The Instigator
FactvsFeeling
Pro (for)
The Contender
Harsith.R
Con (against)

Non Citizens Should Not Be Allowed to Vote In U.S. Elections

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 624 times Debate No: 99015
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

FactvsFeeling

Pro

Round 1 is merely an acceptance round, and the premise of the argument.

I do not support the idea non-citizens of the United States should be allowed to participate in U.S. Elections.
Harsith.R

Con

Thank you for initiating this debate. I am interested in participating. I am a beginner in debating online but have participated in a few parliamentary debate at high school level. Therefore this will be fair and a good competition.

harsith.r
Debate Round No. 1
FactvsFeeling

Pro

I would like to thank Con for accepting the debate. I apologize for not responding sooner, as I work about 15+ hours and am getting ready to start the Spring Semester, plus taking care of my ever-evolving family.

My argument essentially states I do not condone the idea non-citizens of the United States the opportunity to vote in U.S. Elections. Personal feelings aside the Constitution and Constitutional Amendments specifically provide a clear guidance on exactly who has eligibility to vote.

Article 14 of the Constitution lays out guidance concerning the parameters of citizenship in the United States. In section 2, it explicitly states, "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State."

Now let's look at the 15th Amendment, granting African Americans the right to vote. Ratified on 3 February, 1870, the language of the Amendment declared the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Follow this up with the 19th Amendment, affording women the right to vote. It states: "The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

The next Amendment concerning voting would be the 25th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax requirement to vote. Section 1 of the Amendment states the following: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senators or Representatives in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax."

Lastly, the 26th Amendment which changed the voting age from 21 to 18: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of age."

You will notice a clear stipulation in the 'right' to vote - the word 'Citizen'. 'Citizen' proceeds the word 'right' in Article 14 and every amendment following Article 14. Clearly defining who possessed the right to cast a vote in U.S. Elections. In short, this is law.

Personal feelings, experiences, and biases aside, the law appears to be quite clear on who is eligible to cast a vote in U.S. Elections.

The following is The Oath to become a U.S. Citizen: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

You may or may not have noticed, but there are at least four references to the law in The Oath. Go back and count them.

With that being said, outside of personal emotion or bias, it is hard to understand how a person could knowingly support the idea of non-citizens participating in U.S. Elections if they know it is contrary to the law. Especially after they see how much the law is stressed in the Oath of Citizenship. If it's good enough for a person seeking to become a citizen, is it not good enough for someone who was actually born in this country or naturalized at birth?

This is why I do not condone the idea of non-citizens voting in U.S. Elections.

Sources:
https://memory.loc.gov...
https://www.loc.gov...
https://www.archives.gov...
https://constitutioncenter.org...
https://constitutioncenter.org...
https://www.uscis.gov...
Harsith.R

Con

Thank you for the extensive analysis regarding the American Constitution and its amendments. But looking it from a legitimacy perspective we must answer two important questions:

Definitions

Vote in this case is defined as the ability to participate in the functioning of political institutions, with a legal tender to elect the government according to the individual's discretion

Non-Citizens refer to all permanent residents, immigrants who have registered with the US immigration department, possessing legally active visas

Firstly, why has the US allowed the settlement of Non-Citizens

The main idea of allowing migrants to settle in the United States of America is for the fulfillment of the capitalist needs. When there is a surge in the employment opportunities, the government makes processes for the visas as seen during the Bracero Program period thus allowing people to settle and to spur the growth of the economy. When there is a deficit, which cause unemployment for the citizens, and-migrant policies like have been formulated so as to not lose the best minds but expel the less productive people who have slowed the growth of the economy.

Secondly, why they must be allowed to vote
  • Morally, every person has a responsibility towards the state, and subsequently every state has a moral reciprocity towards their people. Non-Citizens have been an integral part of the American population, thus helping the society to evolve and transform for the good. But it is unfair that the state alone remain the oppressor, not allowing the people to have their say in the governance of the country.
  • The purpose of an election is to represent the views and the ideals of the people and allow it to make a large scale impact. It is integrally defined as ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’. When a person is denied this chance to represent himself in a national sphere, it is same as stripping him of his rights.
  • Legally it is illegitimate for the oppression of minorities and disadvantaged communities, as supported both by the American law and more importantly International law, ratified by America. Stripping people of the right to vote, not only affects them but also their communities ability to make the problems heard and resolved. When this as the basement of empowerment is not fulfilled, any other minority empowerment program will fail thus wasting the taxpayers money Therefore it is counterproductive to allow the non-citizens to vote.
  • Going by your argument, where you have stated that the Oathrefers to the law several times there is no instance of the first clause of “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen” anywhere as a formal law. So for this debate we will be analyzing the case from your viewpoint excluding the first clause due to the absence of legally backed support which your argument is built upon.
    • Every non-citizen is required to bear allegiance to the state, without disbanding his homeland when he has to enter the country - This can be inferred from the persecution of several non-citizens for treason, which indicates that law requires them to remain so.
    • They should not actively criticize the constitution which fulfills the demand of being supportive to the constitution as a whole
    • The US Army does not allow all the non-citizens to participate in military activities. This is the inability of the government to not provide opportunities and not their discretion /choose to refuse it.
    • Finally contribute economically to the society, which is the main reason for immigration into America.

Now I will be dealing with direct rebuttal to your case, from the same legal perspective that you have adopted
  • The 15th Amendment, declares that no citizen can be denied the right to vote on the basis of caste, gender, creed or previous status of servitude. You have stated in the end of your argument that when the Oath is fulfilled, you are legally a citizen and I have clearly shown in the analysis above as to why the people can be considered as a citizens even though they're not given a legal tender. Furthermore the Amendment declares that the status of previous servitude does not serve as a barrier to restrict the right to vote, it explicitly allows the non-citizens to vote due to the benefit of doubt that has been given.
  • There is a blatant contradiction in the argument (and the Constitution perhaps), where Article 14 advocates only the male citizens to participate in, and not be denied of the franchise only to the male citizens, which is highly sexist for a democratic constitution. Subsequently 19th Amendment requires that gender is no barrier to vote, and be denied the right to vote, which seems to be a likely inclusive remark.
  • As your case was based solely on law, and the oath of citizenship your verdict is rationally justified, and I concede with that the law is supreme and the oath is built upon the law. But in the above analysis I have proved in detail why the law indirectly allows non citizens to vote and how the oath proclaims it. Therefore Con believes that your case has fallen on this basis

For the above justifications I believe that all people should be allowed to vote irrespective of their identity and origin.



Debate Round No. 2
FactvsFeeling

Pro

Argument: The main idea of allowing migrants to settle in the United States of America is for the fulfillment of the capitalist needs. When there is a surge in the employment opportunities, the government makes processes for the visas as seen during the Bracero Program period thus allowing people to settle and to spur the growth of the economy. When there is a deficit, which cause unemployment for the citizens, and-migrant policies like have been formulated so as to not lose the best minds but expel the less productive people who have slowed the growth of the economy.

Counter: It should be worth noting some things left out when speaking of the Bracero Program. Workers were brought to the U.S. to fulfill manual labor jobs with the following basic human rights: Adequate shelter, food, sanitation, and a wage. Furthermore the promise they would not be discriminated, like exclusion from white areas. No where did the agreement promise any kind of political contribution in the areas of which they worked. Why? The purpose of their stay was work related only. Today's Non-Citizen, here legally, is required to be here on a work or student visa - both having clear implications as to their purpose, or a Green Card. Green Cards reflect a legal right to reside and work in the United States, and holders are required to pay taxes, register for selective service, and social security. They are also required to renew the Green Card. Why? Because they are here at the benevolence of the United States. You have to follow the rules, but if you want to have a say in the process, you must become a citizen.

Argument:
Morally, every person has a responsibility towards the state, and subsequently every state has a moral reciprocity towards their people. Non-Citizens have been an integral part of the American population, thus helping the society to evolve and transform for the good. But it is unfair that the state alone remain the oppressor, not allowing the people to have their say in the governance of the country.

Argument: A non-citizen has the responsibility to follow the rules and laws of the state, by merit of the benevolence of the United States granting them the opportunity to reside and work in the United States. Utilizing the Bracero Program as an example, there are human rights which must be afforded by the state, but no-where is it required a non-citizen have political rights, or rights granted to those who fall under the Constitution. Remember, they are guests seeking to come here, not the other way around. I was stationed in Japan for three years. I had to pay Japanese tax, and abide by Japanese laws, and was afforded basic human rights- participating in their elections, and political system, however, was not an option.

Argument: The purpose of an election is to represent the views and the ideals of the people and allow it to make a large scale impact. It is integrally defined as "by the people, of the people and for the people". When a person is denied this chance to represent himself in a national sphere, it is same as stripping him of his rights.

Counter: If we were to take the view of every person who is not a citizen, and incorporate it in our political system, you would have legislation being passed on the part of individuals who can, at any time, decide to pull up, and move back to their country. There is standard of loyalty. Laws must be passed and rights afforded to people who have a vested interest in their country, not for those who can leave anytime they choose.

Argument: Legally it is illegitimate for the oppression of minorities and disadvantaged communities, as supported both by the American law and more importantly International law, ratified by America. Stripping people of the right to vote, not only affects them but also their communities ability to make the problems heard and resolved. When this as the basement of empowerment is not fulfilled, any other minority empowerment program will fail thus wasting the taxpayers money Therefore it is counterproductive to allow the non-citizens to vote.

Counter: Minority populations which are citizens. Given we have been living in times where the job market has been difficult, I would find it difficult to believe non-citizens are part of the disadvantaged group of which you speak. First, they are here for jobs - and are obviously getting them. Secondly, per your argument in the first paragraph, we would only be seeking to keep the best minds - I would think that would correlate to a well-paying job, only granted because it benefits the United States or the interests of the United States in some way. The compensation in such cases is monetary and quality of life. Political contributions are not part of the sign-on package. For the reasons I mentioned above.

Argument: Going by your argument, where you have stated that the Oath refers to the law several times there is no instance of the first clause of "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen" anywhere as a formal law. So for this debate we will be analyzing the case from your viewpoint excluding the first clause due to the absence of legally backed support which your argument is built upon.

Counter: Actually the Oath of Enlistment becomes legally binding when administered by a public official. Ergo it infers law, even if it does not have the actual word 'law' other parts of the Oath.

Argument: Every non-citizen is required to bear allegiance to the state, without disbanding his homeland when he has to enter the country - This can be inferred from the persecution of several non-citizens for treason, which indicates that law requires them to remain so.
They should not actively criticize the constitution which fulfills the demand of being supportive to the constitution as a whole
The US Army does not allow all the non-citizens to participate in military activities. This is the inability of the government to not provide opportunities and not their discretion /choose to refuse it.
Finally contribute economically to the society, which is the main reason for immigration into America.

Counter: First, it's not every non-citizen. You're talking about the term "Allegiance". When it comes to the United States, the following is noted: On the day before the Fourteenth Amendment was enacted, Congress declared in the preamble of the Expatriation Act, "the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyments of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." and Section I one of "the fundamental principles of this government" (United States Revised Statutes, sec 1999). A natural born citizen of a different country and a legal citizen of the United States can possess dual citizenship. The same goes if a person is a natural born citizen of the United States and moves to another country, they can become a citizen. However, if the two countries become adversaries, the individual must make a choice, and renounce the citizenship of one when it comes to the allegiance. That only makes logical sense. Note, in either case, the individual is referred to as a citizen - While another country may allow a citizen to vote, the United States does not, as outlined by law.

The U.S. Army does not even allow non-citizens to join the military unless they have a Green Card, and even then, they quickly open the door to the path of citizenship for those who join.

I think it could be argued whether the reason for immigrating to the United States is to contribute to the economy. If anything, it's to find a job in the economy, because the economy is probably 10 times better than where they came from.

Lastly, the point of bringing up all the Amendments was to point out the verbiage, "Citizen" when it spoke of the "right" to vote.

In short, I find it asinine allowing a person which has demonstrated no loyalty to actively pursue citizenship in this country to participate in the political aspects of our country which will have lasting impressions on those who permanently reside within her borders. As I have said before, they could influence legislation, and later on down the line, if they don't like the system of government, up and leave. Citizenship is a privilege, not a right. There are privileges that come with citizenship. You will find the same mandate in many other countries throughout the world. When you take away those privileges, there is nothing to distinguish between a non-citizen and citizen influence in government.

So, no. Non-Citizens should not be allowed to vote. Thanks for making me do home-work, and the debate!

http://immigration-law.freeadvice.com...
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by FactvsFeeling 1 year ago
FactvsFeeling
My argument essentially states I do not condone the idea non-citizens of the United States the opportunity to vote in U.S. Elections. Personal feelings aside the Constitution and Constitutional Amendments specifically provide a clear guidance on exactly who has eligibility to vote.

Change the word 'of ' before 'the United States' to 'in'. Oversight on my part.
Posted by FactvsFeeling 1 year ago
FactvsFeeling
A mixture of both, McDavid. Thanks for the constructive criticism, Danielle. I'm pretty new at starting debates, so I'll try to word the resolution a little differently in the future.
Posted by McDavid 1 year ago
McDavid
Do you want to debate whether these problems are actually caused by the policies and leadership of the democratic party, or just whether or not there is any evidence, even inconclusive evidence, that the polices and leadership of the democratic party caused these problems?
Posted by Danielle 1 year ago
Danielle
This resolution is shoddy. You can argue anything. It should be "Democratic Policies Are Directly Responsible for Conditions of Inner Cities."
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