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Should we reform immigration to allow more immigrants in?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,437 times Debate No: 32894
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




Follow format
Round 1 is for acceptance of the challenge
Round 2 is to present your arguments
Round 3 is refuting claims of opponent
Round 4 is presenting conclusion

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Remember a debate is not to convince, but to learn other ideas, and pursue those that win out.


I accept the terms listed above. May the best man win.
Debate Round No. 1


Our nation has been founded on immigration since it’s birth. An asylum and paradise for those who look for political and religious freedom, better opportunities, and the right to live without fear. A dream to many immigrants that is fading away into the past. The cause of this injustice is an archaic system to handle immigrants which has denied many passage to the United States. While congress will not reform this archaic system, the many who aspire to come here are turned away, and are left to suffer because of petty arguments.

Before I go on, I will present the facts of the system that both the competitor and I can agree on.

  • A quota system that issues the same number of visas for each country no matter the population.

  • Allows 120,000 high skill workers

  • If you have any relative or family residing in the U.S, the number of visas allocated to your group is 480,000.

  • A eleven billion dollars spent on border security to maintain the quota system we have now

The fear of the opponents of immigration reform is that immigrants take jobs from hard working Americans. A false fear fueling an obstacle which maintains gridlock in congress. Now it is known fact that there is no shortage of high-skilled jobs in the U.S. Many positions remain unfilled, because there isn't enough supply of these workers. Many of us see this in the healthcare market. Very few doctors are available, then the price to hire one increases, therefore it inflates the value of a doctor. This has made healthcare largely a huge expense. My fear is that this happens to other markets which require high skilled worker, and can't reach them. Another argument is to let high skilled workers in is that they bring billions of dollars to the U.S. Never Mind the taxes they pay,donations to their local community, or their daily expenditure;It's the business that they bring in to the U.S. Some business actually find China an unattractive place to set up shop. An industry that will happily comply with environmental standard and duely pay the high corporate tax in turn for a highly demanded commodity, the workers. Many corporations have been discourage to come here because we can't meet their demands for the type of worker they want.

For this whole time I have been giving attention to high skilled labour, I think it's time to give attention to immigrants who barely have high school education. I say let them in too. The worker might take a job by farming the fields,working in factories, or any other low skill job. Now assume that a job is taken away from an American. A job may I remind you that will still put you under the poverty line. Now the American is out of work,and the immigrants has a job. Follow this logic. The immigrant who has a job will pay for food, water, and shelter. The money being paid will go to the companies for either reinvesting, or hiring new workers. Yes, the American who had lost their job won't have it now, but in the future there will be one waiting. I want to further emphasize in this situation, that the American here and even the immigrants should further their education, so they both have a job without resulting in someone else losing it. It would be what we call a win-win situation.

I look forward to my opponents argument.


First I would like to thank my opponent for posting this debate. Almost everyone in this nation can trace their genes back to immigrants that came to this land seeking a release from persecution and tyranny, and to pursue a better life with no need to fear their neighbors or government. North America provided shelter for the poor and downtrodden before the concept of the United States was even thought of. Today, this nation is comprised of every major culture known to man. We have Native American, Latin American, European, Asian and African cultures all contributing to the great melting pot. It is undeniable that this nation wouldn't be where it is today had immigrants not contributed to it.

People such as Albert Einstein, Joseph Pulitzer, and Andrew Carnegie, all immigrants mind you, helped put the spotlight on America, and made incredible contributions to the arts and sciences. It was immigrants who helped build the industrial wonders of the nation like the transcontinental railroad and the magnificent skyscrapers of the roaring 20s. Even today, immigrants continue to strengthen this nation, bringing new ideas and skilled labor to the table.

There has always been resistance to immigration in some form. Tensions mainly arise when immigrants have to compete with more established people over access to limited resources, such as employment opportunities. The nation has a duty to both it's citizens and potential immigrants to provide a suitable place to live. Across the world, billions of people live below the poverty line, in conditions we can't even imagine [1]. It'd be nice to help all of these people, and I don't think anyone out there truly doesn't want to, but the fact is that it just isn't logistically possible without severely harming those who are already here.

Think of the United States as a life raft for the impoverished. There are tons of people swimming with the sharks, but your boat can only hold so many people before it sinks too. You can't save everyone, but you can save some. The United States currently has a population of roughly 315,000,000 [2]. Of those, 40 million are legal immigrants [3], that's nearly 15% of the population! Every year, about 1,000,000 immigrants become naturalized citizens of the United States, and another 1,000,000 come in [4].

The United States also lets in more immigrants than the next two runner ups in the world COMBINED, Germany and Spain. Is the immigration system of the United States perfect? Absolutely not. A system this big surrounded by such a charged debate is always going to make an occasional mistake, but I think the data speaks for itself when I say the it IS one of the best systems in the world.

My opponent said that the dream of immigration is quickly fading into the past, yet as you can see in the chart above, it has never been more of a reality than it is today. Since the 1970s the immigrant population of the United States has more than quadrupled. This is due mainly to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolishes the national origins formula used by the Emergency Quota Act, and replaced it with the quota system my opponent mentioned, which allows 175,000 visas to be issued every year for every country in the world [5].

There was a time not so long ago, when the United States government placed heavy restrictions on the number of immigrants from non-Caucasian countries, this allowed the country to stay predominantly white. This system was unfair to the thousands of immigrants trying to come over from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The only way to make it fair for everybody was to set the maximum number to the same for every nation out there.

175,000 people isn't a small number. That's equivalent to the entire population of Richmond, Virginia, per country. There's a reason we don't just let an unlimited amount of immigrants in every year, they'd have nowhere to go. One of the reasons immigrants choose America over other nations is because we don't just kick them into the streets as soon as they step off the boat. They have access to government placement programs and safety nets like SSI and food stamps, they don't have to step into the great unknown all by themselves.

Especially during times like these when the government is looking to pinch pennies where ever it can, these systems would be totally overwhelmed and of no use to anybody at all. The quality of life for immigrants in the U.S. would plummet, and then the American dream really would fade from reality.

In closing, I leave you with a quote from Marquis de Lafayette, one of the first legal immigrants to the United States:
"Humanity has gained its suit; Liberty will nevermore be without an asylum."

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Debate Round No. 2


Spearos forfeited this round.


I have nothing to say in response to this forfeit. If pro posts in round three, then I'll keep my closing statements short.
Debate Round No. 3


Spearos forfeited this round.


No further statements, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited several times. Both sides gave good arguments. More empirical evidence would have been helpful though, to have more convincing arguments. But both sides used a good amount of logic, and their arguments actually didn't have a large amount of disagreement between them.