The Instigator
planck
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ErenBalkir
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Rescind the Automatic Granting of US Citizenship to Anyone Born in the US of Non Citizen Parents.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 451 times Debate No: 79114
Debate Rounds (5)
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planck

Pro

First round for acceptance and opening statements. Second for rebuttals, third for additional arguments, fourth for rebuttals, fifth for closing statements. BOP is shared.

The current right of automatic US citizenship for any person born within the United States or any of it's territories, regardless of the citizenship of his or her parents is outdated and ultimately harmful to the long term interests of the US. This provision of the 14th Amendment was primarily intended to insure the citizenship of the children of freed slaves. That situation no longer exists and the provision should be rescinded. Only the children of parents, at least one of whom is a US citizen should be accorded that right.
ErenBalkir

Con

I come from the united kingdom of great Britain and northern ireland but I am sure the principle remains the same though the history may differ. First of all, what you are proposing is that a child can be born in, say, New York, grow up there, go to school there, pay taxes there from the moment he starts working, swears allegiance to the flag at school everyday, you can even enlist in the military, buy a house and all the rest of it and still not be considered a US citizen. It is crazy! Imagine going to school with a friend who was born here and had been with you since, well forever, and he wouldn't even have rights as a citizen.

I would also be interested to know if a child would eventually get citizenship before 18. In America you (or your parents) have to pass a citizenship test but you must be 18. So that means it would be possible for you to be born here, live here for 18 years and be deported. All legally- at least under your plan! Do I even have to explain why that's bad?
Debate Round No. 1
planck

Pro

I have no objection to a liberal policy that grants U.S. citizenship to every deserving applicant. My objection is to the automatic nature of the current system. It has led to, among other things, businesses offering tour packages to pregnant foreigners for the express purpose of giving birth on US soil. See http://articles.latimes.com.... It has also led to the practice of undocumented people coming into the US in order to have children who eventually, using compassion based applications, bring the rest of their family members into the country. I"m not totally opposed to that either, only that every nation needs to have some measure of control of whom it allows into the country to receive the benefits of citizenship as well as the responsibilities. Otherwise we run the risk of eventually repeating the current Greek experience where a government is totally overwhelmed by a flood of refugees. As to the examples you provided, I would support laws offering citizenship to every high school graduate who has not been convicted of major crimes. I want a system that welcomes people but, that should be a system, not an open unguarded door.
ErenBalkir

Con

My issue is that there are so many, innumerable ways in which this could end up tearing children or families apart. If you are not a US citizen, you can be deported. So that means children who have lived their whole lives here (I should say there) can be deported. That is unequivocally wrong. If no other laws were put in place and that everything remained the same, it would be the most unfair policy ever. (e.g example of 18 year old deported that was born here). Also it puts barriers between people and children growing up if one is american while the other is seen as below them as they were never given citizenship. Another key problem is its racial element. In the UK for example islanders in the Falklands, Indian ocean islands and pacific islanders were all given citizenship regardless of race or ancestry. They were British subjects. But if you had to have some kind of ancestry in the US to be a citizen even if you have lived there your entire life, then it will be discriminatory.
Debate Round No. 2
planck

Pro

A grant of US citizenship has considerable financial value. It includes 12 years of free public education, free medical care and a host of other benefits, when needed, as well as the protection of U.S. law. It includes an ownership share of our national parks and other federal property. While we all have a moral obligation to care for the needy and homeless, that obligation doesn't include sharing property rights and tax dollars with everyone who shows up at the door - and that's precisely what we're doing when we grant citizenship. It might be the right thing to do, in many cases, but when we're about to make an offer of that degree of largesse it should be done on a case by case basis. Most Western European nations have long come to that conclusion and refuse to grant automatic citizenship. Con appears to be a kind and compassionate person but I'll bet even she would be taken aback by a homeless woman who, by reason of having birthed in Con's garden, demands a share of the property for her child.
ErenBalkir

Con

One key argument in favor of Automatic Granting of US Citizenship to Anyone Born in the US is its simplicity. If we tried to change it, it would raise so many questions that I feel you ought to answer. When can a child who was born and raised in the country get the chance to become a citizen? If something happens to that child or its family during that time, is it fair that it should be treated differently( e.g deportation, welfare, legal costs and healthcare) by the state when it has only ever know the US as its home? If citizenship was tied even more closely to ancestry, would America be deserting its multi-ethnic and international outlook? What is to stop a conservative government deporting children born and raised in the US as parties can attack migrant families without having to worry about the constitution?

universal citizenship for those born inside a nations borders was one of the key things that held the british empire together as it protected those from discrimination.
Debate Round No. 3
planck

Pro

The simplest solution to all immigration issues would be to eliminate all controls and let anyone become a citizen of whatever nation they desire. That creates more problems than it solves. Complicated issues often require complex solutions. Instead of automatically granting citizenship just for being born in the US, why not offer residency visas to children of non citizen parents, including a guaranteed citizenship hearing within a specified number of years, with the objective of treating each case on it's own merits. US citizenship has long been tied to parental national origin, not ethnicity. If your parents are citizens, so are you. US constitutional protections cover everyone on US territory regardless of citizenship. Parties who attack migrant communities in the US are subject to arrest and prosecution for violating that law regardless of the political leanings of the government in power at the time.
ErenBalkir

Con

This will be my last post here btw. Thanks for the great deabte.

The last thing I want to say is that your plan would make many people who were born and raised here subject to the whim of whoever is in government at the time and relies upon the liberal understanding of politicians. If it were not for the citizenship given to migrants born here, many republicans would not think twice about deporting them and their families. They will never put in place unbiased judges to assess each case, they would immediately deport them without hesitation. The constitution is there to ensure a government, elected by only 50% of the nation cannot be stripping/deciding who is a citizen or not. If it were up to them, all non-whites without sufficient heritage would be stripped of their citizenship. It would be setting a dangerous precedent, cost lots of resources to judge everyone individually and be at the mercy of political mismanagement.
Debate Round No. 4
planck

Pro

Cons objections to my proposal are based upon a situation in which the U .S. government is taken over by racist politicians appointing corrupt judges who strip the citizenship and deport those who fail to meet their ethnic preferences. Should that situation come to pass, this entire debate would be moot. In such a dystopian nation all laws and constitutional protections would lose their force. I'm assuming a more likely governing climate, similar to the past 50+ years. I would distinguish between the child of a parent who comes to the US for the express purpose of birthing here so as to gain citizenship before returning to their home country; and that of a child whose mother births here after seeking asylum from horrendous conditions. Those are very different situations and should be treated differently. The more undeserved citizenships we grant the less that will ultimately be available for the truly needy.

I thank my opponent for her reasoned and thought provoking arguments.
ErenBalkir

Con

Thanks great debate. And I am a "him"

The only thing I would say is that I have less faith in politics as you do.
Debate Round No. 5
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