Resolved: Immigration policies should be expanded to compensate for a growing U.S. society
*This is open to CASmnl42. If you are not him, do not accept*
This is a serious debate. Do not ask to accept if you are not serious about this debate. It should be impossible to accept. If interested, say so in the comments and ask any necessary questions.
This is a topic of great interest to me, and one I wish to be a serious debate. I created a debate similiar to this previously, and was graciously provided with total forfeits. Now, I wish to re-open this debate and hope to have a more motivated opponent. However, this debate must be accepted by this Friday, May 15th. I would encourage responses as quickly as possible, as I will be busy in the later part of May. I'm trying to squeeze in this last debate before I become tied up with other plans.
The rules are as follows:
Trolling results in an automatic loss
Forfeiture results in an automatic loss
BoP will be shared between both sides
Counterplans are not allowed
Use a sufficient amount of evidence to back up your claims
Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere (No vulgarity)
No K's of the topic. Resolution must be accepted as is.
My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolution definitions
Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss
The round schedule will go as follows:
Round 1: [Con] Rules & Regulations [Pro] Acceptance and Presentation of Case
Round 2: [Con] Opening Arguments (No rebuttals) [Pro] Arguments and Rebuttals
Round 3: Arguments and Rebuttals [Con] Closing Statements and Rebuttals (No new arguments)
Round 4: Closing Statements and Rebuttals [Con] (No new arguments) [Pro] Ending of Arguments (No arguments or conclusions, simply accepting the debate's end)
Definitions: (as per the context of the debate)
Immigration: the migration of non-native individuals into the United States, legal or otherwise.
Expansion: the increase or renewing of current immigration policies to facilitate and encourage further immigration
Thank you in advance, and I look forward to a great debate. Good luck to whomever accepts! :)
Thank you, ColeTrain, for inviting me to this debate, particularly given the strength of the other applicants. I gladly accept, and will endeavor to live up to your hopes for a compelling debate.
Expanding immigration is good for everybody. It furthers humanitarian goals, it serves as economic stimulus, and it contributes to a free and diverse civil society. Analysts across the political spectrum  recognize that expanded immigration results in higher incomes, more tax revenue, and more new jobs for immigrants as well as native-born workers.  Increased immigration improves society - it promotes positive growth, and better equips a nation to compensate for crises.
Thus, I will be arguing for two specific policies that expand immigration and contribute to the growth, health, and stability of society:
1) expanding visas targeted at attracting educated, skilled, and entrepreneurial immigrants.
2) addressing illegal immigration by expanding immigration for non-skilled workers.
After explaining the substance of and reasons for both reforms, I will close by explaining how expanding immigration through these programs would vastly benefit everyone in the United States - citizens, residents, and guests alike.
The U.S. should attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and professionals through expanded immigration
Intel. Google. Yahoo. YouTube. eBay. Instagram. What do these companies have in common? Innovation, technology, job creation, incalculable contributions to American life and productivity? All of the above. Also, all were founded by immigrants. 
Immigrants account for some of the most productive and innovative workers in our nation. Immigrants start more than a quarter of new businesses, account for more than 20% of Fortune 500 CEOs, and employ about 10% of all Americans working in the private sector. This is particularly important in the tech field. Silicon Valley has historically attracted more foreign-born scientists and engineers than any other part of the country; more than half the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) work-force there is foreign born.  The amount of economic productivity attributable to this class of workers is astounding - from 1990 to 2010, 10-25% of the total combined productivity growth across 219 American cities was due to immigrant STEM workers. These productivity gains translate into better economies and higher wages, for all workers. 
Outside our borders, millions of educated, driven people around the world are asking for their shot, making the United States far and away "the world's most desired destination for potential migrants."  But we aren't the only country making offers - rival economies in Europe and Asia are spending billions to attract the top-level talent that once came to the United States.  Our byzantine immigration system, with its categories and quotas and lotteries, is damaging the effort to remain at the forefront of technological excellence and entrepreneurial innovation.  Hampered by visa restrictions, leading companies are unable to hire the number of skilled workers they seek. 
Thus, I would propose expanding immigration for skilled workers in three ways:
-Remove all caps and country quotas from the skilled worker H1-B visa, to allow companies to hire the skilled workers they wish to hire
-Make students who enter on F-1 visas eligible for green cards, so that we can retain the benefits of expertise provided by an American education
-Establish an entrepreneurial visa for immigrants who desire to use their resources to start job-creating American businesses.
Expand immigration for non-skilled laborers
The American illegal immigration problem is simple: we have developed a de facto guest worker program in which illegal immigrants are both exploited for their labor and yet feared as threats to economic security. This has made U.S. companies dependent on cheap foreign labor, led to long-term settlement of supposedly temporary sojourners, and created a standing population of marginalized workers. 
While the legal status of undocumented aliens already present is beyond the scope of this debate, I will argue that going forward legal immigration must be vastly expanded in order to convert the majority of those who today cross the border illegally into legal immigrants.
To begin with, let us acknowledge the contributions of illegal immigrants. They make a disproportionately large share of the U.S. labor force. Far from being leeches on government services, the vast majority of illegal immigrants are taxpayers, contributing more than $11.8 billion in just state and local taxes in 2012.  And unlike citizens, they are ineligible for many of the benefits (social security, medicaid) that they pay taxes for. They earn their keep - overall, "immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use." 
Part of what anchors illegal immigrants to long-term residency is the certain knowledge that they would be unable to return to the U.S. following deportation or even voluntary exit. So, they stay put, even if the work that brought them was only temporary or seasonal. Making it easy for immigrants to come to the U.S. to work on either a permanent or temporary basis would help reestablish a circular migration pattern between the U.S. and Mexico. 
Expanded immigration has both humanitarian and economic benefits. Apart from the stress reduction that comes from eliminating the fear of deportation (and the wrenching apart of families that necessarily entails), expanded legal immigration will make immigrants more likely to seek medical assistance when needed, or call the police when in danger. And legitimizing the presence and labor of low-skilled immigrants will make them more productive workers, increasing tax revenue and growing the economy.
The benefits of expanded immigration
Let's talk numbers. What would my suggested changes mean for our society? If these reforms were adopted - along with a path to legal status for those already here - the positive outcomes would be overwhelming. Reform would mean:
-An increase in net personal income of $10 to $12 billion per year
-An increase of $1.5 to $1.8 billion in tax revenue per year
-An increase in consumer spending sufficient to support 250,000 to 300,000 new jobs per year
-Over a decade, the additional economic activity would increase GDP by somewhere between $37 and $52 billion
-Over a decade, a cumulative reduction in the federal deficit of over $2.5 trillion 
In light of this data, expanding immigration is more than just a good idea - it is imperative if America wishes to maintain its place as a global innovator and economic leader.
With that, I turn the floor over to Con.
Thank you, Con. I have endeavoured to respond promptly given your time concerns
The purpose of US immigration law is not "to avoid an excessive population."
Con opens with a summary of current US immigration laws. Within, he claims that the primary purpose of immigration law is "to avoid an excessive population without sufficient necessities" and "prevent problems within the country itself." But my opponent's cited source does not support these contentions - instead it rather blandly states that immigration law simply determines who is an alien and who is not, and who may stay and who may not. My opponent's statement of the primary reason for immigration law is his own invention which he has read into the statutes without justification.
As it happens, defining the purposes of immigration law with any specificity is quite difficult. "Official policy goals are nowhere clearly stated, and...the nation's fundamental purposes with regard to immigration are rarely addressed." The goals of immigration policy that my opponent notes elsewhere - family reunification, admission of refuges, importing workers - are the "revealed goals of policymakers" based on the outcomes produced, but are not articulated in the law itself. 
The "primary" goal invented by my opponent - "to avoid an excessive population" - is not one of the readily identifiable goals of immigration law. At various times our immigration laws have been amended to both expand and restrict access to the US, and at various times have been viewed as either too generous or too restrictive.  My opponent has taken a rather one-sided view of this two-way street.
Increased immigration is not a burden to society.
Under contention C1, my opponent incorrectly states, without support, that "[i]nefficiency of extensive immigration has been proven over time." My opponent's argument in this section is flawed in two primary ways: 1) it suffers from an abuse of cited sources, many of which argue the opposite of what my opponent claims, and 2) it focuses narrowly and improperly on illegal immigration, while not speaking to the positive effects of expanding legal immigration
To the first point, my opponent mischaracterizes the argument of Manuel Velasquez. Velasquez, in the paragraph quoted by my opponent, was not articulating his own view, but the arguments that others make. His next words are striking: "Although this argument is popular, it has a fatal flaw." To wit:
It falsely assumes a nation has a fixed quantity of goods — including jobs. In reality, the quantity of goods a nation produces depends on many factors including the nation's productivity and the size of its labor pool. Other things being equal, the larger a nation's labor pool, the greater its productive potential. Immigrants add to a nation's labor pool, so they actually increase the nation's productive potential, thus increasing the quantity of its goods. 
Mr. Velasquez goes on to affirm my arguments that immigrants have a positive impact on the economy by making lower prices possible, by becoming new consumers in their adopted communities, and by paying taxes. 
Similarly, John W. Schoen states in his piece that "immigrants are — and have always been — a critical resource that have kept America a vibrant, entrepreneurial and forward-looking country," and asks "aren't we better off having those foreign workers come here and pay taxes like the rest of us?" Rather than oppose expanded immigration, Mr. Schoen simply argues that the 24 counties along the U.S.-Mexico border be given additional federal resources to compensate for the acknowledged strain on local resources. 
The only source that agrees with my opponent is the Martin-Ruark report, which suffers from a rather gaping methodological problem - it counts many US citizens as illegal immigrants! Specifically, the US-born children of illegal immigrants - citizens! - are counted as costing the federal government money, but the researchers acknowledge that they make no effort to calculate the "offsetting fiscal benefit" from those citizens who enter the workforce and pay taxes. These "researchers" have plainly stacked the deck to obtain their preferred result. 
Second, the problems emphasized by my opponent - to the extent they are actually problems, and not mischaracterizations - all stem from illegal immigration. The scope of this debate includes legal and illegal immigration. None of my opponent's arguments squarely address why policies that expand legal immigration create any problems whatsoever.
Immigration expansion would not foster further illegal immigration
My opponent seems to assume that reforming immigration law necessarily means "[m]aking the system more complex, and adding unnecessary facets to the system." To the contrary, I'd aim to simplify it, by eliminating needless quotas and lotteries, and all the attendant administrative burden that comes with them.
My opponent makes an odd argument about the Visa Waiver Program, a bit of US law that has come in for its fair share of bipartisan criticism. But it is not an immigration program - it is specifically designed for tourists and business travelers on short visits. It's also been a national security tool, as it has encouraged other nations to adopt more secure passport standards and share more information about potentially dangerous travellers.  The resolution, however, is about expanding immigration policies, and VWP isn't one.
Indeed, it very hard to see how increasing the availability of legal immigration could do anything but reduce illegal immigration. Those who cross the border illegally today do so under dangerous conditions, risking kidnappings and trafficking, paying coyotes, and braving predators and night river crossings - only to risk deportation if ever detected by authorities. Offer these people a safe, legal option - they'll take it.
Immigration aids the economy
[Although my opponent included an economic argument by Ting under C2, it was not germane to the contention. I address it here.]
My opponent cites Jan Ting, who asked a series of questions in an opinion piece without answering them - an effective rhetorical technique for raising doubts without actually citing facts. So let me answer his questions:
-Five million more people will be producing goods, providing services, starting businesses, and spending money, all of which grows local economies and leads to more job creation
-Immigrants do not lead to unemployment - and among some populations, cities with greater immigration from Latin America experience lower unemployment rates, lower poverty rates, and higher wages. 
While I have great respect for David Frum, he is not an economist, but a speechwriter and journalist. Even he acknowledges that the vast majority of those who are economists have found that immigration does not harm wages.  Frum has long had a habit of noticing negative economic trends and blaming them on immigrants, without ever closing the thread on how.  One might suspect ideological blinders, as the trends noted by Frum also correspond to attacks on unions and weakening of labor laws, which offer a compelling alternative explanation for reduced wages. In any case, if low-skill laborers from Mexico enter legally, they will be able to avail themselves of the protections of the FLSA, the NLRA, minimum wage laws, and other worker protections currently denied them. At present, an illegal immigrant can get paid under the table at illegally depressed rates and not be able to do anything about it. Again, the solution here is not to restrict immigration, but to expand access to legal immigration.
The Ruark report makes the same fundamental error as noted above - he assumes that jobs are a fixed resource, and gives zero consideration to any offsetting economic contributions by immigrants. 
As for Rector and Richwine, in calculating their deficit, they makes the same willful error as Ruark did earlier - counting expenditures on US citizens.  Note also that the study is not actually based on current US law, but a proposal that was never actually considered. There are many other flaws - frankly, too many to list here. A thorough takedown of the study is here:  and here:  and here . In the end, immigrants contribute far more in taxes than they take. 
My opponent is myopically focused on what he sees as the detriments of illegal immigration, as cobbled together from flawed studies and resources which in fact argue the opposite. But he has failed to offer any argument on the central point - that immigration policies should be expanded. Many of the ills my opponent attributes to immigration are, if they exist at all, symptoms of illegal immigration that would be solved by expanding immigration policy to allow all immigrants, of whatever skill level, to fully contribute to our shared economy.
[Short cites per con's practice]
 http://goo.gl..., p. 14
Due to limited character space, these arguments will likely be brief. (This is also due to time). Thanks for the quick response. :) Let's try to get this finished by noon Friday...? I won't be here after then... and I'd hate for such a great debate to die with forfeits...
Purpose of Immigration Laws
My opponent mentions that I fail to point out for what immigration is intended. He cites my own source, using it against me. However, this is false. He neglects to mention the latter part of the source, which notes, "Immigration law serves as a gatekeeper for the nation's border, determining who may enter, how long they may stay, and when they must leave."  This explicitly solidifies my stance, showing that immigration policies regulate population concerns. My "one-sided" view is in reality a general one. Controlling population is essential to development and success of a nation.  Close regulation of expanse when necessary is good, but not needed right now.
Burden to Society
The resolution and rules in the first round note that immigration is defined as legal or otherwise. This includes illegal immigration, which is a big problem. As I explain in later rounds, including these illegal immigrants as citizens is harmful and facilitates further immigration.
The sole purpose of the Velasquez article was to outline a moral argument, not to affirm the resolution. But the problem with illegal immigration is this: unemployment is already vastly out of hand. Adding "more workers to the pool" would not benefit immigrants or US citizens. As I noted later in the round, no net jobs since 2007 have gone to native-born Americans. Another study furthers this research by showing "Government data show that since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal)." 
Moreover, we find that from a general standpoint, immigrations as a whole, can be easily viewed detrimental. "Common sense, economic theory, and a fair reading of the research on this question indicate that allowing in so many immigrants (legal and illegal) with relatively little education reduces the wages and job prospects for Americans with little education... Of greater concern, the percentage of employed native-born without a high school degree fell from 53 to 48 percent in the last five years."  I apologize if this source was somewhat misleading, it was not intended to be.
My opponent argues that the Schoen source helps his side. But it does not advocate for expanded immigration, but rather that illegals not be given US benefits. The problems found from immigration are his primary concern. Furthermore, my opponent mentions that lower prices and domestic productivity will be increased. This is simply not the case. "Immigration policies that facilitate large flows of guestworkers will supply labor at wages that are too low to induce significant increases in supply from the domestic workforce."  Even a former immigrant agrees that immigration policies should not be expanded, and that too much is detrimental to the US as well. 
My opponent's concern about the Martin-Ruark report is unwarranted. The report details the effects of immigration (in this case illegal), and shows that children of illegal immigrants are this subsequent result, and often detriment. Furthermore, he asserts that I have not successfully provided why legal immigration is bad. This is discussed in my next point, and will be argued there.
Expansion = Illegal Immigration
My opponent strays from his initial view of what he intends to advocate in this debate. Note his first round where he quotes,
"I will be arguing for two specific policies that expand immigration and contribute to the growth, health, and stability of society:
1) expanding visas targeted at attracting educated, skilled, and entrepreneurial immigrants.
2) addressing illegal immigration by expanding immigration for non-skilled workers."
What he mentions doesn't *simplify* the system but expands it. He notes later a more specific plan, but part of that also encourages and increase in programs necessary to achieve his goals.
He next notes that the VWP is not relevant, yet brings the exact concept up in his 1st "point" of expansion. The VWP also allows people to enter or be in the US illegally, and thus is relevant. It also leads to illegal immigration, as the source details. He also advocates for allowing immigrants a legal option. This system already exists, and should not be expanded, as it works well. Note that the second piece of evidence details the economic, employment, and wage problems both directly and indirectly.
Immigration Harms the Economy
My opponent answers these rhetorics, but no backed by reliable evidence, only a single partisan source. These answers are not backed by economics and the evidence I have provided.  Even the system my opponent advocates for has issues in this regard. 
The site my opponent claims gives Frum's contradictory view is a basic one. He also notes the opposite. But the overarching theme of his article, sited by myself and my opponent, is that, in regards to immigration, "the national economic mood remains grimly bleak." This shows his primary support to the notion that, overall, immigration has negative effects.
Moreover, the US populace believes in an overwhelming majority that immigration hurts the US. "A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 70 percent of Americans — including 86 percent of Republicans — say illegal immigrants threaten traditional U.S. believes and customs, as well as jeopardize the economy."  We must preserve our people's happiness and beliefs, as they are often the ones that view the affect of policies implemented by our government.
Beyond this, my opponent only criticizes evidence brought up, but not directly refuting the content. Also, I've already explained how the US is forced into the position of a "fixed" resource because of the lack of employment caused by immigration.
Attracting Skilled Workers
Attracting these skilled workers, via the expanded immigration method, also facilitates more illegal and undocumented immigration that harms the economy and life of the US and its people. It is logical that if immigration is increased, the exact thing that happens today will occur. People wishing to enter the US will still exist, and seeing greater opportunity, even more people will come knocking on America's door. We will then see no change in the net of people allowed entrance and those wishing to be granted legality. Still, people will enter legally, and then we have too many workers to fill our jobs.
I had hoped it would no be quite so obscure, but I will accept this policy proposition.
Expand Immigration for Non-Skilled
We must consider, as my opponent has brought up illegal aliens, that these people have broken the law. Just because they wish to seek a better life, they can do so legally, and "wait their turn" so to speak. We should not award these *criminals* with jobs and government services, has they have broken the law. Economic benefit, no matter how minute or great, should be an excuse to disregard law and punishment.
But the problem is, these benefits are rarely found.  Unemployment is essential to mention now. With unemployment as high as it is, we must use our legal US born citizens first to fill these positions. "There might be a few jobs that cannot be filled by three hundred million Americans, but one has to strain to think of such a job."  Essentially, these jobs could be filled with US workers, instead of allowing these to remain unemployed and leech government welfare. In total, the government spends an annual net of $1.03 trillion on welfare.  This far outweighs benefits of immigrants providing the sum my opponent mentioned. It is also imperative to note that some of these welfare recipients are immigrants as well. So these people may benefit in a small way, but in the scheme of things, economic detriments are prevalent and more harmful.
The stress reduction point is moot. As shown earlier, most of the US populace disagrees with expanded immigration. Immigrant stress is passed on to a higher population; US citizens.
The economic impact my opponent asserts is relevant is all hinged on the fact that immigration is done in a specific manner. He has NOT shown the correlation of these supposed economic benefits to his policy propositions he mentioned in his first round. Thus, these economic benefits cannot be accredited to the plan he has outlined.
Thus, his blatant proposal of a plan must be supported by specific evidence and logic pertaining directly to his chosen *improvements.*
On the other hand, I have conclusively shown the detriment of *expanding* immigration policies, and have upheld my side of the resolution. Since he has not done more than outline his plan, I have no material to attack in this regard. Thank you to my opponent.
*Due to time constraints, I fail to see how this debate can pragmatically be completed before my proposed time. This is unfortunate, and I hope my opponent will not fault me for external factors if I am unable to complete my end of the debate. Sincerest apologies to both my opponent and the readers.*
-- Essentially, I am rushed to complete rounds, and have not been able to perform at an adequate or optimal level. This results in less-than-par content and mistakes. So... I request that, if I am unable to complete this debate, no votes be cast. Only do this if my opponent agrees to my stipulations. Once again, I apologize.
Con has proposed that this debate be suspended and go unvoted due to time constraints on his part, but only if I agree and stipulate thereto. Due to those time constraints, this debate is effectively over after two rounds. I have not yet decided whether I should agree to my opponent's request.
I'm pretty new here, so if this is a common courtesy extended on this site, perhaps the readers can let me know via PM or in the comments. In the past, when I have faced extenuating circumstances, I have apologized and offered to concede to my opponent - in fact, the only debate I have lost to date was due to just such a concession.
From my limited perspective, this does not seem to be a case of unpredictable extenuating circumstances. My opponent set the terms of the debate, and held it open for quite some time while he selected an opponent. He set the round time at 72 hours. The debate began last Saturday, six days ago. Only after I had accepted and the first round of arguments posted on Monday did my opponent inform me that he wanted the debate finished by Friday, with two rounds of argument left to go. Although my opponent cites "external factors," this doesn't sound like something that came up suddenly - from appearances, my opponent knew that the timeframe would be tight, but did not inform me of this until after acceptance. If I had been aware in advance that the debate period would be truncated, I would not have accepted. As Con requested several times that his opponent take the debate seriously and not forfeit, I am a little taken aback now at his request.
That said, others have extended me courtesies on this site (a debate was deleted when I could not complete due to unexpected health issues), and I am mindful and appreciative of that. I strive to extend courtesy whenever appropriate. If my opponent indicates that the rushed conclusion was due to unforseeable events, I will gladly agree to the stipulation.
But based upon what I know right now, my inclination is to let the community cast ballots based on the first two rounds of arguments posted. I could certainly be convinced otherwise, as I do not wish to be needlessly harsh or violate the norms of the community. If anybody wishes to offer suggestions as to whether I should stipulate to an unvoted debate under the circumstances, I would seriously consider any guidance.
I apologize. While I knew I would be leaving soon, I did not realize how soon, and there were other issues that popped up prior to my departure. These have hindered my success and ability to post rounds coherently and effectively. So, in answer to my opponent's question, yes, things have come to this due to unforseeable events. Though mine were not health related (as my opponent's were) they were family related, and I had no idea things would go the way they did.
However, I am still willing to concede if my opponent does not agree to my terms. Once again, I apologize, and hope this never happens again. (in fact, if I know there will be time constraints, I will avoid entering a debate or instigating in the future)
Best of luck, I am leaving in 15 minutes. I'll see how this turns out after I return.