The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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The United States Federal Government should implement an open door policy.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 440 times Debate No: 80676
Debate Rounds (4)
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This will be a economic/government debate, not a social or political debate. To clarify, I the Pro, will try to convince the voter that an open door policy would help the economy in some fashion. While the Con will try to disprove my arguments and provide arguments as to why an open door policy would harm the economy/government. Again, this is not a social/political debate.

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Intro/Arguments

Round 3: Further Arguments

Round 4: Rebuttals

I wish my opponent good luck, and I hope this will be an intriguing debate for the voter.


I gladly accept your challenge, and agree to the terms. I am not the most familiar with this avenue of debate on this website, but I will give it the ol' college try! Seeing as how this first round is simply acceptance, I believe this is all that I need to write, so I shall now see to preparing my arguments.... I eagerly await a response.
Debate Round No. 1


History: Lets start with some history, the 'Open Door' policy is no new concept to the United States. In the late 1800s to the early 1900s the United States allowed free immigration, when this was in place well over 20 million immigrants entered the U.S., mostly from Western Europe, although considerable numbers came from other regions such as China. In 1924 the U.S. started to crackdown on open immigration outside of Western Europe which lead to the ultimate decline of immigration until the year 1965, when the Immigration Reform Act passed, allowing a flood of Latin immigrants. However, we still have not experienced true open immigration since the early 20th century.

Why should we apply an Open Door policy?
There are a number of reasons as to why the United States should implement an open door policy once more. Reasons like economic prosperity/boom, higher government tax revenue,and closing the rising age gap.

How would free immigration lead to economic prosperity?
The United States is a nation of 300 million people with a low birth rate, many of us are descendant from a immigrant wanting to experience the american dream. Who are we to deny this dream to potential citizens abroad? I am sure there are millions out there that would take any chance they could get to become a citizen of the United States of America, we have the infrastructure, the institutions, and the culture that accepts any willing to work hard to achieve. And must I say, these people are one of the simplest ways America can once again experience economic well-being. How would more people equal economic success you may ask? There are many ways a nation can work its economy, the U.S. is a mixed economy with most of that economic action taking place within the service sector. A large service sector benefits greatly when more people are introduced into the economy. More people means more people buying things, more people selling things, and above all, more people innovating. Innovators such as Alexander Bell, the inventor of the telephone, or Albert Einstein, the man that spearheaded nuclear research saving millions of lives through ending WW2 faster, I could go on but time persists I don't. And if you are wondering if I have any hard proof... I do! Just look at the economic history of the United States during the years between 1880 and 1925, those years were also the years immigration was at its apex. And going back to 'the more people the better' argument, immigrants would take all the jobs that are currently being left untouched. Many would take any job they could get for it would most likely be better the best jobs they had a chance of getting back home. This is evident in today society with the Latino population. In conclusion, an 'Open Door' policy would allow for more people which can lead to a plethora of benefits not only for the immigrant, but for the nation as a whole.

Increased Government Revenue.
Now this is a rather simple concept to grasp, more citizens means more tax revenue, simple yes? Now you may be wondering "Why should I care if the government is making more money?". You should care. One, it gives the government more leverage on taxing, for example, lets say in the next 30 years there is a high influx of immigrants (50 million), the government can lower taxes on everyone for it will still be able to keep the revenue it already has, meaning less taxes for everyone, which for most people, is a good thing. Or if the government decides its time to start paying back that debt, if we had more citizens this would allow a higher tax revenue, this new found money can be used to pay of debt. Not only that but depending on the number of immigrants we could increase the budgets of some government agencies. So in summary, more immigrants=more citizens which equals to a higher tax revenue.

Closing The Rising Age Gap.
It is quite indisputable that the age gap is rising. In California they expect the number of seniors to double by the year 2030, this trend is occurring not only in California, but in other states as well. There are perceived solutions to this dilemma such as instituting a federal mandate requiring everyone to have at least 2 children, but a fix such as this would not be accepted by the american people. So another, more reliable, solution would be to implement a free immigration reform. But before I go on, if you are pondering on the fact as to why we need to worry about a rising age gap let me explain it in a simple manner. In the United States we have social programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. These programs are usually utilized by the elderly and payed for by the capable. Now if we had more elderly than capable there would be a
a big complication. So in order to fix this all we need is more people who are of working age... immigration is the right door to open in this case.

In conclusion, open immigration would bring forth economic prosperity, more leverages on taxes, and the end of the age gap. These problems are lurking over America and I believe we must look back to history for the right answers.

Note: Sorry for the rushed arguments, didn't have to much time.



First off I would like to thank my opponent for his excellent argument, and seeing as how there is room for further arguments as well as rebuttals, I will simply put forward my arguments without rebutting theirs. (Although some of my points may run at odds with theirs) I would also like to apologize for the length it took to provide my argument, but life has a way of distracting all of us.

First of all the reason why the United States cannot have open immigration is quite simply that we don"t live in the same world we used to. This will be a short intro, but that is mainly because it serves as an overview towards my other points. All this really means is that the world is a LOT different than it used to be when full immigration was allowed. There are new technologies, new ways of thinking, and new rules that define what a society is.

Now we move onto the real meat of my argument. This point regards the stress it would put on the taxpayers. In America, the top 1% of all Americans contribute 38.1% of the nation"s tax revenue. The top 50% contribute 97.2%. As for the bottom 50%, they contribute a collective 2.8% overall of the tax revenue. The people that an open immigration policy would let in will not be part of the top 50%, they will not be anywhere near as wealthy, as if they did possess this wealth they arguably could already be in the United States if they wanted. So this means that these people that come into our nation will contribute near to nothing in the grand scale of our nation regarding monetary value. In fact, these people will most likely contribute a negative amount, as they will receive a mountain of benefits, including but certainly not limited to social security, welfare, food stamps, unemployment subsidies, affirmative action programs, subsidized housing, health care subsidies, and reduced tax rates. Overall these people will contribute a net negative in tax, and would inevitably put even more stress onto an already overbearing economic redistribution system.

Next we have to look at a fundamental truth. We have to understand that the people that are coming into the country now are different than the people that were allowed in 100 years ago. America was predominately settled and inhabited by Europeans with similar moral codes. When waves of immigrants came from Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s we find that they held a
of similarities culturally, and therefore were able to become absorbed with minimal repercussions. Now with such a divide between the Modern western world and that of poorer countries, the cultural gap is massive. We find that people have a much harder time adapting to American culture, and thus create pockets of their native countries rules within America"s borders, something that defeats the purpose of immigration altogether. We find that the individuals that have come to us in the past come from not only similar overall cultures, but also similar systems of government, with minimal corruption and high amounts of legal rights, these things are not as prevalent with the current wave of immigrating groups.

Now we have another very quick point, and this is the universality of morality. And for this I just have a simple question, if there is a boat that can only hold 5 people, and there are already 4 people on it, yet 8 people are drowning in the water, are those 4 morally obligated to let all 8 on? or even just 6 on? or even 4? even 2? What if 1 more person capsizes it? What if you let 1 on, how do you decide? what if the others take that opportunity to latch on and sink you? I think where I"m going with these questions is clear. should those that are established be forced to take more into a nation if it means dragging everyone down? We have no idea what the carrying capacity of the United States is, so should we really risk dragging all down?

Next is an argument against changing the voting demographic. Arguably if we let enough immigrants in, enough to actually provide any kind of economic benefit imaginable, then we have also let enough in to change the established voting blocks. I simply pose a question" Does anyone out there think that these immigrants will continually vote to give their tax dollars to the old and the established Americans? Not to mention these individuals have a history of voting for further regulation benefitting themselves, leading to even more government expenditures, as well as voting to let even more outside individuals in, further damaging the strained systems.

Along with the last argument is another question, this being what happens when this massive block of people hits retirement age? All one is doing by letting them in for this purpose is perpetuating and strengthening a time bomb capable of destroying everyone"s wealth.

As a final point, I will hit upon economic regulation. Following the simple law of supply and demand, these people coming into the nation will shoot up the demand for available jobs. With a relatively static amount of jobs available, this will drive down wages, however now we run into a new problem, this being economic regulation. Minimum wage will prohibit wages from falling below a certain line, and when that happens the supply can"t meet the demand, leading to incredible amounts of unemployment, which will result in the government paying even more in order to support these immigrants. Businesses will also have a hard time creating jobs due to the mountains of regulations currently burdening, further hindering the economies ability to adapt to this influx.

Now that my main arguments are out, I eagerly await your response.

Works Cited:
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his participation of this debate, I wish him luck.
Note* I clicked on some of your sources Con, most of them are Error pages.

In counter to the first argument, I never said that the taxation of these immigrants would have high returns. But I have evidence from a primary source. This primary source is me, a first generation American citizen. My parents hail from the nation of Ethiopia, both lived in a middle class life style, one won a lottery ticket here and the other bought his way here. They both learned the american ways and at first were working minimum wage jobs, but within 15 years they transformed themselves into productive Americans. When their wages are combined, a total of 150,000 dollars is brought in the household, they are taxed significantly for the income they make. And it's not only my parents, most of their friends are Ethiopian immigrants as well. To go even further, one is a cardiac surgeon banking 500,000 dollars a year while owning a hospital ( and he was born in a nation with a GDP of 51 billion! What I am trying to say is that most immigrants are hard workers, they on average would integrate themselves into the american culture and become wealthy Americans to a degree. And if this primary source evidence inst enough to you, I will explain in other means. During the early 20th century immigrants would come to America for one thing... the American Dream. It is the hard workers that come to America, they've heard the stories of the American greatness and want a piece for themselves, as the case of my parents, they become american and try to achieve what they could not achieve in their homeland.

Cons 2nd argument is quite irrelevant, we are talking about the affect immigration would have on economics and government, not culture which can categorized as a social topic. It is stated in the first round by Rezamee.

I was going to call Con's third argument invalid as well, but it barely fits in since he stated "We have no idea what the carrying capacity of the United States is" this can be considered a economic issue. So the United States is a nation of 300 million people, most of our cities are quite modest when it comes to population density. And their are a plethora of jobs that currently are almost vacant such as a crab fisherman, accountants, salesman, etc. And in fact, jobs might be added with an open door policy as well as a wage increase, according to the Washington Times, if their is reformed immigration a total of 9 million jobs could be added, at the same time a 4.8 pc increase in GDP would occur and an added 1% productivity growth over the span of twenty years. Adding to this immigration would reduce the deficit by 1.2 trillion in twenty years. These immigrants would create jobs too, seeing as that a lot of small businesses are owned by immigrants.

The time-bomb is already ticking. America has very low birth rate (1.7%), and there is a rapidly growing elderly population. To supplement this, we would need more young people. And plus if their is a huge elderly population that would drastically hurt the economy, for people of low age are the ones that usually buy the most. Not the 69 year old living off social security. So in order to fix this problem an open immigration policy is needed. Unless you want the federal government walking around telling people to have kids or get fined.

In response to your final argument, immigration would in fact increase jobs and boost the economy. For one, their would be a larger population meaning more to sell to, so employers would hire more people to accommodate for the rise of population, meaning those people will go buy stuff, in turn causing employers to hire more people, you can see the cycle now. Two, like I said earlier, immigrants are capable of creating their own business;therefore, creating jobs. Three, jobs are not static, but rather flow on consumer spending, if people are buying a lot, we will see a rise in jobs. Immigrants from other nations are not going to come empty handed, most would come with whatever money they could acquire at home and spend it in the United States.

Note* Just so you know for round four, no new arguments in rebuttals.

Primary Source


ReedSchneider forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I extend.


Thank you pro for the prompt argument, and I will repost the links so that they may be better observed.
*note: For some reason I thought I had one more day on the time limit of last round, so here is the argument that would have been posted there.

First off, you began your argument with, "I never said that the taxation of these immigrants would have high returns." To that I would have to say that you simply just nullified your own argument regarding that immigrants would contribute a significant amount of income to the nation. Also, you seemed to put a heavy emphasis on how the government would make more money, such as when you said, "Increased Government Revenue.
Now this is a rather simple concept to grasp, more citizens means more tax revenue, simple yes? Now you may be wondering "Why should I care if the government is making more money?". You should care. One, it gives the government more leverage on taxing, for example, lets say in the next 30 years there is a high influx of immigrants (50 million), the government can lower taxes on everyone for it will still be able to keep the revenue it already has, meaning less taxes for everyone, which for most people, is a good thing. Or if the government decides its time to start paying back that debt, if we had more citizens this would allow a higher tax revenue, this new found money can be used to pay of debt. Not only that but depending on the number of immigrants we could increase the budgets of some government agencies. So in summary, more immigrants=more citizens which equals to a higher tax revenue." So what I get out of this is that you admit that my points regarding immigrants not directly contributing to a larger treasury are all valid, and you concede to them.

Now referring to the story that you told about your family, with you as a primary source, all I have to say to that is that this is anecdotal information, and therefore holds no ground. If I were to find one immigrant that I knew of that was a murderer, and generalized that because they were a murderer all other immigrants are murderers as well, you would rightly say that this is wildly inaccurate, so therefore I make the same claim against your anecdote. I don"t deny that your family works hard, or that there are other immigrants that have made a good life for themselves, but your generalization of immigrants based upon your own family simply cannot be taken in as fact.

Regarding my opponent stating that my argument towards the different cultures didn"t fit with the topics of government and economy, I would simply disagree. Because these people are not of similar cultures, things become much more expensive. They will have a much harder time finding work, as well, there will be increased expenses for government in order to help and protect these people, by doing things such as adding translations, special regulations, and increased diversity training and rules. As well there are many hidden costs in the form of police discrimination and misrepresentation of these minorities.

Along with the carrying capacity argument that I made, all I have to say is that it was misinterpreted. I"m not referring to the carrying capacity of the United States economy, I was referring to the carrying capacity of the welfare system. How much more money can the United States really spend in order to support a massive influx of people?

Now onto what my opponent was saying about social security being a time bomb. This bomb is going to explode eventually, of that there is no doubt, so we are left with a choice, do we let it go off naturally with minimal problems, or do we prolong this dangerous ponzi scheme until we simply cannot continue it, in which case it collapses anyways, but this explosion will lead to a crash bigger than any other crash any nation has ever seen. This is something that no one wants to see, so let"s end this Ponzi Scheme now, before it gets too big, and it becomes too late.

Then you attempted to refute my economic argument regarding how immigrants would have adverse effects on the economy. First off let me say that the type of economics you describe in your argument tend to sound particularly Keynesian, a school of economic thought that one could argue has caused a multitude of problems with modern economies, such as massive government spending and never before seen levels of debt. Keynesianism puts an extreme emphasis on spending as a means to grow the economy, but it ignores other, just as important, aspects of the economy, such as savings. Spending isn"t all that matters in an economy, as well with recent trade unions such as NAFTA, money is much more liquid across borders. The individuals that would come to America can still buy American goods within their own nation, free trade has allowed for this to happen. Now we must also take into account your statement about jobs not being static, which is true, however government regulation has made it much harder to create new employment opportunities. Regulation such as the minimum wage makes it increasingly difficult to enter into the job force, which puts an increasing amount of stress on the welfare system.

To sum up, we have to deal with this low birthrate problem in a different way than simply letting even more people in, which would just lead to an inevitable crash when the new block reaches retirement age. The incoming individuals will incur a net loss of the nation's economic welfare due to their inability to be used as a significant source of tax revenue, their inevitable use of the nation"s scarce resources through an inefficient welfare system, and the increased costs of the immigrants adapting to already established systems that are held dear by the inhabitant population. Overall an Open-Door Policy would be detrimental due to the existence of the welfare system.

*Fixed links and new sources
Debate Round No. 4
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