The Instigator
epicspeechanddebate
Con (against)
Tied
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The Contender
Kumquatodor
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should the United States allow non-citizens to vote?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,573 times Debate No: 38283
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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epicspeechanddebate

Con

Our country has been founded upon the principle that our citizens are held above the government, and that our citizens are the deciding votes in america. As born-citizens we maintain the right to vote, ad this right is extended- but only to those who earn this right. Citizens who have gone through the process of naturalization endure many tests, such as being able to understand (as in read, write, and speak) the English language, have an understanding and knowledge of both the history and form of government of the United States', prove that they are of "good moral character" by not, for example, committing a felony, take an oath of allegiance to the United States, and have been residing in the United States for at least five years and 30 consecutive months before they are considered a "citizen."
If we give the vote to non-citizens, they will not have to endure the same tests. they will not have to learn English, or understand history, they simply have to be in the United States to be able to register to vote. We cannot allow this. It's unfair to the immigrants who DO go through the naturalization process and did everything the legal way if the same result can be achieved by simply going outside of the law.
There is a second reason we should not give the vote to non-citizens in the United States: The fact that technically, it is illegal. Every state in America says that it is illegal for a non-citizen to vote. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, signed into law by President Clinton, made it a crime for any non-citizen to vote in a federal election. "SO then why are we debating this?" you might be thinking? because currently the Federal government is slowly gravitating towards allowing non-citizens to vote. In order to lay down the law and prevent our government from straying onto the wrong path, instead we must do the opposite of giving non-citizens a vote: we should instead make it a constitutional amendment that "no one is to vote in the united states that is not a natural born citizen or an immigrant that has gone through the process of naturalization and earned the right to vote."
One final reason we should not give non-citizens the right to vote is that they do not have the sufficient knowledge required to vote in a U.S. election. This does NOT mean that they are stupid, far from it. What this means, though, is that they have no knowledge of history or of the American society that is needed in order to vote in a U.S. election. This knowledge is required in order to be able to vote efficiently and in the best interests of America. Naturalized citizens have this knowledge, but people who are illegally residing in this country, or residing through a green card, do not. Therefore, is it in the best interests of the American society to allow non-citizens to vote? No. It is, in fact, our best interests to do the opposite. Thank you.
Kumquatodor

Pro

It's unfair to the immigrants who DO go through the naturalization process and did everything the legal way if the same result can be achieved by simply going outside of the law.
I know that this is probably a very hippy solution, but how about we open our borders; we let anyone in.

And what your describing is not, strictly speaking, "unfair" because legal immigrant could do the same thing. They just wanted to be a "citizen", whatever that means.

And while we're on it: why is it so hard to become a citizen. Most AMERICANS don't know basic history; what is the Battle of York? The Battle of New Orlean?

Who does it hurt if you don't know English? I mean, sure, you cannot get a job, but that isn't harming others!

And why do you have to take an oath to America? I'm an "American citizen", and I don't say the Pledge of Alliegance because I'm not strictly loyal to America. What are they going to do? Haul me away? Are they afraid that if you don't make an oath, you'll help Ada Muhammed Jitasha blow up the White House!? How would an oath stop you!?
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One final reason we should not give non-citizens the right to vote is that they do not have the sufficient knowledge required to vote in a U.S. election. This does NOT mean that they are stupid, far from it. What this means, though, is that they have no knowledge of history or of the American society that is needed in order to vote in a U.S. election. This knowledge is required in order to be able to vote efficiently and in the best interests of America.
What garuntee do we have that "American citizens" have this knoweledge? What did you know about the shutdown? How many of you had to google it to know about it?

You could say you watched the news, but the truth is, all media outlets are controlled by one corporation or another.

So where do WE get our information? And why couldn't "non-citizens" get this imformation?
Debate Round No. 1
epicspeechanddebate

Con

First of all, i'd like to thank my opponent for taking the time to write out his arguments and debate this very important topic with me. However, i'd like to bring up a few basic issues with his arguments before i defend my position.
The first thing i'd like my judges to notice is that he technically addressed none of my arguments. There are two basic reasons for why this is the case; the first reason is that those that actually talked about one of my arguments weren't really addressing them OR the topic at hand, but rather random things that had nothing to do with this debate. For example i brought up the argument that It's unfair to the immigrants who DO go through the naturalization process and did everything the legal way if the same result can be achieved by simply going outside of the law. His response was that instead we should allow anyone to cross our borders. This has nothing to do with the argument i stated, or, once again, the argument at hand. We are not talking about immigration, but rather gaining citizenship and, therefore, the right to vote. What his argument addresses is not this topic, but immigration. His other argument against this point i will address in a moment.
The second reason that he was not able to address my arguments is that instead of making arguments, he asked questions. For example, in response to my argument that non-citizens will not have the knowledge of American politics and society sufficient in order to vote effectively, he simply asked the question, "What guarantee do we have that "American citizens" have this knowledge? What did you know about the shutdown? How many of you had to Google it to know about it?" This is not an argument but rather a question. It states no evidence, it provides no analysis, it puts forward no analysis, and, overall, is NOT an argument.
Now allow me to get into my opponents "arguments." The first one to address is that it's technically not "unfair" to allow non-citizens to vote because legal immigrants could do the same thing." My response to this is that, once again, this is addressing immigration, NOT citizenship. An immigrant can come to the united states but not go through the naturalization process. Therefore they are technically "legal aliens." However, if they wan't to LEGALLY be able to vote, they have to go through the naturalization process. And for people who want to be able to legally vote, it's unfair if the same result can be achieved by simply evading the law.
His next overall argument was that the current system is to complicated. This would have to be his best argument out of all of the arguments presented. However, it has it's holes.
The first point under this argument is that we're requiring immigrants to know basic history while most Americans don't know basic history. My first response is that there was no proof. When you make a statement like the one brought forward, you need to bring evidence to support it. No evidence was brought forward, so therefore it is not a legitimate argument.
My second response is that a basic knowledge of history doesn't necessarily mean knowing things about, "The Battle of York," and "The Battle of New Orleans," but an even more basic understanding, such as why we separated from England, and generally know about important events such as the great depression and the bombing at Pearl Harbor.
His second point under this argument was that you shouldn't have to learn English to be a citizen. The reason for this is that the primary language OF the United States is English. If you don't know English, how are you going to be able to read signs, or even read information about candidates in elections, or even know what candidates are for and against?! Therefore being able to read, write, and speak English IS a legitimate requirement.
His final point under this argument was that there is no reason to require naturalized citizens to pledge themselves to America. My first response for this is that it is more of a symbolic ritual of lowering any allegiances to other countries below that of America. There is no harm to doing it, it simply is sort of an "Initiation" that naturalized citizens are put through. If they can't do something as simple as pledge themselves to America after going through the whole process, then perhaps they aren't as committed to America as they should in order to be citizens.
His next and final argument is that we have no guarantee that Americans have a knowledge of American society and politics that non-citizens won't have. This is, once again, not a real argument. However, i'd like to point out that the government shutdown is not what i mean when i say, "American Society and Politics." What i DO mean is having a knowledge of problems in our Society, issues that need to be taken care of, legislation that is being thought over, and knowing which candidates in an election support what positions. For example, i'm sure if you asked any adult in our society, 'What party is Obama," they would be answer you. Other examples include, "What is Obamacare?" and, "What is Mitt Romney's political party?" A non-citizen, who may or may not understand English, or may or may not know about American history or politics, would probably not be able to answer these questions.
In conclusion, allowing non-citizens to vote would not only be unfair to Naturalized citizens, but it would also be illogical to do so, because, as i have proved against my opponents arguments, they would not necessarily have a knowledge of English, American History and Politics, and our Society. Therefore it would be unwise to allow non-citizens to vote.
Thank you.
Kumquatodor

Pro

For example i brought up the argument that It's unfair to the immigrants who DO go through the naturalization process and did everything the legal way if the same result can be achieved by simply going outside of the law.
If "non-citizens" were allowed to vote, then it would be more fair. Anyone could vote, regardless of place of birth. That's fair.

While it is true that "citizens" had to endure (mostly pointless) tests to be able to votee, they would no longer have to, because such tests would no longer be required to vote. It would still be an equal playing field.


And, if we must use such a term, citizenship can allow a person to:
1. File for taxes
2. Get a license
3. Get insurance


So, there would still be insentives to be come a citizen.
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This is not an argument but rather a question. It states no evidence, it provides no analysis, it puts forward no analysis, and, overall, is NOT an argument.
It is the Socratic Method. I was showing you that, really, the tests are poointless because "Americans" don't always know the facts themselves.

My first response is that there was no proof. When you make a statement like the one brought forward, you need to bring evidence to support it. No evidence was brought forward, so therefore it is not a legitimate argument.My second response is that a basic knowledge of history doesn't necessarily mean knowing things about, "The Battle of York," and "The Battle of New Orleans," but an even more basic understanding, such as why we separated from England, and generally know about important events such as the great depression and the bombing at Pearl Harbor.
Behold: American citizens!






If you don't know English, how are you going to be able to read signs, or even read information about candidates in elections, or even know what candidates are for and against?!
It hurts NO ONE ELSE if you do not know English. Besides the percentage of people who would live in America without being able to communicate would very small. AND IT DOESN'T HARM ANYONE ELSE NOT TO KNOW ENGLISH!

I do not exercise. Should it be mandated that one must exercise simply because it would behoove the individual?
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My first response for this is that it is more of a symbolic ritual of lowering any allegiances to other countries below that of America.
Let's go through it:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
Not too bad a start. But why do you HAVE to be loyal to America above all else? I'M NOT!
and to the Republic, for which it stands,
What if I don't like the Republic? Why do I have to be loyal to that Republic above all else?
one nation,
Why do I HAVE to be loyal to America above all else?
Under God,
What if I'm atheistic? Or Hindu? Or Agnostic? Why do I HAVE to be loyal to God above all else?
For liberty and justice for all.
Fine. But what if I'm a Neo-Nazi? The constitution says I can be as long as I don't hurt others.

Now, I know what your saying: "It isn't literally pledging allegiance!" BUT THEN WHY EVEN CALL IT THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE?!
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If they can't do something as simple as pledge themselves to America after going through the whole process, then perhaps they aren't as committed to America as they should in order to be citizens
Who can judge that? I don't say the pledge. Should I still be a citizen?
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Debate Round No. 2
epicspeechanddebate

Con

Once again, we start of another round of debates. Here's one sad fact for the responses in this speech: They're going to be very similar to my last arguments. Because, once again, my opponent has not made no arguments, but either unrelated statements or questions. So please bear with me as we go through this last round.
First of all, his argument that anyone should be able to vote. This is the one where he stated that everyone should be able to vote. Once again, my first response is that this does not actually address the point. My response was that his response to my argument didn't actually apply. Sadly, he then took the restatement of my argument and responded to that with a similar argument. This does not apply to my actual argument, instead it was a random statement.
My final response is that he provided no evidence as to WHY we should allow non-citizens to vote. He said that we should allow them to, but provided no evidence or analysis. Simply that we should allow them to. This, in and of itself, is not an argument.
He also stated that there would still be incentives for immigrants to become citizens. Once again, an unrelated argument. I never said there wouldn't be any incentive to become a naturalized citizen, i simply said that it would be UNFAIR to the naturalized citizens. Therefore this argument does not apply.
Next, we come to the argument that it doesn't matter that there was no evidence because it was the "Socratic Method." However, he then went on to bring forward evidence, so this argument doesn't even matter. But, lets address it anyways. The reason any evidence was even required was because it was a statement that needed one. IF i state that the sky is purple and then move on to my next point, how are you supposed to believe me? You aren't, because for all you know i could be lying. Evidence is used to back up a point.
Now we move to the evidence he presented. Now, this is his best argument, i'll give my opponent that. However, there's one matter he overlooked: We don't know how these "studies," ill call them, were carried out. For all we know, they could have asked over a thousand people, and only inserted the few that couldn't answer the questions. Its not a reliable data source. And if something is unreliable, its generally excepted wisdom to not believe that source. Therefore, this evidence does not stand in this round.
His next argument was that not knowing English does not hurt anyone else except the person who doesn't know it. I have three responses. The first, which, understandably, i wont spend too much time on, is that, once again, there is no evidence. However, let's address it as a valid argument.
Now, my second response is that this argument doesn't even apply. Why? Because my opponent is, once again, off topic. The reason i was talking about speaking English is because immigrants who DO go through the naturalization process have to learn English, and that it was unfair if the same result (being able to vote) could be achieved outside the law. However, my opponent is talking about how the immigration system is needless. How does this apply? It doesn't, because we're not talking about the immigration system. We are talking about, "Should the United States allow non-citizens t vote?" not, "Should we reform the immigration system?" Therefore, this argument does not apply.
My final response is that it potentially COULD harm someone else. I gave the example of not being able to read signs. Say a non english speaking citizen was able to get a driver's licence (which does actually happen. http://www.cbsnews.com...). Now lets say they were to get on the road. If a sign said, "WARNING: CONSTRUCTION AHEAD," and they were not able to read it, they could potentially not see it coming and run over construction workers.
Now lets view this in a more indirect way. If a non-English speaking voters were to vote (besides the fact they probably would not even be able to read their ballots) they could potentially vote in an unsuitable candidate, which could have consequences. Therefore, through these examples, we can see that non-citizen, non-English speaking immigrants voting actually could harm others.
His next argument was going through the pledge of allegiance and showing how its unneeded. Now, as I've said time and time again, questions ARE NOT ARGUMENTS. However, the bulk of this argument is made up of questions! Therefore, on this point alone, this argument cannot stand. However there's one more point we need to realize.
My second response is that he's actually quoting the wrong pledge. The naturalized citizens don't say this pledge, the say the "Oath of Citizenship." Here it is:
"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."
Therefore this no longer applies. However, my opponent might then ask the question, "Once again, why do you have to put America above all else?" Lets go over this quickly: once again, ITS SYMBOLIC. If you don't believe in the words, that's fine, but if you can't even say one paragraph of words after learning English, american history, and all the other requirements, then perhaps you're not as dedicated to becoming a citizen as you should be. After all, words won't kill you, even if you don't believe in them. This also responds to my opponents final point.
In closing, Judges, i ask you to consider these questions as you read my opponents next speech: are these arguments a statement or question, and do they address the actual topic at hand.
Kumquatodor

Pro

Kumquatodor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Kumquatodor 3 years ago
Kumquatodor
I'm so sorry!

MY INTERNET WENT DOWN AT THE LAST MINUTE!

I'M SO SORRY FOR WASTING YOUR TIME!
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