The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
37 Points
The Contender
DoubtingDave
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The U.S. shuld build and maintain a border fence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,641 times Debate No: 29535
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (8)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

A border fence should be one of the mechanisms used to control immigration and the flow of goods over U.S. borders. There are already border fences in place and they should be maintained. Border fences should be extended as needed to aid border security. This should include an approximately 700 mile double fence on the US border with Mexico.

A border fence is not needed everywhere. There are natural obstacles in some places and in other places there are less expensive enforcement techniques. The fundamental contention is that a border fence is a cost-effective part of border enforcement.

The context of this debate is the present day United States. For this debate a border "fence" is broadly construed to mean any type of structural barrier.

Thanks to my opponent for accepting this debate.

In this debate I will number references sequential from the start of the debate. This allows citing a reference in a previous round by just giving the number of the reference without also giving the round number. Con need not use my numbering system.

Rules

This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. I will give the Pro case at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here for the benefit of new debaters and readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Pro may rebut previous arguments using new evidence solely for that purpose, but no new arguments are allowed. Con may not present any new evidence in R4.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.
DoubtingDave

Con

Thanks Roy for challenging me to this debate. I look forward to it and wish you the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

The political winds are changing on immigration. There is potential for reforming U.S. immigration policy to resolve the status of the large population of illegal immigrants by granting them work permits and providing a path to citizenship. The problem cannot be resolved until illegal border crossing are stopped. A border fence is a critical element in providing border security because a fence is both remarkably inexpensive and remarkably effective.

1. Border Security is Needed


Border security is needed:

1.1. To control immigration-related benefit costs. Under the Constitution government benefits must be provided to every resident of the United States, whether legal or illegal. For example, anyone can go to a hospital emergency room and receive free medical care. Children may attend public schools and receive educational benefits without regard to citizenship. Even when times are tough in the United States, job opportunities are better than in poor countries. Immigration costs taxpayers an estimated $113 B, and in some states like Texas, the costs exceed budget deficits. [1. http://tinyurl.com...] Without border security, the U.S. would be flooded with illegal immigrants, destroying the economy.

1.2. For health and safety. The U.S. controls what can be imported into the United States so as to exclude unsafe food products, lead-based paints and ceramics. It regulates trucks and aircraft for safety. It forbids travel from places suffering outbreaks of communicable diseases.

1.3. To protect against crime and terrorism. Watch lists are applied. There are visa restrictions that examine the suitability of immigrants from dangerous places in the world. Human trafficking is prohibited. "Human trafficking is the third-largest global criminal enterprise, exceeded only by drug and arms trafficking, … By some estimates, the industry is growing, and the [worldwide] illegitimate gain from the industry is as high as $32 billion per year." [2. http://tinyurl.com...]

California currently houses about 20,000 illegals in its prison system, with about three-quarters from Mexico and central America. [3. http://tinyurl.com...]

"American taxpayers are paying an estimated $2 billion this year on imprisoning immigrants, and much of those funds will go to new facilities to house the 400,000 immigrants detained annually, the Associated Press reported. Housing each undocumented immigrant costs taxpayers about $166 per night, which more than doubled since 2004." [4. http://tinyurl.com...]

Additionally, the non-immigrations crimes they committed extracted significant financial and emotional costs on their victims. The US benefits from immigrants who have needed skills and pass background checks.

1.4. To prohibit contraband. Recreational drugs are part of this, but there are also prohibitions on prescription drugs. Unregulated use of antibiotics, for example, poses a public health risk by facilitating the development of drug resistant strains. Endangered species and products derived from endangered species are prohibited. Fake prescription drugs, fake aircraft parts, fake luxury goods, and illegal use of intellectual property.

1.5. To reduce illegal arms exports. Fences work both ways, so a border fence will help control export of weapons to drug lords and other unauthorized consumers.

1.6. To collect taxes. Even if narcotics and other drugs were legalized, the US would still want to collect taxes on them. Judging from the "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco, the taxes would be steep, and well worth avoiding.

1.7 To prevent many of the 400 deaths per year in attempted illegal border crossings. [5. http://tinyurl.com...] Fences are so effective that few people attempt to breach them.

2. A border fence is effective

2.1 Most of the fence the US has built along the Mexican Border is ineffective because it can be easily traversed by climbing over it without a ladder or punching a hole thorough it. However, effective border fencing has been developed and proved. Effective fencing comprises two reinforced fences with a patrol road between them. Congress authorized building 700 miles of such fence, but only 32 miles have been built. [6. http://tinyurl.com...]

The effectiveness of the fencing is proved in San Diego where a double fence cut illegal apprehensions by 79%, even though the protected segment was only 11.8 miles long and illegals could go around the short piece. The fenced area itself is 95% effective. [7. http://www.npr.org...]

The double fencing consists of two steel walls 15 feet high and 100 yards apart. Sensors placed between the walls, including cameras, detect intruders. [8 http://www.globalsecurity.org... Additional obstacles may be included between the walls, such as barbed wire. The contained access road allows the Border Patrol to rush to an intrusion site before the intruders can traverse the second fence. One design features three rows of closely-spaced four-inch-diameter steel pipes filled with concrete and set in a reinforced concrete foundation. Other designs use welded steel walls.

Fencing less effective than the proposed double fence reduced illegal crossings by 94% in the Yuma district. A 1.5 mile strip of even-more secure triple fencing is described as "impenetrable." [9. http://www.csmonitor.com...]

2.2 While most of the existing fencing is ineffective at keeping people from crossing the border, it is effective at preventing vehicle crossing. A vehicle barrier constructed on the ecologically sensitive border of Organ Pipe Nation Monument reduced crossings to nearly zero. [10. http://www.nps.gov...]

2.3 The cost of double fence varies between $3.8 million and $10 million per mile. [11. http://tinyurl.com...] 700 miles of the fence would cost between $2.6 B and $7 B. The 2012 budget for the Department of Homeland Security is $59.7 billion. However, a fence would last for about 25 years, so the amortized construction cost would be about $ 0.2 B per year. Even when staffing and maintenance costs are added, that's a trivial part of the Homeland Security budget. Costs would be repaid if it it reduced illegal immigration costs by even a half percent.

In Israel, a 500 mile high security fence was constructed in 2003 to deter terrorism. "Pursuant to the security fence's "sole purpose of saving lives of innocent citizens who continue to be targeted by the terrorist campaign that began in 2000," there has been more than a 70 percent drop in the number of fatal casualties – … Israel is paying about $3.7 million per mile for its fence – which includes all the techno-sensors and monitors that go with it - and the castle-like structures - once all of the engineering, construction, and operational costs are calculated." [12. http://tinyurl.com...] Terrorists, willing to die in suicide bombing, are considerably more determined than either ordinary illegal immigrants or drug smugglers, yet their fence is effective.

A fence on the Egyptian-Israeli completed last year, "curb the illegal entry of migrants from Africa, reduced from more than 2,000 a month in January 2012 to fewer than 40 in December." [13. http://tinyurl.com...] The new fence cost $2.8 million per mile.

The U.S. has built quite a bit of ineffective border fencing. It should be replaced with a real, effective, double fence that will provide the security necessary for the enactment of immigration policy reform. The goal of a border fence is deterrence. No border security measure is 100% effective, yet most nations have some border security. The goal is to reduce the costs to society of uncontrolled borders. The cost of a border fence would easily be repaid even if the reduction were a small percentage.

The resolution is affirmed.

DoubtingDave

Con

DoubtingDave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

How a dual fence works

A dual fence works by slowing illegal crossings enough to permit border patrol agents to intervene. Climbing or breaching the first fence triggers an alarm and is observed on security cameras. The space between the two fences contains additional barriers, such as barbed wire, and also a road for border patrol agents to quickly reach the site of the breach. If stations are 10 miles apart, agents can use the roach reach a site in five minutes or less. That's not enough time for illegal entrants to work through the barriers and the breach the second fence.

The figure below shows the design of the 500 mile fence on the Saudi-Iraq border. In this variation of the design the access road parallels the interior fence rather than running between the fences. [from examiner.com, which credits Aztec Security consultants: 14. http://www.examiner.com...]


Diagram of double fence on Saudi Iraq border

This method of border protection is humane and effective. there are no land mines or electrified barriers; intruders are intercepted and arrested. Most remarkable a fence is an inexpensive method of providing high security. As shown in the last round, the amortized cost would be only $0.2 billion of the $59 billion Homeland Security budget.

1. Need for border security


Here are some additional references quantifying the importance of various aspects of border security.

1.4 Illicit goods. Agencies of the Department of Homeland Security report, "Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious threat to America’s economic vitality, the health and safety of American consumers, and our critical infrastructure and national security. ...The MSRP of seized goods increased from $1.11 billion in FY 2011 to $1.26 billion in FY 2012, with an average seizure value of more than $10,450." [15. http://www.cbp.gov...] The amount of intercepted goods only provides a clue to the size of the overall problem with good not intercepted.

1.5 Arms traffic. A border fence is needed to reduce the illegal trafficking of arms from the United States to Mexico. A huge cache of weapons and ammo headed to Mexico was seized near the border in Texas. The arms included "147 AK-47 rifles, bayonets and 10,000 rounds of ammunition" [16. http://www.aolnews.com...]

1.6 Tax revenues. Without border security, goods would not be declared and the taxes lost. The are large sums involved. "import tariffs are the second largest source of revenue next to the IRS." The revenue from import tariffs is $29.1 billion. [17. http://www.aolnews.com...]


2. Effectiveness of the border fence

Border fences are used in many places to protect orders. Properly designs fences are proved extremely effective.

2.1 "Though not yet complete, the security fence has been successful in reducing terrorism in Israel by more than 90%." "MANY NATIONS WORLD WIDE HAVE BUILT FENCES to separate from their neighbors for economic or security reasons. There are even numerous fences built on disputed land, including a Saudi fence begun in 2004 to cut off the smuggling of arms and people across the porous border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Some fences make good neighbors." [18. http://www.standwithus.com...]

As of January 2013, "The Ministry of Defense finished the main section of the border fence with Egypt on Wednesday. The 143 mile stretch of fence, from Kerem Shalom to Netafim, took two years to build, approximately half the time that was originally planned for its construction.

The fence has all but eliminated illegal immigration into Israel. According to statistics provided by the Prime Minister’s Office, 2,153 illegal immigrants entered Israel’s cities in January 2012 compared to just 36 in December of 2012, all of whom were placed in detention."

[19. http://www.algemeiner.com...]

"In Saudi Arabia there is a fence that was being built between that country and Iraq so they could interdict the illegal refugees from coming into Saudi Arabia, to keep them out. The Saudi don’t want them in their country, plain and simple! "Some say it is the most technologically sophisticated fence line in the entire world", says security expert Thomas Dunbar of Charlotte, N.C.

In Greece there is a fence that’s being built in that broke "bankrupt country" of Greece, between that country and Turkey, to keep the illegals that are entering into Greece from Turkey out of Greece. Even though the Greeks can’t afford it, they are building the fence to keep the illegal Turks from entering into Greece. They don’t want them in the country.

In Israel they have built a fence – they designed that fence so that it would be as reliable as possible - it has some wire also . It has got towers and they monitor it, and it has been estimated to be 99.6 % effective." [14]


This Debate

My opponent requested that I challenge him on this topic. He has forfeited R2, a conduct violation.

Arguments are continued.


DoubtingDave

Con

Roy, I greatly apologize for forfeiting. I have been busy with college and various works that I have been unable to finish my opening statment and upload it in time. I herby concede this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro

My opponent has conceded the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by jh1234l 4 years ago
jh1234l
RoyLathamDoubtingDaveTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: no arguments given by con.
Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had good arguments, Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
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Reasons for voting decision: Because chipmunks eat alfalfa sprouts
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit/concession.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Nice arguments by pro. I hope to see a redo when D.D. has time.
Vote Placed by OhioGary 4 years ago
OhioGary
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Am I reading this right? Establishment conservative arguing for the fence. Tea Party guy argues against the fence. I was hoping to see this debate play out but Con had to jump the fence so the whole thing to Pro.
Vote Placed by tmar19652 4 years ago
tmar19652
RoyLathamDoubtingDaveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Derp.