any evidence to dispel this skepticism. The rest of your argument is basically speculation again--that a fence would somehow help us process more people more efficiently (especially since you're cutting manpower to get the fence), and that cartels wouldn't stand down after decriminalization (despite clear evidence to the contrary, and despite my suggestion that we pursue decriminalization in both countries--not just the United States.
Knowing Who Comes to the Country
  1. Building a fence A) has nothing to do with creating order in a lawless desert, since it's just a fence, B) only, as you said, provides a physical barrier. Given that barriers, guards, sensors, UAVs, and radars/cameras aren't much of a deterrent, a bigger fence doesn't seem like it's going to do much for border security (especially in lieu of supporting evidence). Plus, the fence doesn't do a thing for the 7-20 million immigrants already estimated to be here (see R1 evidence), which flies in the face of your "keep track of migrants" claim.
  2. My point was that, if you want to secure the border, just building a fence isn't really going to do anything for your manpower and concentrate them at checkpoints, you're basically giving migrants a green light if they can get past the unmanned defenses out in the desert. This is why prison guards are situated on the ramparts and in guard towers.
Illegals and Public Goods

Public outcry isn't my concern. The point was that, if the requirements for public services are lax, they ought to be tightened. Plus, if large demographics are going to complain about "dem damn illeguls gettin my money/our jobs", they ought to be overjoyed to learn that they'll have to prove their citizenship before being allowed access. And, as far as illegals not paying taxes, that's an outright lie [http://www.usatoday.com...] [http://reason.org...].

Pro's Closing Argument
  1. My responsibility as Con isn't to provide a cohesive alternative. The topic concerns whether we should build Pro's border fence. I've coherently negated that. My alternatives are courtesies. In other words, the argument gains Pro no offensive ground.
  2. Your argument concerns drug crime and danger--ending the War on Drugs mitigates both of these problems. Saying that "there will always be a WoD" is speculative, has no evidence, and is contradicted by a similar predicament, Prohibition. And yes, I do want all drugs decriminalized.
  3. Not relevant to whether we should build a fence.Report this Argument
Debate Round No. 2
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

I am going to try to pull this debate back on topic for the final round

1) Hindering the Drug Trade

1) I hold that having a full and complete border fence will severely hinder drug transportation across the border. How is this illogical? You do provide an alternative, but you did not prove me wrong.

2) You are missing the point. If drugs are legalized they will be used to exploit people in different ways. It seems a bit rhetorical to say that drug crime rates are low in a country where drug use/trade is not a crime. I really hate to resort to this, but Amsterdam and Portugal are not the United States. They are a lot smaller, easier to govern, and do not have a drug spewing country sharing a border with them.

2) Saving Money


1) Con fails to realize the extreme physiological and physcological dependace on hard drugs that alcohol cannot normally compare to. Comparing Prohibition to the WoD is a good way of showing how crime can diminish when restrictions are lifted, but the substances involved are too different to make this a valid comparison.

2) 600 miles still leaves a good 1300 miles open. Using manpower to patrol 1300 miles is highly unpractical. A wall would be far more productive, and aside from intial costs, would save far more money than having border agents drive up and down the line day in and day out.

3) Protecting Illegals

1) We cannot dictate what Mexico can and cannot do for its own people. We, as Americans, have no "legal" way to stop the drug cartels in Mexico. Even if we did decriminalize the WoD, Mexico would still be at war, and immigrants would still be entering our country to escape the violence, some dying before they even reach a city because they wandered too far into hostile desert. In your plan, both countries would have to decriminalize the WoD, which is really pushing the boundaries of what I'll allow as a plausible "courtesy". As it stands, a wall would physically hinder drug trade and keep the violence in Mexico from spilling into the US, and is the most practical idea presented thus far in this debate.

2) I never said that "a fence would somehow help us process more people more efficiently." My contention was that it would allow everyone who passed from Mexico to the US to be processed, and that your system of IDing everyone would not be possible if everyone could not enter the country at specific points.

4) Knowing Who Comes to the Country

1) A fence is most effective where there aren't any holes in it, espcially 1300 mile long ones. What if I made a levy to hold back flood waters, but only had every other section reinforced strongly. That would work right? Your claim is based on speculation. I provided no plan for the migrants in the country, nor is this debate about that, and so is irrelevant.

2) "you're basically giving migrants a green light if they can get past the unmanned defenses out in the desert."
--- I think "if" is the key word there. A physical wall is a lot better than having thousands of border agents running around trying to catch people who already crossed over. Think if a prison had no walls, but just had more guards. Would you feel safer? Would it be cheaper this way? Maybe if the guards held hands they could make a wall, but its not the same as a concrete and steel reinforced one.

5) Illegals and Public Goods

1) People can cross the border en masse during times of election, make their vote, and return to their coutry. Border fence could stop this. I'm appalled to hear that you would require a dying man to prove his citizenship before being allowed to have life saving treatment at a public hospital. I'm also shocked to hear that you do not care if illegals pay taxes or not. A border fence could solve the latter, by keeping in their own country, and instead of running from their problems, maybe try to solve them.

Closing

1) Your responbility as Con was to provide reasons as to why the border fence is a poor idea. You offered alternatives that contradict your original contentions. All of the ideas you provided involves years of legislation and lots of money. You even make it clear that Mexico has to play along with us. Maybe in the ideal world where the WoD doesn't exist this could work. But as it stands we have the option to build a fence. Its at the tip of Congress' fingers, and you prefer the status quo until the WoD can be ended. As a matter of fact you took the status quo in almost all the points. And it is very clear that its not working.

2) Saying that the WoD will end drug crime is speculation also. As where people could not be "hooked" on alcohol, you can indeed get seriously addicted to drugs. And this alone will be enough incentive for drug cartels to continue functioning. I know you are trying to make references to the fact that they will be outpriced, but when the demand can only get larger you see the problem.

3) yupp

Conclusion

I hope my opponent had fun with the debate, and i hope he appreciated my sarcasm.

In closing, a border fence is a good solution. It physically hinders drug cartels from operating in the US and from their violence from coming into the US. It allows us a chance to ID everyone who enters the US. It prevents the deaths of Mexicans in the desert from exposure. Best of all, it is an option readily available. While ending the WoD is viable solution, it does not present a reason to not build a wall. It only counters one of my contentions, and for the most part, Con remained in the status quo which is not good. Vote Pro.


Cody_Franklin

Con

Hindering the Drug Trade

  1. It's illogical because A) all you're doing is making that assertion without citing any kind of evidence relating different degrees of border security to the effectivenessf anti-drug activity, and B) you're assuming that the War on Drugs is a good thing. Why bother limiting the drugs that come into this country? Even if they're from cartels, they'll have to compete with better quality merchandise at lower prices from legitimate vendors a lot closer to home if we decriminalize. All you're really doing is restating your position. You haven't refuted my counterargument, and you certainly haven't provided new evidence or analysis. This argument is certainly out.
  2. "If drugs are legalized they will be used..." <-- appeal to probability. You've cited nothing suggesting that this will be the case, while I've cited plenty of times that decriminalization can have effects like lower abuse rates, practical eradication of drug crime, and even lower rates of HIV in needle-sharing. It's not just rhetorically pleasing--it's empirically verified, and claiming that my examples aren't of the United States doesn't change the way that the policy operates. At best, you've succeeded in proving that we need to be extra-careful about the language we use in writing up our own version--not that we need a bigger fence.
Saving Money
  1. Dependence on hard drugs? Take a look at this chart a moment [http://drugwarfacts.org...]. Notice that, though alcohol does in fact rank only a 3 for dependence, the most addicting and dependence-creating drug isn't heroin or cocaine: it's nicotine. In other words, one of the main components of cigarettes is the most addicting drug you can find. If you're going to use addictiveness as a justification for the War on Drugs (which in turn is a non sequitur justification for a huge fence), you're barking up the wrong tree, since the most addictive subsance is already very, very legal.
  2. Taking the figure of 18,300 personnel I cited earlier, and dividing by 1,300 miles, you get about 14 officers per mile. I imagine that 14 men, more than a few in patrol vehicles, patrolling their respective routes, would probably be far more efficient than a couple thousand miles of mostly unmanned fence (the likes of which, true to the joke, could probably be "hopped" by immigrants caring more about making it over the border than evading security). Speculation on my part, but it seems to be a bit more common sense. This, of course, assumes that we should have as tight a border as we can possibly get. Frankly, I don't think that this argument is a round-winner even if we assume it to be true, since A) ending the War on Drugs nets a larger financial gain, B) you've never cited any analysis of how much money would be saved, and C) there's a problem if "building this huge fence will save money" is the round-deciding argument.
Protecting Illegals
  1. That doesn't really respond to my argument, which was that you can't claim a humanitarian justification when fencing off the border sends migrants back into a region which is approximately 24 times deadlier than the potentially-perilous journey they may otherwise have made. It's like trapping a guy in a yard full of hungry wolves and claiming that you're in the right for preventing him from running out onto the highway. Furthermore, I never made the claim that we could dictate what went on in Mexico, so I'm not sure what offense that gains you. Regarding the War on Drugs, I specifically explained that we ought to use our diplomatic strength, fair relats with Mexico, and what's left of our superpower influence to try persuading the Mexican government to decriminalize. The strategy I listed doesn't require Mexico to follow suit, but it obviously helps.
  2. The current system "allows" people to be processed one-by-one; like your wall, however, it guarantees nothing. The wall is worse, however, since the vast and unmanned spans of fence that you would construct would be a pretty big incentive to try and cross, since it's almost a guarantee that you won't run into border patrol agents. I think you're really overestimating the effectiveness of a fence, especially given the sweeping claims you've made about stopping immigrants and drug cartels without citing any relevant facts.
Knowing Who Comes to the Country
  1. First of all, false analogy. If we assume that both are better served by having no holes, it does not follow that the fence will actually be as effective as you claim it is. It might stop people from just straight walking through, but migrants tend to be really resourceful people. A good example would be border tunnels [http://www.usborderpatrol.com...]. We can safely assume that a fence isn't particularly useful if you can bypass it by tunneling underneath. The fact that many such tunnels are used for drug-smuggling [http://www.reuters.com...] is especially damaging to your argument that a fence would ward off cartels.
  2. "If" is, I suppose, the key word. And it's a pretty sure "if", given the massive number of immigrants who have already made their way, one way or another, over the border. Additionally, your claim that a straight fence is more effective than border patrols at keeping people out is suspiciously unsubstantiated. I suspect that this is not only because there is little evidence on the matter, but also because it's an unverifiable prospective claim about an anti-immigration strategy that can't be evaluated due to its nonexistence, which means that you're speculating and appealing to (unverified) probability again.
Illegals and Public Goods
Theoretically, yes. Illegals can cross the border to vote (probably--with as many unwarranted claims as you've put out there, I'm slightly skeptical about this, since I'm not intimately familiar with how voting works. Assuming this to be true, however, you've again presented no evidence listing the last time a case such as what you've described actually occurred. If border security is as inadequate as you seem to believe, it's likely (though not absolutely certain, I admit) that it would either have happened recently, or that any such en masse attempts would have been reported in the news. Also, this isn't really a substantial claim, but I get the feeling that, if a large and significant mass of illegals tried to cross the border all in the same day to vote, someone would probably notice and do something about it.
As for the rest of your argument:
  • First, you're upset that illegal immigrants are getting access to public services, but you complain when I propose a fairly effortless solution? You can't have your cake and eat it too. Plus, it's not as if getting out an ID while rushing the guy to the hospital is some sort of back-breaking activity. If you really care about saving a dying man's life that much, though, you may as well forgo the requirements and open access to anyone in need, just in case a desparate and dying illegal comes along.
  • Second, I never claimed that I "don't care whether illegals pay taxes". You're straw-manning me. What I said was that the notion that illegals don't pay taxes was a complete lie, and provided two different sources which explained that an overwhelming majority of illegals do pay taxes, often without the luxury of a tax return. This proves that your "free" access argument is quite incorrect.
Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Darknes 6 years ago
Darknes
Uh, you realize that Con outright lied about drug dependency levels. I don't know what site that is, but just go on wikipedia.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
As far as Roy's vote, that's fair.

Otherwise,

1. I wasn't "reinforcing the status quo" per se, because I wasn't making a case. This isn't policy debate--we aren't looking to see who can build the best plan. I explained from the outside that my burden is one of clash, which I clearly fulfilled by advocating a position of skepticism and scrutiny. The arguments about alternatives and possible solutions (like the whole "proof of citizenship" thing, which you seemed to throw quite a fit over) were accessories to the larger argument that building a bigger fence is a strategy without proof of efficacy that's probably more trouble than it's worth.

2. As an aside, Mexicans wouldn't have to die in the desert if immigration were easier. Building a wall just forces them to wander back or become more resourceful, neither of which do much for their chances of survival.

3. How do Mexicans strain the economy? Many of them pay taxes, they work jobs that most Americans wouldn't be caught dead working, and they usually do it for lower wages. If we tried to kick out illegal workers, I imagine the economy would be a lot more strained than you think it is now.

4. My personal opinion is that we allow open immigration--I don't want a tight and hardy border. And the problems of immigration have nothing to do with numbers. I imagine it stems more from typical American xenophobia.

Like I said on your profile, we can do this debate again if you'd like.
Posted by DrStrangeLuv 6 years ago
DrStrangeLuv
Cody: Roy included his personal vote for me in the points he gave, so it is going to be more than 5.
Most of the responses you gave reinforced the status quo, which wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't already. For example, Mexicans crossing the border and dying. The main problem of this is that A) Mexicans are dying in the desert and B) when they do get here they put a strain on the economy. You suggest that we open our arms wider, which doesn't touch the fact of securing the border, increases the problem of option B, and generally makes no sense as the problems in those border states result from too much immigration already.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Continued...

Yes, I agree that legalization is a different debate. The debate wasn't "should we legalize". I was using that argument to illustrate that killing the drug trade is better achieved in other ways--ways which are more financially responsible and have greater positive externalities. Additionally, Pro was debating on the huge assumption that the fence would be effective, which he never proved. Advancing my skepticism later in the debate, I even proved that a fence is EASILY avoided.

The thing about the Patriot Act and the TSA wasn't an ad hominem attack, either. I have no idea you can call that fallacy when I'm using legitimate examples of historical measures enacted for the sake of national security. I disagree with those measures, and I used those examples to preface my skepticism of the border fence.

On the "knowing who comes in" argument, Pro cleared up in Round 2 or 3 what he meant, and I DID make the effectiveness argument as a result of that.

Logically, he never proved that a fence would substantially reduce illegal immigration, or that such people would be better off as a result of being fenced in. If he's going to argue that it saves migrants from the dangers of desert-wandering, the first place to refer back to is my argument and evidence that herding them back into Mexico is almost 24 times as dangerous for them.

If you want to debate me on a border fence, Roy, I'd be happy to oblige.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
My main argument, Luv, was that you never proved that your fence would do half the things you claimed it could or would do. A lot of your arguments were purely speculative assertions, with no empirical support suggesting that anything you said had any measure of truth. The only link you provided was the one concerning the number of people who died while wandering in the desert, which I responded to in the next round.

Roy: As far as the links are concerned, I never claimed that the Arizona link should count. It was intended only to illustrate what the law was in case people were unfamiliar with it. I'll even be nice and roll with your claim that the retribution link doesn't fit; however, you don't seem to have a lot of ground for claiming that the rest of my evidence is irrelevant. Without proper analysis, perhaps, but you can't just make the assertion that it is irrelevant without due explanation.

And what do you mean Pro "got around to it"? He posted two sources, one of which was a description of the Netherlands and the other which hardly helped his case any.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I voted 5 points to myself, Roy. If you're going to cancel me out, you would have voted proportionally.
Posted by DrStrangeLuv 6 years ago
DrStrangeLuv
thanks for the points roy, but its my fault that I didnt make it clear before the round started that i wouldnt be voting
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
I increased my points for Pro solely to cancel Con's voting for himself.

There are some interesting "debater's points" at issue, so I'll ramble on some more.

Con's use of references was mostly decorative. He linked an irrelevant Arizona law; used a reference that retributive justice is ineffective against drugs wile the debate was about prevention; gave references that the war on drugs was expensive while claiming that money for a fence would be better spent elsewhere; cited irrelevant statistics on illegals within the country; cited largely irrelevant statistics on violence in Mexico; and so forth. A collection of irrelevant links does not count. Pro was weak on references to start with, but eventually got around to it.

If the topic were, say, using security cameras to deter robbery, it would not be a good argument to say that if robbery were legalized the money on security cameras could be saved. Legalization is a different debate.

Con started with an attempt at an ad hom type attack, putting the border fence in a category with the PATRIOT Act and other things. The merits or not of the fence are independent.

Con repeated a claim that active patrols would be decreased to pay for the borer fence. Pro made no such assertion, and Con did not show that it would be required.

Con falsely claimed that arguing that we need to know who comes into the country is a non sequitur with respect to arguing for a border fence. No, the connection is obvious and relevant, much like arguing for having agents at border crossings. Con could argue that the fence would be ineffective, but that's not along the lines of a non sequitur; that's a straight argument on effectiveness.

It follows logically that if a fence substantially reduced illegal immigration that fewer would be harmed in the attempt to cross the border. It's a clear deterrent. The degree can be questioned.
Posted by DrStrangeLuv 6 years ago
DrStrangeLuv
good debate, I had fun. I wish DDO wouldn't let people vote for themselves, it doesn't make much sense to me. Guess I can ask my next opponent to not do that.

In my opinion, most of your arguments said that the current state of things was working fine, but you didn't defend that view. Your two big points were ending the WoD, which would have to be a collaborative effort between the US and Mexico, and having regular citizens show more proof of identification. You cited cigarettes as the most addictive drug available, but I think that works more in my favor than yours. Places like Portugal and Amsterdam aren't great examples because they allow drug use, but still consider trading and selling drugs illegal. Which, when you think about it, is like throwing money at the drug cartels if that ever happened in the US. You offered no counter to securing the border, and I believe you even hinted that everything was working fine and that anything we do doesn't matter because people will always find a way around.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I wasn't making the debate about drug legalization. I mean, come on--one of his points was strictly focused on decreasing the drug trade. Relevant there. Another about saving money. Works there, too, especially when he doesn't even offer any evidence to support what he's saying. The argument about protecting illegal immigrants isn't even about ending the War on Drugs--it's about the fact that he's ignoring the real danger and is falsely claiming humanitarian high ground. The last two arguments definitely had nothing to do with it.

Even though decriminalization was a big theme, it was only used to show that there are clearly other ways of achieving the goals that Pro set out whose success is empirically verifiable. Even barring that, though, there's no way one can say that he actually proved his case. Basically zero sources, and quite a few fallacies.
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