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The Immigration Reform Bill introduced by the Obama government is a prudent legislative measure

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,846 times Debate No: 29844
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There is absolutely no reason to support the Immigration Reform Bill introduced by the Obama government. Not only it amnestifies approximately 11 million people, who have, in one way or another, committed an immigration offence, and thus breached the peace, but it also unjustifiably rewards criminals by offering them a path to acquiring American citizenship. The bill, if passed, would defeat the purpose of criminal law, which is deterring crime by means of punishment.
The system of immigration laws is designed in such a way as to extract the benefits of immigration and to remove its disadvantages. In particular, it carefully sifts through the immigrant pool, allowing desirable groups of people, such as highly-skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs, athletes, etc., in, while keeping the undesirable ones, such as criminals, low-skilled workers, etc. out. It is necessary to help curb unemployment, crime, and other socio-economic problems, that immigration causes. The only way to discourage illegal immigration is by strict enforcement and credible threats of deportation with a permanent entry ban, sometimes preceded by imprisonment. The new immigration bill seeks to undermine the consistency of immigration law enforcement, which is fatal to the whole ratio behind the prudent management of immigration.
It is also unfair to the legal immigrants, who have patiently waited in the queue and fulfiled all the necessary requirements imposed by the immigration authorities, while the other haven't done anything to deserve the honour they are being given.
As tough as it may sound, the only thing that an illegal immigrant deserves is a deportation. Full stop.


My opponent presents you a compelling case as to why President Obama"s immigration reform legislation should not enacted. However, even though their case may seem compelling, there are many reasons why this legislation should become law. I will address my opponent"s case through the following method. First, I will provide two arguments addressing the rhetoric used by my opponent and those who oppose the legislation. Secondly, I will address my opponent"s case on a point by point basis. I will demonstrate both factual inaccuracies of their case as well as demonstrate the positive impacts of the legislation. Finally, I will present an argument outlining the political ramifications of President Obama"s legislation.

My opponent"s case begins with the legal status of many immigrants in the United States. They contend that these travelers and their family are criminals who threaten the peace of our great country. They call any path to citizenship for this group of people as a reward for criminal behavior that would undermine deterrence of crime through punishment. Additionally, they claim that the only plausible solution to illegal immigration is deportation and increasing the security of our borders so that no others are able to enter without following legal procedure. However, the philosophy and rhetoric used by my opponent will not only fail to prevent illegal immigration, but also promote and extend a racist mindset that ultimately creates violence against those known as "others."

Attempts at regulating immigration flows are based on a desire to secure persons and actions outside our nation"s borders. Didler Bigo, a professor of political studies in France argues that the prevention of illegal immigration through deportation and border control "us the result of the creation of threats in which many different actors exchange their fears and beliefs in the process of making a risky and dangerous society. The professionals in charge of the management of risk and fear transfer the legitimacy they gain from struggles against terrorists towards people crossing borders. This expansion of what security is particularly important in relation to the issue of migration. The Westernization of the logics of control and surveillance of people beyond national polices is driven by the creation of a transnational field of professionals in the management of unease." Additionally, Bigo argues that attempts to define certain immigrants as "a public enemy breaking the law" passes along the notion that "illegal" immigrants must be confronted as a war enemy is confronted. When politicians in western nations with large influence promote these ideals, it spreads to other similar nations as well. (1) Additionally, when this notion of security is perpetuated and attempts to control "others" in the name protection of a country"s citizens is perpetuated, it leads to the search for new "monsters." Ultimately, this hunt for these monsters legitimizes an endless cycle of conflict and violence in the name of keeping "order." Ira Chernus, a professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado that when attempting to keep "order," the United States will use these small excuses for security to "extend its power to preserve what it already has." Eventually it prevents any plausible "way to distinguish between forces that oppose US interests and those who don"t. Everyone begins to look like a threatening monster that might have to be destroyed." This turns small or false enemies into "real enemies." Ultimately, this securitization of our borders will lead to "no hope of finding a real solution" because of "an endless battle against an enemy that can never be defeated." (2)

There are many real-life examples of how the notion of "security" in regards to fighting illegal immigration has and will continue to perpetuate violence. The political message, passed on by many conservatives within the US government, has led to the creation of "vigilante" groups who believe that there must be endless protection of our borders, through any means necessary. The "American Border Patrol" is a private organization operating in Arizona who believes that there is a secret plan by the Mexican government and its citizens to "invade" and "conquer" the Southwestern United States. Their leader, Glenn Spencer, believes that the Mexican government is "sponsoring the invasion of the United States with hostile intent." (3) Not to be outdone, a group calling themselves the "Arizona Rangers" believe that the Mexican government is sponsoring "narco-terrorism" and has approached the Arizona government seeking state approval. Their leader, J.T. Ready believes he is fighting an all-out war against illegal immigration. "We have fully automatic weapons " legally registered " grenade launchers, night vision, body armor," he said. "We"re definitely going out there fully armed and equipped." (4) The Arizona government and some national leaders have shown support for these vigilante groups in the past. This approval is what has led to a drastic rise in the number of citizen groups patrolling the border as well as an increase in the extremity of the measures used by these groups. (5) These two groups are not the only examples available. There are numerous citizen groups in the Unites States who wish to fight those crossing our borders. Based upon the belief, fabricated by politicians, that those crossing the border are a threat to national security, these groups will continue to fight until the government takes over the war. (6)
Unfortunately, the opponents of the immigration reform bill continue to perpetuate the mindset that we must protect our borders from the horror of "illegal" immigration. Additionally, these opponents also perpetuate the idea that if allowed a path to citizenship, it will further exacerbate the threats that immigrants have against US citizens. As long as this mindset is allowed to continue in our government, not only will we see an increase in violence against others, but we will also see an increase in illegal immigration as those who come to America will have to devise new ways of evading capture. These examples point to the flaws in the mindset of securing our borders. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that continues to snowball into a much larger problem. If the government passes reforms that don"t point to immigrants as "others" who pose a security risk, it would be a giant step into curbing the problem at hand. Otherwise, the government will be in an endless circle of failure. This point is echoed by Josefina Alvarez, a professor of Peace, Conflict and Democracy. Professor Alvarez states that: ""it discloses how people are actually formed by attempts to extirpate the "foreign, strange, uncanny [and] outlanish" which inevitable constitutes their very own free [(in)secure] mortal existence. But these attempts fail, for there is no stable ground that security can disclose." (7)

Unfortunately, my opponent continues to perpetuate the mindset that we must create a policy of security against others. It is this base philosophical foundation that must be eradicated. Rejecting this security logic through our argumentation and politics is the only way to escape this dilemma. When we focus on people not as others who pose threats to our security, but as people who are the same as us, we will be able to reap the benefits of friendship and effective policy. Mark Neocleous, a professor of government at Brunel explains that we must "eschew the logic of security altogether. The constant iteration of the refrain "this is an insecure world" has now become so all-encompassing that it marginalizes debates that animate political life. Struggles that arise from such differences can be fought for and negotiated, in which people might come to believe that another world is possible. Security politics simply removes this. It turns political questions into debates about security. The real task is to fight for an alternative political language which does not throw us into the arms of the state. The negative may be as significant as the positive in setting thought on new paths. It would also allow us to forge another kind of politics centered on a different conception of the good. This would perhaps be emancipatory in the true sense of the word." (8)

The second rhetorical flaw with my opponent"s case centers around one of the most controversial issues throughout the history of the United States. Racism has been a divisive issue for most all Americans in one way or another. Regardless of a person"s skin color or status in society, racial issues have shaped the United States as we know it today. Unfortunately, the views presented by my opponent will only serve to perpetuate the racism that many in the United States have sought to eliminate. The Washington Post reported that over 45% of children in the United States are either racial or ethnic minorities. Over the next few decades, this percentage will only grow due to the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States. This means that fifty years from now, over 25% of all Americans will be of Hispanic heritage. Many social scientists and politicians agree that the call for restrictions on immigration is due to fear and racism over the changing demographic of society. (9) Unfortunately, many of the opponents to Obama"s immigration reform mirror the arguments made by my opponent. The argument made by the affirmative in this debate classifies those who have immigrated to the United States without following the legal process as less "desirable." My opponent advocates that effective immigration law "sifts through the immigrant pool" to remove the "disadvantages" from society. These statements demonstrate perfectly the flaw in the ideals and arguments proposed by opponents of President Obama"s legislation. There is a widespread belief that those of Hispanic background who are in the United States because they or their parents immigrated here illegally are inferior or "second-class citizens." To continue to advocate enforcement of immigration law that includes deporting those who seemingly will be less beneficial to society is an endorsement of the type of beliefs that have been fought in America for decades. (10) Opponents of President Obama"s legislation use those of Hispanic decent in their statistics and arguments supporting their position. This is a prime example of how race is the primary issue at hand when opposing President Obama"s legislation. News reports don"t speak of those who have immigrated from Ireland or Russia. The discussion centers on the border between the United States and Mexico and those who have crossed that border themselves or those who were born in America because their family crossed that border. A former Buddhist minister reminded us on Politicusua"s website that issues of race do not always present themselves in an overt fashion. There are many times that race and heritage do play a part in decision making although it may not be apparent even to those participating in the discussion. He wrote about the change in the culture of the United States since the advent of the tea party. "For the past three years," he writes "since the rise of conservative extremism, the lack of respect among a large segment of the population for other Americans has revealed a level of contempt and hatred that is normally reserved for a hated enemy, and it informs the inherent inhumanity that is eating away at society." (11) Even the media (regardless of intention) perpetuates the racial issues behind immigration reform. The National Review, in a January 30th editorial, referred to Hispanics as "hostile" to "free enterprise." They also generalized Hispanics as "disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock." Legislation that targets the Hispanic population continues to support the social construction of "race." The implication of this type of legislation has consequences impacting our country in profound ways (regardless of intention), creating an exclusion of those who only seek to obtain a better life for themselves and their children. (12)

The impact of how race plays into politics and legislation does not limit itself to immigration policy; even though the effect on the Hispanic population derives itself primarily from policies regarding immigration. The effect on the minority population due to the constructs of race in politics ultimately finds its way into other areas of politics and law. Regardless of intention, many social policies (including welfare, education and transportation) disproportionately affect Hispanics and other minorities. This has led to an obvious segregation in society; with Caucasian Americans realizing more benefits from policy and residing primarily in non-urban geographical areas such as suburbs and minorities residing in the urban areas that suffer from poverty, crime and inadequate social services. Additionally, in many large cities, even different ethnic groups are segregated from each other. This unintended segregation, created through legislation and politics further entrenches the racial divides in society. (13)

The reforms proposed by President Obama offer a unique opportunity to not only effectively address deficiencies in the United States" immigration policy, but also to make great inroads regarding how race and heritage are effected through politics and legislation. The first step on the road to a solution is ensuring that we understand that one person in their actions or rhetoric has the ability to make a difference. When one person advocates a position or rhetoric that entrenches an ideal (regardless if positive or negative) it can infectious when presented to another person. In regards to issues that affect race and heritage, we cannot afford to forget that it has taken a long and difficult struggle for society to develop to where it is today. When we debate over changes in law and politics, failure to recognize the past struggles doom us to failure. When we recognize those struggles, we can bring upon positive change. (14) Finally, when it comes to conversing and debating about issues of race, we have an obligation to reject any mechanism or action that subjugates any person or groups of persons. If we do not, it will prevent us from resolving societal or political issues and entrench society in a permanent system of oppression. Eric Arnesn, a professor of history at George Washington University explains by saying: "Whiteness is not merely one more avenue of scholarly investigation among others, for many of its practitioners aggressively position themselves on the front lines of antiracism in the academy. Whiteness is a "poisonous system of privilege that pits people against each other and prevents the creation of common ground," Exposing, analyzing, and eradicating this pathology is an obligation that we all share, white people most of all." David Roediger decries the "empty culture of whiteness" and whiteness as a "destructive ideology." "Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity. Whiteness is, variously, a metaphor for power, a proxy for racially distributed material benefits, a synonym for "white supremacy," an epistemological stance defined by power, a position of invisibility or ignorance, and a set of beliefs about racial "Others" and oneself that can be rejected through "treason" to a racial category. For those seeking to interrogate the concept critically, it is nothing less than a moving target. (15)

In today"s debate, there are two implications that we must consider. First, the rhetoric used by the affirmative must be rejected as it continues the subjugation of a minority group, defining them as an "other" who does not deserve the same rights as all others. Secondly, the policy proposed by the affirmative directly impacts a minority group negatively, fosters the negativity of racism and directly puts racism into practice. Regardless of the argued outcome of President Obama"s immigration proposal, the affirmative must be rejected (because of their advocacy and rhetoric) in order to recognize the past struggles of those pursuing equality and ensure that the privilege of the majority ends and equality is reached. Now, we address the affirmative"s case.

The affirmative"s first argument is that the reform bill provides amnesty to over eleven million people who have committed an immigration offense. I have one response to this claim:

1.The affirmative"s claim is not necessarily true. The president"s proposal includes a guest worker program and an eventual path to citizenship. This includes being able to earn a green card after a number of years and citizenship after eight years. This is very similar to the proposal that President Bush proposed during his second term. (15) Even though the eleven million people in question have not legally completed the immigration process, they will still be subject to the laws of the United States and the individual state that they live in. If they do commit a criminal offense during their quest for citizenship they will be subject to the same punishment (including deportation) that any other person pursuing citizenship would be subject to.

The affirmative"s second argument is that the eleven million people in question have breached the peace in the United States and will be unjustifiably rewarded with the citizenship opportunity. I have five responses to this claim:

1.To say that peace has been breached is a claim without a warrant. There is not a correlation between coming into the US without a passport/visa to work and raise a family to breaching the peace. In fact, I will contend that not allowing an easier process for legal immigration causes more violence. Remember my previous example of the many vigilante groups who use automatic weapons, rocket launchers and any means necessary to protect the border. These actions are not sponsored by the state and these groups have been prosecuted for their actions. By alleviating the possibility that people will cross the border illegally, the chance of violence for "protection" of the border lessens. (4) (5) (6)
2.Focusing on border security and deportation as a punishment has a direct correlation to people attempting to enter the country illegally instead of focusing on citizenship options. This has been proven with past immigration legislation. (15)
3.Economics and poverty have a greater impact on illegal immigration as well. The primary motivator for illegal immigration is to improve quality of life and achieve the "American dream." Gaining employment at a low wage in the US provides a much higher standard of living than in their home country. The average wage of a worker in Mexico near the border is $4.15 per hour. This is much lower than the minimum wage in the United States. Free trade and other economic agreements have not done enough to change the quality of living in Mexico and discourage people from coming to America. Finally, since there are not many legal options for the people in question to immigrate to the US, there is a large "coyote" industry along the border. These "coyote" services are used to help people get around border security and enter the US. If more legal options were available for people to immigrate, earn a wage and provide for their family on both sides of the border, this would reduce the number of people attempting to immigrate illegally. (16)
4.There is also a direct correlation between poverty in Northern Mexico to the increase in drug smuggling across the border to southern states. Due to the widespread poverty in Northern Mexico, it is worth the risk for Mexican citizens to smuggle narcotics across the border. (17) In fact, even young children and teenagers risk their lives as part of the drug smuggling business in order to help earn money for their family. (18) If there was a legal and safe option for families in northern Mexico to earn money that can be sent back home from the United States, this would not only reduce the illegal means of making money, but also reduce illegal immigration. (16)
5.Remember, in order to keep a work visa, green card and to become a citizen, it requires that people maintain lawful behavior during the process. The economic benefits of working in the US reduce the possibility of illegal behavior.(15) (16)

The next argument by the affirmative is that President Obama"s proposal will defeat the purpose of criminal law, which deters crime. I have four responses to this claim.

1.There is no evidence that the chance of being punished or deported for illegally immigrating to the US prevents anyone from coming into the US. In fact, border security has increased and deportation laws have become stricter and illegal immigration has increased. (15)
2.Economics are the main issue for illegal immigration and the drug trade across the border. Current laws and economic policies are not enough to deter illegal immigration. (17) (18) The claim that punishment and deterrence would have any effect on immigration is unwarranted.
3.In general, punishment is not an effective means to deter crime. Economists and sociologists both have attempted to prove a correlation between punishment and crime without significant proof. It has been found that rehabilitation and eliminating the motivation for crime has a greater effect. (19)
4.When it comes to issues of using law to control behavior, even when laws are generated to benefit the majority, it does not lead to a deterrence of actions. In fact, the largest correlation between crime and punishment is that it prevents recidivism when people are either incarcerated or put to death. There are multiple reasons that support punishment not deterring crime. The first is that people do not intend on being caught. Even when other are caught and punished, it does not mean that the person in question will. If it was a certainty that a person would be punished, then it would have more effect on preventing a crime. Additionally, revenge also does not prevent crime because the potential benefits of the crime outweigh the punishment. (20) Applying these arguments to illegal immigration it becomes apparent that since those coming across the US border don"t expect to be caught, the potential punishments do not deter crime.

The next two arguments by the affirmative relate to how current immigration laws should act. The claim is that current law is designed to extract the benefits of immigration and remove the disadvantages. It supposedly sifts through the immigrant pool, allowing the desirable groups of people such as highly-skilled workers and profitable persons to enter the US while keeping low skilled workers and criminals out. I have nine responses to these claims.

1.This is another set of claims without warrants to support them. While certain immigration policies exist regarding students or workers, they are primarily designed to ensure that the employment is documented. In fact, The New Yorker states that "since the 1960"s, US immigration policy has been designed to encourage the immigration of family members rather than skilled workers. In 1990, the number of employment-based permanent visas was capped at a hundred and forty thousand a year. Astonishingly, that number hasn"t changed since, even though the U.S. economy is now sixty-six percent bigger, and, with the rise of India and China, the supply of global talent has grown sharply. We also cap the visa allocation for each country, regardless of size, at seven per cent of the total number of visas, so only a fraction of the applications from China and India get approved. As of 2006, more than half a million highly skilled immigrants were waiting for permanent visas, and the backlog in some visa categories was decades long." (21) This shows that even though some countries have an abundance of highly-skilled persons seeking to immigrate to the United States, current immigration policy is not designed to attract or prefer these persons.
2.It"s not just high-skilled labor through immigration that benefits the US economy. Low-skill labor also benefits the US economy. Local businesses such as contractors and real estate development benefit from the labor. Additionally, ethnic stores and services also provide an economic benefit. Finally, money transfer services (which are primarily used by lower income immigrants) are a huge boon to the economy. (22)
3.Overall, the majority of foreign workers that immigrate to the US are neither high nor low skilled workers. They supplement the current workforce in many different sectors. Additionally, they do not take jobs of US citizens, they fill needed gaps. As it comes to the eleven million illegal immigrants that would be eligible for amnesty under President Obama"s proposal will not have a negative effect on the economy. The people in question would fill gaps in the fashion that current legal immigrants do. (23)
4.Additionally, the eleven million immigrants in question will not pose a drain on the US economy through social services. In fact, they will provide more in tax revenue than current legal immigrants contribute. It is a fallacy that there would be any drain on the economy after amnesty. (23) Those who receive amnesty would also be responsible for back taxes. (24)
5.There have been many industries that have been pushing the federal government for increased visas for certain entrepreneurs as well as scientists and mathematicians that are not granted visas now. The Obama proposal grants these requests. (24) In fact, companies in the nanotechnology research and development sector have been pushing for specific legislation to work visas and citizenship opportunities for those in the nanotechnology field as well as student visas for those pursuing education that would benefit the industry. President Obama"s proposal would grant this request; creating an influx of employees to this sector. (25)
6.This influx of workers into the US nanotechnology sector will lead to a boom in the industry as the Federal Government is going to execute a program to provide permanent resident cards to those who have and who will be eligible to come into the US to work in the nanotechnology field. This is guaranteed to create huge advancements in the field as well as generate student interest in American universities that draws more employees to the field. This will further generate advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology. (25) (26)
7.This boom in the nanoscience and nanotechnology field will be an amazing benefit to humanity. Fostering the development of nanotechnology will spur "the next industrial revolution." Additionally, nanoscience and nanotechnology will lead to advances that not only increase the effectiveness of our military, but also help protect soldiers in combat through advances in material technology that can protect soldiers from bodily harm and improve medical treatment. (26)
8. There are many other amazing benefits to US advances in nanotechnology. Here is a list:
a.There are other countries that could develop nanotechnology for use as a weapon. These weapons could literally wipe out the biological population of earth. US advances in nanotech would allow us to be able to defend against these attacks. (27)
b.Nanotechnology could be used to immunize people from agents that can be used for bioterrorism or biowarfare. (27)
c.Giving the US research and development sectors an advantage in the development of nanotechnology also allows for government oversight and regulation. This prevents any misuse of nanotechnology to hurt others. (28)
d.Nanotechnology holds the key to clean energy production and clean manufacturing. These advances will allow the US to develop technology that will eliminate pollution and global warming. (28)
e.Nanotechnology will spur the development of other biotechnologies. The combined research will lead to the discovery of vaccines and cures for many diseases and sicknesses that plague humanity. (29)
f.A CRN research study concluded that new and adapting diseases will be a threat to the human race as nature has and will develop new strains of disease. The only way to be able to recognize these developments is through nanotechnology. This technology will not only allow us to understand human DNA better, but also be able to spot new pathogens in the atmosphere almost immediately. Nanotechnology will change medicine as we know it. Instead of doctors having to guess or run a multitude of tests to determine an illness, nanotechnology will lead instant answers and eliminate medical uncertainty. Not only will nanotechnology prevent extinction from an outbreak of disease, but it will make life for everyone on earth better. (30) In fact, recent early advances in nanotechnology have uncovered a method that has cured some form of cancer in animals that is being adapted to work for humans. (31)
9.The affirmative"s claim that current immigration policies target labor and educational immigrants is not a true statement. While there is some availability for high skilled labor, President Obama"s proposal will improve this policy immensely by allowing much more high skilled labor in areas where it is needed immensely. Additionally, the amnesty provision for current illegal immigrants will allow for continued supplement of the workforce as well as bringing in government revenue. This is all explained above.

My opponent"s next argument is that the only way to discourage illegal immigration is by strict enforcement and threats of deportation while also permanently banning those who are caught. They also contend that threatening imprisonment to those who are banned will also prevent illegal immigration. I have four responses to these claims.

1.Remember that my opponent does not address the root cause as to why illegal immigration has not been successfully curbed by the United States. The potential economic benefits of finding a job (regardless of legality) and being able to support a family and send money back is the root cause of illegal immigration. (17) (18)
2.Additionally, there is not any evidence that supports punishment deters illegal immigration. The current Immigration and Nationality Act includes provisions regarding punishment for illegally immigrating and/or smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States. The punishments used include imprisonment and deportation. (32) However, not only has illegal immigration continued to rise in number, but the smuggling of people across borders illegally has also grown to a billion dollar industry. Additionally, empirical evidence has shown that the stricter that immigration laws are, that the number of persons who either illegally immigrate or who are illegally trafficked actually increases. (33)
3.Turn " As previously cited, as illegal immigration across the southern border of the US increases, the violence against illegal immigration increases through the vigilante efforts by many different groups.
4.Turn " As previously cited, in order to fight the poverty in Northern Mexico, as border control becomes stricter, Mexican citizens have to turn to other illegal methods of making money. The largest of these industries (aside from immigration and human smuggling) is the drug trade. There has been a causal link proven between the strictness of immigration control and the increase in the drug trade.

The next argument by my opponent is that President Obama"s proposal seeks to undermine the consistency of law enforcement against illegal immigration and will cause the management of immigration in the US to fail.

1.There is no warrant to the claim that Obama"s new legislation will undermine the US management of immigration. In fact, the existing evidence would disagree completely. Without reforms that allow for the improvement of economics in Mexico and other countries where people attempt to illegally enter the US then there will not be any improvement in the fight against illegal immigration.
2.Empirical evidence as well as the political consensus on both sides of the aisle in Washington shows that the reforms proposed by President Obama (which are coincidentally almost identical to the reforms proposed President Bush in his second term) will be effective in the fight against illegal immigration due to improvement of the economic situation of many who are here now or who will attempt to enter the country. The evidence for this argument is cited above.
3.Additionally, it is empirically proven that as the US government attempts to fight illegal immigration through deterrence and punishment that it creates an anti-Hispanic sentiment. This sentiment becomes primarily based upon race and appearance. As demonstrated in my first argument it is prudent for the US to change not only the philosophical basis of the legislation and political motivation behind the fight against illegal immigration, but as this is done it will help change the aspect of racial tension and racism in the US.
4.The racially motivated tension and violence created because of anti-immigration laws is what undermines the success of such legislation. This shows that my opponent"s claim here is false. Passage of President Obama"s legislation will address the underlying cause of illegal immigration and backlash against the Hispanic population, solving for the issues that undermine the effectiveness of such legislation.

My opponent"s final argument is that President Obama"s proposal is "unfair" to legal immigrants who have patiently waited and fulfilled the requirements by immigration authorities.

1.The claim by the affirmative is that somehow those who will be granted amnesty would be put in front of or somehow delay the legal immigration process of those who applied first. There is not any evidence that this would take place under the new proposal. The only evidence that exists is that there either would be a separate process created in the federal government or that the new requests would be queued behind current requests.
2.Remember my previous argument that because of the limits on legal immigration now, a backlog is created. With President Obama"s proposal, it would eliminate the backlog because of the massive increase in the number of legal immigration allowed.
3.There is no warrant as to why the "fairness" described by the affirmative should be prioritized above the issues created by current immigration law. My contention is that the economic impacts of current immigration law as well as the impact of poverty in the countries where people seek to illegally immigrate are far worse than the impact of fairness against those with an education who seek to immigrate to fill "high-skill" positions. The standard of life and life expectancy in poor countries, especially Mexico leads to suffering and early death. The reason that people attempt to illegally immigrate is to change this quality of life. Suffering among children is especially prevalent. The majority of those who attempt to illegally emigrate from Mexico to the US do so in order to send money home and improve the quality of life for their family. This combined with the economic impacts that the US would receive from President Obama"s proposal in the scientific community would demonstrate that fairness should not be considered as the first priority when approving new legislation.

Now that my opponent"s case has been addressed on a point by point basis and also addressed at the philosophical level, it is important to address the political implications in the US.

First, President Obama has many issues on his agenda. At this time, immigration reform is the priority. However, the next looming issue is the US debt. The debate on the debt will include spending cuts, the looming sequester and also ways for the US to gain revenue. However, the current focus is his immigration proposal. (35) The problem for the President as he continues his agenda is that he has to find some way to overcome political opposition. Adding fuel to this fire currently is the news surrounding the released "White Paper" regarding targeted killing of leaders of groups that may threaten or oppose the US. The news that this could include killing of US citizens has led to a backlash in Washington. Regardless of the truth to these claims, it has created a hurdle for the President when passing his agenda and confirming his cabinet nominations. (36)

As the year progresses, President Obama and Congress will have to end their standoff over the budget, spending cuts and the looming sequester. If things progress without finding a way to avoid it, this sequester is going to happen. The combination of spending cuts in the sequester was never supposed to happen. However, Republicans in Washington are now willing to let it go into effect. (37) The consequences for America would be disastrous. President Obama wants to pass a spending plan with a smaller package of cuts and reforms that would allow Congress to work on entitlement and defense spending reforms. If President Obama can"t convince Congress on this point, here is what would happen to America. (38)

The American People would be the hardest hit, but not everyone would be affected by the same cuts. The sequester will go into effect at the end of February. The first and most immediate impact is that more than a million people would lose their jobs due to government spending cuts. (39) Many of these jobs are in the government itself, but many others are in businesses that would lose money either to government contracts or direct government funding. The combination of tax increases and spending cuts would cause the economy to suffer massively. It would cut entitlements such as social security, causing millions not to get their checks. (40) Additionally, the massive cuts to the US military would seriously cripple the ability for the United States to defend itself and its interests. Just one example shows that the US Air Force would have to cut flight operations by nearly 20 percent. The catastrophic impact to the military would prevent the US from stopping terrorism or even leading to war. (41)

The question remains, how can this all be avoided? The GOP has taken the smart strategy and put the impetus and potential blame on President Obama. While the President has support from his side of the aisle, he has to do something to get more of congress on board with delaying the sequester and passing a comprehensive spending proposal. (42) Republicans have admitted that if President Obama can show that he is a President willing to accomplish things, that they would be willing to take action on many issues. (43) Additionally, the public showed that they are willing to support the President when he shows that he is willing to take action. Also, the President is in what political pundits call the "honeymoon" period. This is the period where the public will rally behind the President when he has a victory and support his actions when there is a marketable benefit to the economy. The Washington Post states that right now is a key time for Obama. There is a limit on the time he has to be able to get the GOP to work with him and he can"t wait because time will run out shortly. He"s taken action on gun control, immigration is next and the budget issues should follow and they could be the toughest. However, there is a strategy that the President can use. (44)

History shows that a President who is an active leader has a better chance of passing his agenda, regardless of the popularity of the measure. In this issue of immigration reform, the President can parlay a victory over immigration into a victory over the budget measures. This is a strategy called "winners win." Steven Schier, a professor of political science at Carleton College explains how a President can use "informal power" to amass political capital for other victories. "Informal power is a function of the "political capital" presidents amass and deplete as they operate in office. Paul Light defines several components of political capital: party support of the president in congress, public approval of the president conduct of his job, the President"s electoral margin and patronage appointments." He continues by saying that "Presidents usually employ power to disrupt the political order they inherit in order to reshape according to their own agendas" presidents must force political change if they are to enact their agendas." (45) President Obama"s success in passing his immigration reform will create the political climate necessary to passing his budget reforms, thereby avoiding the sequester. Many political experts agree that this can be done.

Robert Kuttner explains that "...the essence of a president's power is "the power to persuade." Because our divided constitutional system does not allow the president to lead by commanding, presidents amass power by making strategic choices about when to use the latent authority of the presidency to move public and elite opinion and then use that added prestige as clout to move Congress." He concludes by saying: "He can also enlist the support of interest groups to pressure Congress, and use media to validate his framing of choices. Done well, all of this signals leadership that often moves the public agenda." (46) Andrew Lee, a professor at Claremont McKenna College explains that when a president creates a victory over one issue, it increases his political capital for the next issues, allowing him success. "The president may also receive political capital from increased job favorability numbers, following through with purported policy agendas, and defeating opposing party leaders (Lindberg 2004). Because political capital diminishes, a president can invest in policy and legislative victories to maintain or increase it" he said, "By investing political capital, the president assumes a return on investment." (47)
When the initial issue at hand is controversial, it makes it easier for the President to parlay that victory into the next controversial issue. Norman Ornstein explains in 2001: "The best plan is to pick two significant priorities, things that can move relatively quickly. And in an ideal world, one of them is going to be a little bit tough, where it's a battle, where you've got to fight, but then your victory is all the sweeter" use every bit of political capital you have to achieve early victories that will both establish you as a winner, because the key to political power is not the formal power that you have. Your ability to coerce people to do what they otherwise would not do. Presidents don't have a lot of that formal power. It's as much psychological as it is real. If you're a winner and people think you're a winner, and that issues come up and they"re tough but somehow you're going to prevail, they will act in anticipation of that. Winners win. If it looks like you can't get things done, then you have a steeply higher hill to climb with what follows. And as you use your political capital, you have to recognize that for presidents, political capital is a perishable quality, that it evaporates if it isn't used. That's a lesson, by the way, George W. Bush learned firsthand from his father. That if you use it and you succeed, it's a gamble, to be sure, you'll get it back with a very healthy premium." (48)

The political agenda facing congress and President Obama shows that if Obama can get a win on immigration, it will lead to positive action on the budget. Helping the President in this fight includes the previously stated facts that the government will be able to bring in tax revenue for the past eleven years from over eleven million people seeking amnesty. This will help a budget proposal pass as well. In conclusion, it is always important to consider the political ramifications of any policy as it affects the congressional agenda.

I want to thank my opponent for this debate and I look forward to his response.


(1)" Bigo: "Security and immigration: Toward a critique of unease." - 2000 "
(2)" Chernus "Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin." " 2006
(3)" Anti-Defamation League: Armed Vigilante Activities in Arizona " April 25, 2005
(4)" David Neiwert " "Will Arizona give neo-Nazi border vigilantes an official blessing?"
(5)Sara Robinson " "Welcome to the State of Hate: Armed Nazis To Patrol AZ Border" " June 17, 2010 -
(6)Jeff Neumann, July 17, 2010 " "Neo Nazi Leads Vigilante Arizona Border Patrol: "We"ll Kill Them.""
(7)Josefina Alvarez, "Rethinking (in)security discourses from a critical perspective." " " 2006
(8)Mark Neocleous " "Critique of Security" " 2008
(9)Massimo Calabresi " Washington Correspondent " Time Magazine " "Is Racism Fueling the Immigration Debate " May 17, 2006
(10) Elise Foley, Huffington Post " "Obama to Make Major Immigration Moves Next Week" January 25, 2013
(11) "President Obama Maintains His Dignity When Faced With Racist and Bigoted Attacks" -
(12) Warren J. Blumenfeld, Professor of Education, "Immigration Policy and Racism" " Huffington Post " February 1, 2013
(13) Kevin Kuswa, "Professor of Communication Studies" " "Suburbification, Segregation and the Consolidation of the Highway Machine" " The Journal of Law in Society, June 28, 2012
(14) Moya Lloyd, Professor of political theory at Loughborough University, "Radical Democratic Activism and the Politics of Resignification" " Constellations Journal, Vol. 14 " June 26, 2012
(15) John Avalon " "Immigration Reform Proposal Shows Similar Ideas Between Bush and Obama" " January 31, 2013 -
(16) US Immigration Support Website " "Illegal Immigration from Mexico" " 2013 -
(17) Chris Humphrey " London School of Economics " "Narcotics, Economics and Poverty in the Southern States"
(18) Itza Varela Huerta, Writer for La Jornada (Mexico City) " "Mexican Scholar Says the State Offers Poor Juveniles Two Options: Drug Trafficking or Emigrate" " 2011 -
(19) Tullock " "Does Punishment Deter Crime" " Summer 1974 - (Abstract)
(20) BW Holmes " "Crime and Punishment" " 1999 -
(21) James Suroweicki, "The Track-Star Economy" " The New Yorker " August 27, 2012 -
(22) Tom Donohue " CEO of US Chamber of Commerce " Free Enterprise " January 1, 2012 -
(23) Roger Pattison " "Immigration Reform 2013: Why is Amnesty Such a Dirty Word?" January 2012 -
(24) Fox News " "Obama Says Immigration Reform "within our grasp," Key Senator Raises Concern With Plan." January 29, 2013 -
(25) John Holdren " Report to the President and Congress on the Third Assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, March 12, 2010
(26) James Jay Carafano " PHD in international studies " "Nanotechnology and National Security: Small Changes, Big Impact" " Heritage Foundation -
(27) Ray Kurzweil " "Nanotechnology and Defenses" " Nanotechnology Perceptions: A Review of Ultraprecision Engineering and Nanotechnology Volume 2 Number 1 -
(28) "Nanotechnology: A Unique Opportunity to "Get it Right"" " Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars " Febuary 15, 2006 -
(29) World Transhumanist Organization " 2008 " "If These Technologies are so Dangerous, Should They Be Banned?" -
(30) "Medical Benefits of Molecular Manufacturing." " Center for Responsible Nanotechnology in 2008 -
(31) Elizabeth Landai " CNN Health Writer " "Nanotech cancer treatment shown to work in humans.: March 22, 2010 -
(32) American Patrol Reference Archive -
(33) Raimo Vayrynen " "Illegal Immigration, Human Trafficking, and Organized Crime) " Nov 28, 2005 -
(34) Kersi Shroff " Yale College " "Impact of Remittances on Poverty in Mexico" - Prepared for the Global Citizenship Conference " May 2009 -
(35) Abbi Borovitz " MSNBC " "President Obama"s Agenda" " February 5, 2013 -
(36) Sam Stein " Huffington Post " "DOJ Drones Paper: Obama"s Second-Term Cabinet, Agenda Faces New Scrutiny"
(37) Sabrina Siddiqui " Huffington Post " "Obama"s Sequester Plan: Hope Republicans Blink First" " February 5, 2013 -
(38) Alex Koppleman " The New Yorker " "Getting Serious About the Sequester" " February 6, 2013 -
(39) David Firestone " New York Times - "The Spending Brownout" " February 5, 2013 -
(40) Baltimore Sun " February 6, 2012 -
(41) -
(42) Aaron Blake " Washington Post " "Who is Responsible for the Sequester" " February 5, 2013 -
(43) Eleanor Clift " The Daily Beast " "sequester Looms as Democrats and GOP Make Little Effort to Resolve Impasse" " February 6, 2013 "
(44) Chris Cillizza " Washington Post " "President Obama is enjoying a second political honeymoon. But how long will it last?" " February 6, 2013 -
(45) Steven Schier " "Understanding the Obama Presidency" " The Forum " Volume 7 " 2009 -
(46) Robert Kuttner " "Barack Obama"s Theory of Power" " The American Prospect " May 16, 2012 -
(47) Andrew Lee " Professor at Claremont McKenna College " "Invest or Spend? Political Capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W. Bush Presidency" 2005 -
(48) Norman Ornstein " American Enterprise Institute " "How is Bush Governing?" " May 15, 2001 -
Debate Round No. 1


Ladies and Gentlemen:

I can already see that my opponent has an inherent contempt for rules that govern the debate. In particular, his first argument contains 50,368 characters, which is in excess of the allowed 8,000 characters. You can verify that for yourself by using one of the following websites:

I therefore plead to the honourable voters, that anything past the cut off point of 8,000 characters in his argument be disregarded for the purposes of the present debate and he is found in grave breach of the debate rules that he purported to accept. As a matter of principle, I shall not address any of the arguments posted beyond the cut off point, that is “The real task is to fight for an alternative political language which does not throw us into the arms of the state.”

Before I begin addressing the arguments that the contender (tonynation) has put forward, I would like to give some important directions to the jury as to the general principles of the law of evidence, according to which the present debate shall be judged.

Firstly, the contender has expressed support for the motion that “The Immigration Reform Bill introduced by the Obama government is a prudent legislative measure.” Thus, he implicitly seeks to point out considerable inadequacies in the current immigration law of the United States of America and seeks to claim that the Immigration Reform Bill would change the current immigration laws for the better. For that reason, tonynation shall be known as the claimant.

I seek to defend the current state of immigration law in the United States of America. I advocate no change whatsoever, but seek to prevent changes, such as the Immigration Reform Bill, and for that reason I shall refer to myself as the defendant.

The claimant, who advocates a positive change to the current state of affairs, therefore, bears the legal burden of proof. In other words, he has to prove, that the Immigration Reform Bill is better than the system we are stuck with today, or else his case automatically fails, if no evidence is put forward to that effect.

The defendant, bears the so called evidential burden of proof. This means that should he choose to be completely silent and not to introduce any evidence, whatsoever, against the immigration reform in question, his case does not fail, unless the claimant discharges his legal burden of proof. The defendant may also raise a valid defence in favour of the current state of affairs, which must be rebutted by the claimant in addition to discharging his legal burden of proof, otherwise the claimant's case shall fail.

The standard of proof for both the defendant and the claimant shall be balance of probabilities.

I shall now proceed to provide a short summary of the claimant's inadmissibly long deliberations.

He seeks to suggest the following:

1). The agenda of controlling migration perpetuates the mindset of a "witch hunt" and has led to several vigilante groups, such as the American Border Patrol.

If that statement were true, then you would expect to find similarly notorious groups in other countries with tight immigration laws, such as the UK, for example. In fact, no vigilante groups similar in terms their size and disrepute are found to be existent in the UK. The case extends to Australia.

2). The same agenda leads to racism

Well, there is simply no evidence. I do not count opinions of individual professors, cherry-picked by the claimant, as empirical evidence. Why on Earth would you blame a set of immigration laws for racism, rather than the particular person's inner qualities? There is no logical pathway from a system of tough and tight immigration laws, that is implemented for the sake of economic development, to racism. It is equally hard and difficult for a British citizen to receive a US entry visa, just as it is for a Mexican citizen. Racists happen to be among the supporters of tight immigration, but there is also no reason why they would object to, for example, economic prosperity or public order. Are those two paradigms also undesirable, because they happen to be supported by people who are racist?

Unfortunately, at this stage, the opponent has reached the cut off point of 8,000 characters, and I will ask him to rephrase his arguments and reintroduce them in this round to comply with the terms and conditions of this particular debate. They are there for a reason.

Character Count: 4,523



tonynation forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Andrew_UK forfeited this round.


tonynation forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by tonynation 5 years ago
Oops! That's embarrassing! But it's my first debate here so I was bound to mess something up. So I guess it's up to my opponent. We can redo it and I'll have my response up here today, we can do this debate with 8000 words instead of characters or just go on and let the voters decide.
Posted by KroneckerDelta 5 years ago
Are you sure you weren't counting words? Because I get 50,368 characters (with spaces) and 42,362 (without spaces) and count 8,099 words.
Posted by tonynation 5 years ago
7195 according to microsoft word.
Posted by KroneckerDelta 5 years ago
That was less than 8,000 characters???
Posted by tonynation 5 years ago
Yea, but I'll take it anyway.
Posted by KroneckerDelta 5 years ago
This is a pretty typical circular argument made by conservatives: immigrants broke the law so we shouldn't give them amnesty. If the law is changed and/or retroactively dismissed, then this renders this argument moot (since then they would NOT have broken the law). This is conservatives way of skirting the issue which is that our immigration laws are not agile enough to allow for legal immigration.

Also, the fact that we blindly accept "illegal" immigrants from countries we deem "evil" (i.e. Cuba) makes this whole line of argument pretty inconsistent.
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