Should illegal immigrants be given pathway to citizenship?
Debate Rounds (4)
This is the list of the top ten countries where many of the illegal immigrants are originated and their population in the US as of 2012 (1):
1) Mexico : 6,720,000
2) El Salvador : 690,000
3) Guatemala : 560,000
4) Honduras : 360,000
5) Philippines : 310,000
6) India : 260,000
7) Korea : 230,000
8) China : 210,000
9) Ecuador : 170,000
10) Vietnam : 160,000
POINT #1. Why do legal or documented immigrants have to go through a process but illegal immigrants can get ahead?
In 2014, about 1,000,000 immigrants came to the United States (2). All and many of these immigrants have to either rely on a relative, spouse or employer who are citizens to support them or the immigrants have to travel as a family all the while turn in their documents and pay for fees. Waiting for the immigration response from the embassy varies but some individuals and families have to wait for half a decade to a full decade. The visa fees along with medical check-ups, getting new passports and other fees , can cost an individual to at least $1,000-$10,000 in total but that can vary. Families have to pay much higher of course.
On the other hand, illegal immigrants can totally ignore all of this process by passing through the borders without paying a single fee unless they asked a truck driver to transport them. I know that many of them are trying to escape from hard life but this shouldn't be the primary excuse to cross the border. 1/2 of the global population (more than 3 billion) are living under $2.50 a day but at least more than 1.3 billion people are living under $1.25 a day (3). If we allow these illegal immigrants to stay in the nation, we could just allow more than 1/2 of the global population to settle in the country because a lot, I mean A LOT are probably much poorer than those who cross through the borders. To top it off, America accepts about 70-80,000 refugees every year. That is a lot of refugees plus illegal immigrants that the government have to support.
If we allow illegal immigrants to have citizenship, it is a slap on the cheek to those legal immigrants especially the individuals who are separated from their families and have to sponsor their family members after earning money. I am a Filipino and I know a lot of individuals, especially family friends, who went to the US alone sponsored by an employer and then became citizens. They have to work to sponsor each of their family member left behind.
POINT #2. Illegal immigrants COST the government and taxpayers a lot of money.
According to a 2013 report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants cost local, state and federal governments $113 billion per year. $84 billion are absorbed by the local and state governments. Here are some of the total costs the illegal immigrants have benefited from taxpayers (4):
- $52 billion educating the illegal immigrants
- $5.9 billion in medical assistance
- $4.6 billion in public assistance
According to FAIRUS, illegal immigrants do pay taxes but most of them DO NOT pay income taxes. Those who do eventually are refunded after filing tax returns. Many also claim tax credits in which they receive from US Treasury. They even send home $50 billion of remittances back to their country, and even more than $120 billion as World Bank estimates (5). Those big amount of remittances could have been spent to the many social services they depend on in which they receive $1,000 more than the legals (6). Also, Investors estimates that the Heritage Foundation found in 2013 that illegal workers pay $10,000 in taxes but use almost $24,000 in welfare with a $14,000 net per capita gain for an illegal worker (7). FAIRUS also estimated that in more than 37,000 unauthorized alien minors released from border crisis to sponsors and relatives between January 1 and July 31, 2014 that it will cost about $800 million to educate them in public schools (between kindergarten and grade twelve) (8).
Washington Star News reports that, using a data collected from 2010 by Heritage scholar Robert Rector that in accordance with Donald Trump's plan, nearly three quarters of a million dollars (about $700,000) would be regained for every illegal household that leaves (9). So if about 11 million illegal aliens are deported, more than $7,700,000,000,000 would be gained back.
I thank my opponent for allowing me the pleasure of debating him today. For this debate I shall be arguing from the stand point of why we should allow it, from the purposed status quo of total deportation. I have recently changed my views on this, so I will be arguing from Devil's Advocate in this debate.
In this section I will address the economic factors of deportation and how it would destroy the US economy.
According to the American Immigration Consil, when it comes to taxes, illegal immigrants pay their fair share. In fact, they have paid a total of $11 billion in taxes.  Recent immigration reports have shown that just from last year, the illegal immigration has increased taxation in that year alon by over $2 billion.  We can see that the illegal immigration pay taxes and though $11 billion does not seem like much, it is still a huge profit for the federal government who's budget is in a world of hurt with the US debt clock over $19 trillion. The US can use all of the tax money they can.
A study by CATO institution found that my opponent's deportation plan would shrink economic growth in the US by $250 billion a year.  This is a sure way for the US to sink back into the recession. This would also hurt people at the bottom as for those without high school diplomas and low skilled laborers would have to fill the jobs formerly held by illegals and would drive the wages, as well as the dollar down. Now what does inflation and devaluing the dollar mean for the economy you may ask. Well, people would have to spend more money, becuase of the inflation and with the devaluing of the dollar we can see that if I spent a dollar on the US maket in the 1960s it would be a whole lot more then if I spent a dollar on the US market today. Economist Gagnon has shown that devaluing of the US dollar caused by the inflation can lead to a massive increase in import prices and since we get many of our things from abroad it will be even harder to get that new XBox video game you were wanting. He also shown that it harms nation's holding our debt, because the value is worthless and makes other nation's not want to purchase from us. The US in turn raises the interest rates, but we cannot afford to raise them any higher. Why's this you may ask? If we observe the graph bellow the US interest rate on debt alone dwarfs most of the US federal budget. The US federal debt is getting so enourmously large that the US is getting to a breaking point in economic trade to were we have to pay off a massive amount of debt or commit financial suicide and raise the interest rates. If we observe the chart bellow we can see the different rates that a our interest rates will cost the US in the future. We have no choice, but cannot decend this slippery slope and further devaluing of the US dollar will harm the American economy by forcing us to lose jobs and rely more on imports causing the the nation to slide into the interest disadvantage furthering harming our nation's economy causing a world wide economic collapse greater than that of the Great Depression and rising the minimum wage will cause us to go flying off the fiscal cliff. 
The next key thing we have to look at here is the illegal immigrants jobs as well how they affect the everyday American. Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve showed that illegal immigrants, mainly from Latin America, had accounted for a sixth of the US economic growth from 2000-2007.  While in the US, illegal immigrants have been supporting their families back home while in the past year, illegal immgirants had sent home $63 billion.  This shows that they are not as "heartless" or "lazzy" as my opponent claims they are as it is impoosible to send that much home if you're living on welfare. The CBO reports that if we are to allow illegal immigrants work in the US, they will raise wages in the long hall, but deportation will lead to a decrease of our wages by 0.6%, which despite not sounding like much, is still a significant loss. 
With this being my final point I will review the final costs of deportation. If we were to deport ALL illegal immigrants in the US our nation's GDP would drop by $1.6 TRILLION!  This is a huge effect on the economy that would sink the US into another Great Depression not to mention all fo the other impacts that I have brought up this round. There is no logical reason why the US should deport all illegal immigrants, but should instead grant amnesty to those here.
7. Alan Greenspan, PhD, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, stated in his Apr. 30, 2009 testimony before the US Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security
My first argument from the previous round still stands. Why should we make other immigrants go through the legal process in which they have to submit documents, passports, medical results, etc. and pay fees if those who cross the border illegally still get citizenship nonetheless? Eventually the legal and illegal immigrant would have equal citizenship rights. In at least 12 states, illegal aliens can obtain driver's licenses (1). Like what I said from the previous round, more than 1/2 of the world, about 4 billion people are living under $2.50 a day (2). Does that mean that under our very noses, they can cross the borders, claiming they are escaping the impecunious life? Obviously, the country cannot hold 4 billion, let alone the everyday problems 300 million Americans are trying to overcome.
According to Fusion, indeed that illegal immigrants pay about $12 billion in taxes, including personal income, property and sales/excise taxes (3). However, FAIRUS suggests that those who pay their income taxes, they have much of the revenue refunded when they file tax returns (4). Illegal aliens cost local, state and federal governments, according to a 2013 report, $113 billion every year (5). Local and state governments spend $52 billion every year educating the illegal aliens. The federal government spend $5.9 billion for medical assistance and $4.6 billion for public assistance.
I showed a 2010 research by Robert Rector from Heritage Foundation through Washington Star News that for every illegal household that leaves America, about three quarters of a million dollar will be regained (6). Mr. Rector, along with fellow researcher, Jason Richwine, in a new 2013 research, estimates that a typical illegal alien is a 34 years old adult (7). The typical illegal alien will receive government benefits for 50 years and if given amnesty, the adult will receive $592,000 more in government benefits than he would in taxes in his lifetime. All illegal immigrants in their lifetime will pay about $3.1 trillion dollars but they will receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services. This leaves a fiscal deficit of $6.3 trillion dollars. In the same research, an average household receives $31,600 in government benefits every year. However, a household headed by an individual with less than a high school education receives $46,600. They also said that 11 million may not be an accurate number of illegal aliens roaming in America since there can be more than a million who have not responded to the Census. If that is true, the fiscal deficit will rise more than $6.3 trillion. Not to mention that those illegal aliens will likely bring one or both of their parents and reunite their families together in the US. I don't wanna delve deeper in that situation with an undesirable outcome.
Mr. Rector and Mr. Richwine also show that by bestowing amnesty on illegal immigrants, when they turn 65 and soon retires, they will receive $30, 500 per year in benefits, including Social Security benefits around $10,000 annually, $9,000 in Medicare, $7,600 in means-tested welfare and $3,100 in population-based benefits. An average recipient will pay about $7,800 in taxes, leaving about $22,700 per retiree. Their research also suggests that if a senior illegal alien who has been given amnesty, could be expected to receive benefits for 18 to 19 years, increasing the fiscal deficit to at least $420,000 per person. You might ask if children of illegal aliens can repay for the costs. Mr. Rector and Mr Richwine argues otherwise, stating that education achievement will be the deciding factor. Unfortunately, the outcome of the child's future might depend on the parents' educational levels. 18% of the illegal aliens' children will end up leaving high school without a high school degree and 13% are likely to finish college. Furthermore, the children themselves, on average, will become net tax consumers than taxpayers. If those children were illegal alien adults today, they would have a fiscal deficit of about $7,900 per household.
In the Maryland University report, it has been found in recent decades that illegal immigration has deflated both wages and employment rates of low-skilled American citizens in which a disproportionate number of whom are black men (8). About six in ten black men who only have a high school diploma or less are disproportionately employed in low-skilled labour market where they are more likely have a labour competition with immigrants. Professor Briggs said that since 1965, illegal immigration has contributed to lower wages and job losses for many African-Americans.
According to Wall Street Journal, economists in Arizona acknowledged that the crackdown for illegal immigrants took a hit on the state's economy but they also said that the competition for low-skilled job reduced. It benefited some of the native-born agricultural and construction workers who got raise and jobs. It has saved Arizona money on education and healthcare (9). Dr. Gordon Hanson had said that "large-scale immigration undermines wages for low-skilled workers". In his detailed research, he states that at the same time, there are increasing bids on houses and tax burdens on native income earners (10).
Why is it so necessary to provide the illegal aliens citizenship? Citizenship would only give them the right to vote which will only benefit the Democratic Party. It will give them the rights to run for elected office and federal employment that requires citizenship (11) but since 47% of illegal aliens between 29-64 years of age have not completed high school education and about 29% at the same age category have less than a 9th grade education (12), I don't think they would even get a federal employment nor have the merit to run for elected office.
If we give them a pathway to citizenship, it will be an electoral bonanza for the Democratic Party (13), according to Pew Research. The research suggests in 2012 that 31% of illegal Latino immigrants would vote for the Democratic Party and only 4% for the Republican Party. However if given the chance to naturalize, the party affiliation would be undecided. Looking at this year's election, it is clear that if illegal aliens are given pathway to citizenship, many of them will very likely support the Democratic Party in the 2020 US presidential election, judging from the 2016 Democratic National Convention where an illegal immigrant mother was with her "anchor baby" onstage, trying to convince the audience and viewers about the party's stance to illegal immigration.
For the beginning here I would just like to clarify that my last round was Opening arguments only. This round I will go over my opponent's opening arguments and see if I can get through R3 rebuttals if limits permit.
My opponent states that this is a "slap to the face" of legal immigrants, but never actually says why this is a problem nor why it is a bad thing that we should be considered with. There is no significance to this argument. He also brings up the argument of illegal immigrants not having to pay any fees. Again, he doesn't explain why this is a bad thing. They come here for free, and many can do as they please for whatever purpose. There are people being oppressed in other nations like how people were being oppressed in Cuba and refugees were coming here in the boatloads trying to escape. They came here for free, but worked hard and risked death to do so. Should we turn them back to Cuba or where-ever so they can be executed? The answer is no. My opponent's argument has no impact in the debate and should be discarded as such.
Even if they do cost tax payers money for education or what not, keep in mind this debate isn't about how we should take care of them, this is about a pathway to citizenship. This means that my opponent's arguments on education and everything else should be discounted since they are to be considered untopical in this debate since they do not apply to the resolution. When they are granted citizenship, these issues won't matter as it would be the same as doing the same for regular citizens where my opponent's scopes will move to social programs and more. My opponent's argument is too broad and untopical, so we have to see these arguments should be thrown out of today's debate. Reforming certain immigration laws will result in a boom of revenue for the government and once we give these illegal immigrants citizenship, we will see our nation's revenue skyrocket, so my opponent's argument actuall flows in my favor.
As I have previously stated, last round I have addressed only my opening arguments, this round is for rebuttals. I don't have much to refute this round. A lot of my opponent's arguments actually work for me as they only apply in the status quo unless there is reform. His argument is either we should keep the status quo and have total deportation. If we keep the status quo, we will see all of his harms still occur and probably fester or if we have total deportation, we will see our economy go down the tubes. My opponent is actually arguing against himself by showing that if his side wins, refurring to the immigration debate, we will see all these things happen. What he doesn't tell you is that all of these things occur only with his side of the debate and he never actually shows why amnesty is a bad thing. When they are given US citizenship then they will pay income taxes, be more accountable, and help our nation, while in the status quo and total deportation we will see more people avoid working and contributing so they don't risk being caught. My opponent's plan harms our country and unless amnesty is granted then we cannot see improvement, so my opponent is arguing against himself. It even solves for wages as they would then be able to work at minimum wage givng them more money and the influx of workers means there will be a greater range of consumers as they would have more and more money to spend and consumer income will rise leading to increased utility. Businesses will have to expand as they now have a new consumer base and this will create more and more jobs resulting in wages rising due to the market dettermining how much more they are worth and they are worth more than what the minimum wage is worth and will be paid accordingly.
My opponent claims that this will result in them supporting Democrats and I inquire, why is that a bad thing? The US is a democracy and the people of the US have the right to vote for whoever they please. Are we going to start scaling back voting rights, because we don't want people to vote Democrat? This argument is rediculious. He doesn't explain why having first generation immigrants running for office being a bad thing. Article 2 of the Constitution states that you have to be at least 35 years old and you have to have lived in the US for 14 years to run for office. The status quo in the Constitution safe guards any issue that my opponent may have in regards for running for office. There is no actual issue that my opponent brings up in this argument and it is one that is irrelivant in this debate.
All of my arguments from my last round stand as they attack total deportation and my opponent argues against the status quo leaving the resolution on the side of Pro completely unattacked and since new arguments can't be brought up in the last round, there is no arguments that can be brought up in regards to amnesty that are new.
With that I urge a ballot in Affirmation.
Legal immigrants go through the process, illegal aliens however do not. Legal immigrants need the patience required to wait for the response from the embassy. Illegal aliens do not. Legal immigrants have to pay for immigration fees (including the travelling costs) in which the government greatly benefit from. Illegal aliens do not. Legal immigrants who come from a poor background may wait for a very long time. Illegal aliens who are generally of poor background do not. This is not fair especially for families who travel legally as they are subjected to higher fees and longer waiting period. Illegal aliens who travel as a family do not at all. Now why should they be subjected for a pathway to citizenship and equal rights as the legal immigrants? Think of this example: Outside of America, there's a huge line of people waiting as they are going through a process where they pay, submit documents, etc. A person just went ahead and bypassed the process without anyone detecting. Now that person is getting citizenship and is subjected to the benefits as those who waited in line. I don't believe anyone in the right mind would say this is fair. Even the illegal aliens can get their own driver's licenses and buy their homes with the help of banks! (1).
My opponent mentioned refugees but there's a huge difference between refugees and illegal aliens. Refugees usually abscond from totalitarian rule and war zones. On the other hand, poverty is the main reason of why illegal aliens choose to cross the borders. We both agree that Mexicans make up half of the illegal aliens (about six million or more). Is there a current war going on in Mexico? No. Is Mexico under totalitarian rule? No. Are there social issues and poverty in Mexico? Certainly and I am not denying that but so are billions of people who are living in deep poverty aside from Mexicans. As for the Cuban refugees, an option of bringing them to another country could also be considered like Canada for example.
My opponent said that the fiscal deficit will not matter in this topic because this is about pathway to citizenship. If I can't talk about the future damages of giving citizenship to illegal aliens, then why would my opponent talk about the supposed future "damage" of not giving them citizenship? Even if the illegal aliens stay where they are and the government doesn't bother, they'll still create more damages on the run as they rely heavily on government welfare as many of them are in poor background. About 87% of of Americans have completed high school (2) and according to Robert Rector, Americans who have not completed high school tend to use the government welfare the most. Since almost 50% of illegal aliens have not completed high school and about 30% have not completed grade nine, then almost 80% of illegal immigrants will rely heavily on welfare for a long time even if given citizenship (3). My opponent said that if illegal aliens are given citizenship, they will then be able to pay income taxes. Illegal aliens receive lower annual income so that would mean lower income taxes. However, they will be eligible for earned income tax credit which is for low-to-moderate working individuals.
According to this article, illegal immigration contributes to only less than 1% of the country's wealth (4). It also lowers the wages of native-born high school drop outs by 2-5%, according to a Harvard economic professor (5). It even lowers the employment rate for minority groups such as Blacks and Native Americans. By keeping illegal aliens here, we will keep a lot of minority groups unemployed at an increasing rate and native-born skilled workers' wages even lower. The fiscal burden to legal immigrants outweigh the economic gain from illegal immigration (6). By hiring illegal aliens, not only we lower down the wages for the native-born skilled workers but we also limit the jobs for the working class since they depend on more than one job to be able to make enough money to support their families. My opponent mentioned the illegal aliens' consumerism. Mr. Norman Matloff, in his article, said that since illegal aliens receive lower wages, it also means that their consumerism is also low and that means "lower level of job creation" (7). A typical illegal immigrant's consumerism is directed to an immigrant-owned business. Mr. Matloff created an example using a Chinese woman immigrant. Since she would likely take many jobs with lower wages, she would likely buy from cheaper stores but mainly Chinese as herself like Chinese grocery stores. She would likely rent Chinese movies, get a haircut from a Chinese beauty shop, eat at Chinese restaurants and go to Chinese malls. Many of the places she goes to are immigrant-owned businesses which will only and very likely hire the same ethnicity and immigrants for their jobs there. As for this reason, illegal aliens create fewer jobs for the natives but are taking more jobs, creating a net job loss for the natives.
My opponent mentioned that illegal aliens' lower wages keep the prices of certain products lower. This is misleading. I'm going to provide an example. If an illegal alien's family receives a salary of $10,000 a year, they will likely need a lot of government welfare and services. Let's say one of the part of the $10,000 income comes from the man of the family. He works for $5/hour but his family receives twice the amount of his income for the government services and welfare. This means that the man actually receives $15/hr since he receives a lot from the government from his family's very low annual income. The consumer who thinks he is saving a lot of money from the products he is buying is only fooling himself since he is paying via higher taxes for the illegal family's "additional" income. Only the employer and the illegal alien worker are benefiting from this, on the expense of the consumer (taxpayer). So even if the wages get lower as they are deported, that would mean lesser taxes, more jobs for minorities and almost extinct fiscal debt from allowing these illegal aliens amnesty. That would also mean allowing more temporary legal working visas abroad which seem to be declining in some countries (8). The government should think of making the documents processing tougher to avoid illegal aliens flooding in in the future.
The Democratic Party do agree that illegal aliens do pay taxes (unclear which one) but they never stated which benefits will legal citizens and legal immigrants receive from allowing illegal aliens pathway to citizenship. The fiscal costs get worse as long as they step on the American soil and nothing will change economically. Many illegal aliens cannot run for elected office or federal jobs as they require English proficiency which many illegals lack. Many did not even complete their high school back in their homeland in which they likely did not even study about America. In other words, allowing them citizenship is very likely an attempt to win their votes in the future. If deportation of ALL Americans cannot be done, which I doubt, considering LEGALIZED STATUS for SOME could be a good option. Giving illegal aliens citizenship will not benefit anyone a thing. Ever.
This round is going to be brief, so I'm going to appologize ahead of time for short arguments. I would like to thank my opponent for the debate and wish him good luck.
My opponent is not entirely sure what this new purposed system will be as we can see that it seems that my opponent is only theorizing a lot of the aspects of the status quo and I agree with him that the status quo is quite bad which is why I'm arguing for the change in immigration policy to permit amnesty. My opponent states that this will be a slap in the face to immigrants, but we are not sure what other things may come with this, perhaps there will be more benefits later down the road or maybe we will see tougher immigration laws post Amnesty. My opponent does bring up these long lines and fees, but this would generally help speed people up as we will be granting amnesting to tons of people within the US and coming in will become easier for the time being. We simply can't be worried on how we hurt other people's feelings as that is not really an impact in this debate. The fact that we can see that this argument has no valid impact in the debate and it shows that there isn't really a harm means this argument holds no weight in this debate. Even if illegal aliens, which under this resolution would become citizens, can buy homes and get licenses, what's the issue? This actually helps the argument that my opponent raised earlier in the debate about how much of an issue it would be since illegal immigrants have to have government service. Under this change of the status quo, they will help our economy as well as get them off government assistance. This actually solves my opponent's own argument which means that you have to either negate both arguments or they both flow into my favor.
I do understand that refuggees are different and completely agree they are, but they are still under the same category since they would be living in the US without being actual citizens. If they are willing to become citizens under the scope of this resolution, then we would see increased government profit and economic growth. As for moving them to Canada, that may be an argument, but it is highly impossible. You cannot simply suggest that without giving or understanding the feasibility of the purposal. I had never stated that the fiscal deficet wouldn't matter. I stated that this is an issue in the status quo. There are a ton of issues in the status quo and that's why I want to fix it as well as my opponent. He doesn't have an actual plan in this debate other than show the stats of the status quo without showing disadvantages of amnesty. I do agree that this is a problem, but when given citizenship, they will seek to better their lives. That's why they came to the us and some come here just to send money back home, which was a point that I had previously brought up in my Opening arguments. My opponent makes an Appeal to Authority logical fallacy as he uses two people here in this statement to put emphasis on econ, however, I have shown previously that it may lower in the short term, but we will see an increase in the long term. I had also previously shown, and it was dropped, that many illegal immigrants tend to take jobs that no one takes and there are those who take high skill jobs, hence certain visas.
My opponent keeps making the mistake here in income. They make this much now, but under the purposed change, these numbers will increase as they will no longer get $5 per hour, but a minimum wage job will be $7.50. I do agree that employers of illegal immigrants exploit their workers which is why under this resolution when they become US citizens, that won't be an issue anymore as they would then be able to be exploited and will get all the same rights of the average American. Hence my opponent's arguments are negated and you may flow this argument to my side of the debate.
My opponent never actually stated that there is any actual issues. He continues to press that illegal immigrants vote Democrat, but what's the issue wtih this? There isn't an issue with them voting any party. The government offers many English Language Learner, ELL, classes that people can take.
With that we can see that my opponent only seems to argue about issues in the status quo and does not attack the resolution at hand. Many of his own arguments either contradict each other or actually end up supporting my own side. It is for these reasons that you should cast a ballot in Affirmation. Thank you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by JayConar 6 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Overall, I would have preferred to see the social and political issues touched on more as the focus tended to be on the economic issues. The problem with that is statistics ended up getting thrown against statistics and it ended up being the definition of statistics being manipulated to mean whatever you want them to mean, whilst both sides hesitated to actually engage with the other sides statistics, analyse them and rip them apart. That made this debate difficult to judge, and in the end I had to give it to Pro who was more relevant. Spelling and grammar was good on both sides and both behaved conscientiously towards each other and used a great number of sources. I will leave more information in the comments.
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