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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Should we allow children of illegal aliens to purchase government-subsidized healthcare?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 142 times Debate No: 92153
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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Our nation is in over 18 trillion dollars of debt. We can hardly afford to offer government-subsidized healthcare to our own legal citizens. So why should we give it to people who aren't even legally allowed to be here? We have become a nation of giving and welfare instead of earning and hard work. Illegal aliens should be allowed to purchase private healthcare, as it doesn't affect our government. However, our government should never give to anyone who broke the law.


I'd like to thank the Pro for instigating this debate.
All people, regardless of where they come from, deserve the right to health. Even more, a huge percentage of that population are legally obligated to receive care. The Pro's attempts to punish children for their parents' choice shows deep misunderstanding and lack of empathy. The reasons that the Pro posits as to why illegal immigrants do not deserve health care are unfounded and justify horrible crimes. With the vitality of illegal immigrants in both the workforce and the tax coffers, there's no reason why they are not entitled to the same health care.

The children of aliens are often born on American soil. Under the 14th amendment, those children are American citizens through birthright. In 2012, 6.1-7% of the population under 18 were the children of illegal immigrants [1]. Even more, 79% of the children of illegal immigrants were born within the US [2]. Thus, the Pro wants to deny health care to over 4 million innocent children. You may think that this is merely semantics, but extreme statements like the resolution the Pro proposed must be rejected through any means necessary.

The British citizens who immigrated here were not considered American; only their kin, born on American soil, were. The Constitution embodies our original precepts; nullifying one part nullifies the entire thing. Bayer, a law professor with a degree from Harvard, explains that we must uphold unalienable rights for ALL American citizens wherever they are from; otherwise, we risk marginalizing every single minority group and every single immigrant. Fundamentally, that is every single person who is not descended from Native Americans.

Health Care Expenses
Under the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), hospitals and doctors are required to serve people who are in the ER irrespective of their ability to pay or their immigration status. Uninsured, these bills go to the hospitals and to the taxpayers. This already costs taxpayers about 4.3 billion dollars per year. However, as I will show later, illegal immigrants pay 12 billion dollars in taxes annually which more than compensates for their hospital bills.

However, EMTALA only lasts until the patient is stabilized. Afterwards, whether the treatment is completed or not, they are kicked out of the hospital risking worsening the illness. Because they are uninsured, doctors are less likely to be as careful and spend as much time on them. The only way to fix this is to allow them to legally obtain government subsidized healthcare which they are already paying for through taxes [5].

Blue Collar Jobs

The Pro assumes that illegal immigrants just live off of the taxpayers' money while doing nothing productive themselves. In reality, illegal immigrants are a whopping 5.1% of the labor force. In 2012, 8.1 million illegal immigrants were either looking for work or working [2]. Keep in mind that these numbers are conservative estimates given that many illegal immigrants are too afraid to admit their status.
Aliens tend to work in lower skilled, blue collar jobs that American citizens are unwilling to take like animal slaughter or harvesting crops. Even thought the amount of illegal immigrants has declined, their percentage share in the workforce remains stable. Over 60% of illegal immigrants have been within the US for over ten years — our economy is now reliant on their cheap labor [3]. Although the Pro may make the argument that they are "stealing" these jobs from Americans, this is meaningless within this debate. They are not stealing money that "rightfully" belonged to Americans; rather, they are working in jobs that no one else is willing to take and pay their taxes on that income.
Illegal immigrants are key to the function of the economy, and they deserve the same access to medical care. Arguments about leeching off of hard-working Americans are unfounded and blatantly wrong. There's absolutely no reason why their children should suffer because they are unable to pay. There is a much higher percentage of Americans who choose to live off of welfare than there are undocumented immigrants — if anything, they should not have the same access to healthcare.

Lack of Pay and Taxes
Illegal immigrants can rarely pay for proper healthcare themselves because they already make substantially less than their American-born counterparts. The median household income is about 54,000, but undocumented workers are significantly under that at slightly less than 30,000 annually.

This is where the Pro fails the most to understand the significance of undocumented workers. Collectively, the contribute 12 billion dollars to tax revenue. Wiehe, a state tax policy director, realizes that "undocumented immigrants greatly contribute to our nation's economy, not just in labor but also with tax dollars." Their average tax rate is about 8% while the top 1% of Americans pay just 5.4% [4].

75% of the illegal immigrant population pays into Social Security even though they will not be able to access that money once they retire given that they are not legal citizens.

With their high tax rate relative to the amount of income that they have, illegal immigrants barely have the money to put clothes on their children's backs and buy enough food to sustain themselves. Wh

"Broke the Law"
The Pro completely forgets that 80% of the population they discuss did not "break the law" — they are American citizens. More often than not, even the children who were not born on American soil crossed over because of their parents. It's ridiculous to assume that a four-year-old crossed the border by him/herself.
The Pro makes the argument that those who break the law should not have access to the taxpayers' money. This justifies some extreme examples. Anyone who has ever received a speeding ticket should not be allowed to access government subsidized healthcare even though they pay taxes. Parking ticket? I guess you can no longer access much needed medical treatments and medicine. The number of laws that exist is nearly neverending, and many are just plain stupid and outdated but simply haven't been removed. There's even a law that says George Washington's body cannot be moved from his home in Mount Vernon.
All of this aside, "breaking the law" should not justify being forced to go without medical treatment. It is unnecessarily cruel to put parents in the position to watch their children suffer and die because of their attempts to make a better life.

Illegal immigrants are paid the less for the jobs that no one wants, and they still pay huge amounts of taxes on it. Even if none of that is true, their children do not deserve to be forced to go without health care simply because their parents wanted a better life for themselves. 80% of those children are legally obligated to receive government subsidized health care, and with just 30,000 dollars of annual household income, they truly need it. Illegal immigrants already pay for their healthcare by paying taxes, but by allowing them to legally receive health care, we ultimately save money by preventing costly mistakes and retreatment. Given that I have disproven the Pro's arguments that illegal immigrants are not hard-working and that those who have broken the law do not deserve healthcare, there is no reason to vote Pro.

Debate Round No. 1


trippycornflakes forfeited this round.


Beyond disappointed that the Con forfeited given the time I put into making my arguments. Alas, extend. Hopefully Con will be back for the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


trippycornflakes forfeited this round.


Again, extend. Assume that the Con agrees with all of my args; otherwise, they would have rebutted.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Elib 4 months ago
Thanks, @theobjectiveobjective !
Posted by theobjectiveobjective 4 months ago
Many good points, Elib. Appreciate the citations. Looking forward to hearing the response.
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