The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

The U.S. needs to clamp down on illegal immigration

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,397 times Debate No: 7825
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)




The subject of this post is:
The U.S. needs to clamp down on illegal immigration.

I, the instigator, am taking the con side of this discussion. That is, I will be arguing against the notion that "The U.S. needs to clamp down on illegal immigration."

This debate is open to any challenger to accept the "Pro" side of the debate, upon whose shoulders rests the burden of proof to establish that the U.S. needs to clamp down on illegal immigration.
My argument begins with some stipulations:
I will not argue against gang members and other violent offenders committing such acts within the U.S., but I argue that these are in a much smaller minority than are emphasized by the likes of "Lou Dobbs" of CNN, and over-emphasis distorting that exaggerates the image I will call out as xenophobic and racist.

I believe the laws against "illegal immigration" are wrong for the following reasons:
CON ARG #1:"Illegal immigration" laws determine a person to be an invalid based solely on the combination of what side of a geopolitical border they were born on and whether or not they were among the lucky few to get an overly strict number of legal permissions
CON ARG #2:"Illegal immigration" laws are hypocritical of the United States, as the United States has a history of expanding itself into areas in violation of its own accords with sovereign peoples
CON ARG #3:"Illegal immigration" laws and their selective enforcement on the Mexican border are both racist and actually harmful to national security


I believe that illegal immigration is a growing problem in the United States, and that we need to strengthen our laws against them and step up enforcement.

Some definitions

"illegal": forbidden by law or statute

"immigrate": To enter and settle in a country or region to which one is not native.


I agree that where you are born is based on luck. However, that is the main criteria that most countries use for citizenship (including the United States, with some exceptions). Citizens of a country do have some responsibilities to that country, simply because they were born, and they also receive different rights (such as suffrage). Most of the people born in a country carry a loyalty to it with them until they die. This loyalty can raise issues when obeying law enforcement and can be considered a valid reason to cut back on immigration.

I also agree that, to a certain extent, the receipt of permissions is dependent on luck. I would argue though, that this is due to needed limits on the number of immigrants into our country. The United States cannot allow everyone in. While space may not be an issue, economically, the US would quickly lose its high standard of living and job quality that makes people want to come here in the first place. Some would argue that it is necessary to completely cut off immigration, since the United States will be unable to sustain the influx long term.

This argument simply does not apply in this situation. Until Mexico is attempting to take over parts of the United States, all illegal immigration is the act of individuals, rather than a country, as you are referring to.

First, to clarify, no argument for CON can be made by stating that there are problems with selective enforcement. CON is arguing that we shouldn't FIX the selective enforcement (by clamping down).
I am interested in seeing how the laws and their enforcement is either racist or harmful however. The "racism" claim could come from the fact that "Hispanics" are "singled out" to be asked for identification, but that can easily be explained by the statistics which show that 81% of illegal immigrants are from Mexico or Latin America. Such a huge difference in numbers means that it is only logical for law enforcement officials to primarily focus on "Hispanics" in their search for illegal immigrants.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank Pro for accepting this debate and participating. However, I must correct a bit of ambiguity in his vocabulary:

"Immigrate": When one comes into your or "this" country (Basically, its a "To come here from outside")
"Emigrate": To migrate to another nation (Basically, its a "To go somewhere else")

People confuse "Immigrate" and "Emigrate" all the time. Someone who migrates from Mexico to the United States does so through /emigration/. We call this process /immigration/ because, from our perspective (not those of the "immigrants" themselves), it is immigration -- they are coming "here." From their perspective, though, it is "emigration" (they went from their home to somewhere else). Its a bit of an academic semantic argument, as I don't expect the vocabulary conflict to have significant bearing on the discussion.

Pro has concurred that the defining characteristics of being an "illegal immigrant" -- where one is born AND whether one got lucky in getting a limited number of legal documents to render them as "legal immigrants," then I submit that "illegal immigration" is the result of bad luck and not felonious, harmful intent and "illegal immigrants" should not be considered criminals in the sense that thieves, murderers or rapists are.

I further submit that illegal immigrants are a larger example of a poor person who steals food to feed his family, but in their case they don't come here to actually steal without giving, the vast majority of "illegal immigrants" put a lot of sweat and occasionally blood to do dangerous jobs for low wages to feed their families in their homeland.

It is a legitimate call of hypocricy, because it applies to a majority of Americans whose roots in the United States can be traced to its foundation (or at least pre-Manifest Destiny). There can be little question that the rights of the people living in the vast regions conquered by the U.S. had their homelands taken from them by what we would call "illegal immigration" today -- except it was "we" who now whine about immigrants from other countries

Pro seems to be a reasonably intelligent fellow, so it is baffling that Pro seems inept to have gotten my point. Was I that unclear? When we think of "border security," we often think of terrorism ... and how many 9-11 terrorist (9-11 being the biggest "security issue" today in determining our targets, etc.) How many came across the Mexican border? How many came across the Canadian border? Which has the biggest gaps? Which border is being focused on?

How many known illegal immigrants are from Canada? They are white like our majority, easier to blend in and much more tolerated. I doubt they were accurately considered in any survey on immigration because of how easily they blend in with American Caucasians, whereas Hispanics cannot. I submit to you that it is likely the statistics are inaccurate, but of course there's no way to know, so its a matter of how significant you think that is.

What % of 9-11 terrorists came across the Mexican border instead of the Canadian?


I concede the point on immigration vs. emigration while failing to see relevance.

ARG #1
Con claims that illegal immigration is the result of bad luck and not felonious, harmful.
However, by the same argument, I could also claim that it is my bad luck that I'm not the son of a billionaire and thus I have the right to steal from his children. Unless Con can prove that there are not harmful effects on the citizens of the United States (which can be considered stealing, since it is harming one person for another's gain), I believe that this analogy holds. It should also be noted that, while America is undeniably a better place to live than Mexico, they are capable of living in both countries, which changes Con's comparison of them from 'a poor person who steals food to feed his family' to a poor person who steals to gain a BETTER life. They do not have to come to our country, and it could be argued that by leaving, they are hurting their own country (by depriving it of tax revenue, labor, etc.)

ARG #2
I would still disagree with its legitimacy. When the colonists and early immigrants came to America, they were not (for the most part) breaking the law. Yes, the argument can be made that the country they were emigrating from was violating treaties and the rights of other nations, however, that is a dispute between countries, not individuals. In this case, the problem is that individuals are breaking the law, rather than countries.

ARG #3
My apologies. I thought you were referring to enforcement as in people who were already here.

The 9/11 terrorists were here legally (sort of. There were problems with regulation, over-staying visas and such, but they did go through the process).

Their status is therefore irrelevant, since they could have come from any direction and still been allowed through.

The Mexican border is policed more for the simple reason that more illegal immigrants come that way. I concede the point that the statistics might be stilted by the fact that Canadians could blend in better, but I don't see how that could overcome the fact 57% of illegal immigrants are reported to come from Mexico.
Debate Round No. 2



There is no more harm from allowing someone from another country to live and work here than there is in allowing a street bum (who is a natural-born citizen) to work and "steal a job" from you. In regards to the rest, it is false -- many of them do have sick families they cannot feed at home because Mexico is even more class-stratified than the U.S. That is, the rich own too much, leaving nothing -- not even money for food or housing -- for the lower-class mainstream laborers. They certainly get better access to health care in Mexico than the U.S., however!

Uhh, I'm not referring to the violating motherlands' laws, I'm referring to violating the native peoples that were slaughtered and pushed far from their own homelands to make way for our "Providence" and "Manifest Destiny."

Several of the terrorists were on a watch list, but because of very weak border protections on the Canadian border, that's almost a joke. They would have been far more likely to be stopped coming across the southern border.

Most marijuana in the Northern states comes from Canada. Also, the U.S. exports a lot of firearms illegal in both Mexico and Canada. In fact, the vast majority of the arms for the Mexican gang insurgency were legally purchased here in the U.S. Which is worse, poor migrants coming here to work that keeps the cost of produce low but displaces some jobs, or our "free enterprise" system arming drug gangs that threaten Mexico's stability?


ARG #1
The difference is that a street bum has the right to, as a citizen. A citizen of another country does not have that right. By giving foreign nationals that right, you would be effectively destroying the purpose of citizenship.

I concede that Mexico is corrupt and class stratified. However, I would argue that that is not the responsibility of the United States, and the majority of illegal immigrants could survive without coming to the United States.

ARG #2
I am referring to the motherland's laws however. I am saying that the fact that the emigration was legal in the motherland (and encouraged in many cases) makes the comparison invalid. Also, most of the Manifest Destiny movements were not only encouraged, but run and controlled by the government. So, again, until Mexico declares war on the United States in order to take our land, the argument does not apply.

ARG #3
For the sake of argument, I will concede that the protections are much stricter on the Mexican border. I therefore (as stated in the resolution) propose that "The U.S. needs to clamp down on illegal immigration" through the Canadian border. If what you are saying is true, then I believe that is what we should do. Thank you for providing me with an argument.

As for your argument that the vast majority of arms for the Mexican gang insurgency, that is a lie that has been perpetuated by the Mexican government. The 90% number that they throw around refers only to the firearms that are sent to the United States to see if they were made by an American gun manufacturer. Any gun that is obviously not made in America isn't sent here, and so is not included in that number.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PervRat 8 years ago
Its a matter of what border needs security improvements because of terrorism threats. Time and time again, I see Lou Dobbs pointing to the southern border and ignoring the one border that did get very deadly terrorists into the U.S.
Posted by Flare_Corran 8 years ago
9/11 was brought up by CON in
from round 2
Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
Why did PRO mention 9/11? he terrorists were here legally. Now, if the resolution was "The US needs t oregulate its immigration laws", we'd be talking a whole 'nother story.
Posted by Flare_Corran 8 years ago
Sorry about that, I got distracted and when I turned back around I forgot to add the source for the eighty percent figure. It was (
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
Haha, it wasn't. I'm really sorry but I am going to run out of time. If you would like, challenge me again and we will have a debate! I have loads of homework right now and do not have time. My apologies, challenge me if you still want to have it.
Posted by PervRat 8 years ago
C'mon, rouge. My argument couldn't be that hard. Post already, only 10 hours left before you forefeit the very first round!
Posted by PervRat 8 years ago
Take it. Take it, panda!


Posted by I-am-a-panda 8 years ago
Tempted to take this. Your second point is refutable in that the U.S. can enforce their own immigration laws, but do not have to necessarily respect them on others.
Posted by PervRat 8 years ago
Ah, I mis-understood, sorry, I thought you were saying you agreed with me but were going to take the other side, lol. I'm sure there are enough close-the-border fanatics that someone will pick it up ... I hope so ... unless they see me as too newbish and out of pity will spare my losing, lol.
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
I favorite'd the debate so that I could receive updates on arguments and comments, but I wasn't planning on participating (mostly because I agree with your position). If it's up for a while, though, I'm game =D
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by philosphical 8 years ago
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