The Instigator
1Historygenius
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
Geographia
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

The United States Should Build a Border Fence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
1Historygenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 896 times Debate No: 68264
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

1Historygenius

Pro

In this debate, as Pro, I am arguing that the United States should build a border fence on the Mexican-American border to provide border enforcement. My opponent, Con, must arguer against it.

Rules are simple. No trolling or semantics and round 1 is for acceptance only. All arguments should truly be provided after the acceptance round. Obviously it would be wrong to give new arguments in later rounds since we would have less time to debate those arguments.
Geographia

Con

This is for Zaradi's debate tournament
Debate Round No. 1
1Historygenius

Pro

I. Necessary Security

I have seen this image before and I support this concept of a border fence, this is to also help out my opponent for the idea I have:

A border fence example.

It's a double fence with two walls based on Hadrian's Wall. There are five primary obstacles for people. Among these are the two walls and a barbed wire period in the middle. A road would run between the two walls for the Border Patrol. There are also underground movement sensors if people get through the barbed wire. This fence is actually used on the border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. It's a simple way to stop illegal immigrantion here. Kind of like how in houses in the everyday United States people build fences to protect their property. [1]

The situation on the border is outrageous. By July 2014 some 290,000 illegal immigrants had fled to the United States this year. The costs far outweigh the benefits:

"Few of the illegal immigrants are high-school graduates, or have skills that would allow them to earn more than they cost to federal, state and local taxpayers." [2]

Research from the Federation for American Immigration Reform found that the illegal immigrantion costs the American taxpayers $113 billion a year. $52 billion of that goes to educating illegal children. Most illegal immigrants are not taxpayers and receive tax credits from the Treasury, so the costs are extremely heavy. Illegal immigration should not happen at all and must be stopped. Immigration policy should be based off skilled workers and who are able to provide more benefits than costs to the United States. [3]

National costs for housing illegal immigrants in prison is $7.8 billion. Regarding specific states near the Mexico border, here's the percentage of illegal immigrants in state prisons:

California - 12.7%
Arizona - 11.7%
Nevada - 7.4%
Texas - 5.5%
New Mexico - 5.4%

These costs for illegal immigrants in prison are too high and there should be 0 percent of illegal immigrants in prisons. [5]

Quickly regarding the arms smuggling issue, a fence would obviously prevent such smuggling across the border. Back in 2013, over 250,000 guns were smuggled into Mexico. With increased security measures, that will not happen. The same goes with drug tarfficking. [5]

II. Cost Effective

Most fencing passed by the federal government has been largely inefficient, but a double fencing system has been proven to work. San Diego has done this and it has worked wonderfully:

"Today, Henry is assistant chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. He says apprehensions here are down 95 percent, from 100,000 a year to 5,000 a year, largely because the single strand of cable marking the border was replaced by double — and in some places, triple — fencing." [6]

Building a fence would cost around $2.6 billion to $7 billion as the cost of a double fence costs $3.8 million to $10 million per mile. The yearly cost would be about $200 million per year to keep up with any repairs or amortized construction. The fence would probably last for several decades, so it is increasingly cost effective would prevent higher taxpayer costs for the United States. In addition, illegal immigration costs would obviously decrease over time, so the fence would pay for itself. [7]

An example of another border fence working is the Israeli-Egyptian border fence, which has stopped more than 2,000 people from crossing at a construction cost of just $400 million, or $2.8 million per mile. [8]

For all these reasons, a border fence must be built.

Sources

1. Tilford, Robert. "Fences Going up to Keep People out All over the World."Examiner.com. Examiner, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
2. Munro, Neil. "Border Meltdown: Obama Delivering 290,000 Illegals To U.S. Homes." Dailycaller.com. The Daily Caller, 05 July 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
3. Martin, Jack, and Eric A. Ruark. "The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigrants on United States Taxpayers." FairUS.org. The American Federation for Immigration Reform, July 2010. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
4. http://www.fairus.org...
5. Johnson, Tim. "MEXICO CITY: 253,000 U.S. Guns Smuggled to Mexico."McClathyDC.com. McClathyDC, 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
6. Robbins, Ted. "San Diego Fence Provides Lessons in Border Control."NPR.org. National Public Radio, 06 Apr. 2006. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
7. http://www.globalsecurity.org...
8. http://articles.latimes.com...
Geographia

Con

Thank you for this debate. I will clarify that I find that the fence Pro suggests is too costly and and ultimately not worth it.




In Pro's first paragraph, he outlines the fence and its bells and whistles, and the engineer in me certainly likes what he sees. However, there are a few issues which I will address later. Pro mentions that by July of last year, about 300k illegal immigrants had fled to the border. A lot of these are uneducated and are dependent says Pro. So far, not really much to go on.

In his Second paragraph, Pro says illegal cost tax payers about $113 billion dollars a year. About half that goes to education and although it is not mention explicitly, about $8 billion goes to illegal in prison. Pro mentions guns, which is a legitimate issue, Pro doesn't seem to mention about just how he plans on protecting against smuggling, but if he plans to fence them out, it will be costly.

Jumping ahead to the cost of the fence, Pro talks about the costs, he throws out the number $10 million per mile, so lets use that. Pro shouldn't have a issue with this because, well, this is a very nice fence, to put it one way. The Border between the USA and Mexico is about 1,900 miles long[1].

Times 1,900 by 10 million, and I got $19 billion for the fence. The fence costs $200 million per year, so lets times that for 50 years ("Several decades"). I got 10 Billion. Adding $19 billion, that's $29 Billion for the fence. This is the final price tag.

Earlier, Pro said there was about 300k illegal crossing into the USA and half of that is from Mexico, so it seems the question is whether or not a fence would be worth keeping them out.


====================


A1- Mexico born illegal immigrants are only and 50 to 60 percent of the problem.

The number changes from source to source, but this is roughly the number, and it is dropping[2].

http://www.pewhispanic.org...

The same source says that they are 52% of all the illegal immigrants.

The rest come from Latin America, Europe and Asia. Building a fence to stop 95% of a declining number of people isn't what I have in mind.

A2- Cost

Pro says Single Fencing hasn't been working because the government always loused the job, so he suggested double-fencing.

For this to be feasible, Pro would be forced to add more wall and more border patrol, which Pro seems to leave off. There is one thing also, the impact on the environment.[3]

Also, I assume he is aware about the trouble of protecting a 1,900 mile area, so it will be costly running about.

The above source states that it will affect wildlife.

Other sources back this up[4]. University of Texas says the Rio Grande will also be affected.
The cost of these affects must also be added in.

Price Tag:

1- $29 Billion for several decades.
2- Multiple environmental affects


I will stop here, but I have highlighted that a Border fence on Pro's scale will still be too costly compared to the immgrants from Mexico and the immigrants flow is already slowing down.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.pewhispanic.org...
[3]http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org...
[4]https://www.utexas.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
1Historygenius

Pro

I thank my opponent for continuing this debate, I want to thank him for complementing the idea of the double fence similar to that of the Saudis, he called said "this is a very nice fence." Back to the debate.

My Case

I. Necessary Security

My opponent's arguments seems everyone a bit, but I will start with defending my case before going after his. I only really see small argument against security. One is that he argues Mexican born illegal immigrants are only "50 to 60 percent of the problem" and he cited Pew Hispanic for this, but the problem with that is 50 to 60 percent is still a lot of people. The rest come from "Latin America, Europe and Asia" he says, but we know for a fact that Latin American illegal immigrants are going north through Mexico up the American border the same way Mexican illegals are. What we really need to look it is how many illegal immigrants cross the border total and with that I'm talking numbers, not just percentages. I gave a number previously of 290,000 as of July 2014. At the time, massive amounts of illegals were crossing as a result of President Obama's action and rhetoric that summer. Bringing a more yearly number from 2012, over 350,000 illegals cross that year, so overall it is the same trend and consider that my numbers for 2014 were only just up toJuly. [1][2][3]


I really don't consider this a strong argument because it only focuses on illegal immigrants born into Mexico, when there are many other illegal immigrants coming from other nations who can cross into the United States via Mexico. The numbers simply don't lie and there will always be a strong flow of people into the United States because the border with Mexico is so easy to cross. The bottom line is that people will still cross here as long as the opportunity lets them.

My opponent seems to concede the point how much illegal immigrants cost to the United States in taxpayer money. Smuggling will also be prevented by the fence, but I want my opponent to explain how this will be "costly."


II. Cost Effective

I actually think the fence is going to be as expensive as you put because of one thing you left out: terrain. There is some terrain that no one is able to pass or get through on the Mexican-American border and thus there would be no need for a fence there, but instead other measures if a few people coming into the U.S. from Mexico plan to take a highly difficult route. The U.S. Senate debated what I am debating, 700 miles of fence, and I'm sorry to Con if this was not clear. This is where my costs come from, so it's even cheaper than people think. [4]

I want to also say that there guard stations each ten miles apart, which allows for quick movement to people trying to get across the fence via car. This means not many as many people are needed as believed. In fact, border patrol agents currently working would simply be diverted to working the fence rather than hunting for border patrol agents.

Refutations

I. Environment


This is really the only opposition I see from my opponent and it is wrong. Many places if they are roads, or fences, or railroads, or canals have wildlife crossings. The same can do with water by simply using a piping and protection system. [5]

Sources

1. Tilford, Robert. "Fences Going up to Keep People out All over the World."Examiner.com. Examiner, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
2. Dinan, Stephen. "Arrest Numbers Signal 9 Percent Jump in Illegal Immigration in 2012." Washington Times. The Washington Times, 29 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.
3. Plumer, Brad. "Study: The U.S. Stops about Half of Illegal Border Crossings from Mexico." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 13 May 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.
4. Dinan, Stephen. "Senate Set to Vote on Border Fence Amendment in Immigration Bill." Washington Times. The Washington Times, 18 June 2013. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.
5. http://eco-resolutions.com...;
Geographia

Con

I. Necessary Security

Pro says that 50 to 60 percent of the people is a lot, which I suppose it is, but it isn't enough when 50 percent more are coming into the USA come different areas of the world. Pro says the Latin American illegal immigrants are taking the long way, but doesn't give a source.

Later, Pro wants to know how preventing smuggling of guns and drugs would be costly, and instead I ask Pro, "How could it not be costly?” Pro seemed to answer my call on how long the fence will be, so let’s finish off from there.


II. Cost Effective

Pro says he wants the fence to cover 700 miles of land, which is about 1/2 of the total border, and he maintains that there will be watchtowers every 10 miles or so, which would mean less people to actually watch the border, however Pro still hasn’t pick a solid number up and hasn’t shown just how much the illegal immigrants from Mexico cost the USA. Pro says the terrain will be an issue for immigrants, but if immigrants are tunneling under the border, chances are a steep mountain climb will be little more than an intense week. Pro said things of smugglers, but smugglers will find a way, and the smart ones won’t take the front door, so to speak.

Pro seemed to drop my contention that immigration into America has been dropping

Environment

Pro says we can simply pipe the water away and add animal crossings, but in doing so this would be a weak spot in our defenses, and this would yet again be a raise in price.

Debate Round No. 3
1Historygenius

Pro

I thank my opponent for continuing this debate.

I. Necesarry Security

I think it is important to understand that my opponents said Mexican born illegal immigrants are only 50 to 60 percent of the problem. That was his argument. The Pew Hispanic link he used shows the Mexican unathorized immigrant population. These are people already in the United States and does not explain why the population went down. My assumption would be the deaths of illegal Mexican immigrants and increased deportations by the United States government. This looks at illegal immigrants in the United States, but the debate is about preventing illegal immigrants coming to the United States, so while this number is declining it does not show the whole story because doesn't show how many people have entered the country. [1]

My opponent's statement: "....50 percent more are coming into the USA come different areas of the world." Is a huge misinterpretation of his source and it seems he's acting as if I wouldn't read. It looks like a last chance desperate attempt to defeat me, but it fails.

I have noted previously that there has been a surge in illegal immigration, especially among children. These aren't just from Mexico, but from other countries as well, and they are simply crossing the border across Mexico. These aren't just from Mexico, but Central and South America too. I previously gave a source that showed 290,000 illegal immigrants crossed over the Mexican border to the United States and these weren't just Mexicans. [2][3]

I want it to be clear that the whole reason a border fence should be built is to decrease illegal immigration. I previously cited that other border fences work because they prevent people from crossing the border. At the same time, people will be less likely to attempt a border crossing if isn't possible and that is what the border fence I am advocating offers. I think it is a no brainer that the drug trade, weapons trade, and trafficking hurt the United States. There's no way to not make it costly because laws can't end black markets. For example, with drugs the recent Colorado legalization has been a disaster, it is a heavy economic burden rather than benefit. [4]

II. Cost Effective

As I have said before, the fence is quite cheap in comparison to the cost. I previously showed a study giving the taxpayer cost to illegal immigrants at $113 billion a year. I previously explained that building a fence would cost around $2.6 billion to $7 billion as the cost of a double fence costs $3.8 million to $10 million per mile. Ths is a very cheap fence to cover the 700 miles that are needed to be protected. At a yearly cost of $200 million why not? The watch towers are obviously meant to watch the border, so the border will still be looked at. My opponent responds that everyone will find other was, but not if it is worth their deaths. Not to mention states have their own policies against tunneling and difficult areas at crossing border will still be observed by their border patrols. [5]

My opponent is wrong that illegal immgiration has been dropping because of the surge in this year's immigration.

III. Environment

It would not raise the price that it would somehow be more costly than $113 billion. Wildlife crossings pretty cheap and are designed for wildlife, not people. They are highly cost effective and are easy to set up, so the cost will be quite small. It is the best option to support wildlife. Sensors that are part of the fence are simply on these animal crossings and the fences run right up against them so any illegals trying to using the crossings will be easily spotted. [6]

Conclusion

My opponent failed to show how the border fence is more expensive than the taxpayer costs of the United States. He failed to provide any alternative. I strongly urge the voters to vote Pro.

Sources

1. http://www.pewhispanic.org...
2. Hulse, Carl. "Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 July 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2015.
3. Munro, Neil. "Border Meltdown: Obama Delivering 290,000 Illegals To U.S. Homes." Dailycaller.com. The Daily Caller, 05 July 2014. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
4. Evans, David G. "THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION."The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice. Global Drug Policy. Web. <http://www.globaldrugpolicy.org...;.
5. Martin, Jack, and Eric A. Ruark. "The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigrants on United States Taxpayers."FairUS.org. The American Federation for Immigration Reform, July 2010. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.
6. http://arc-solutions.org...
Geographia

Con

I am sorry, but time restraints prevent me from posting my last round.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by dtaylor971 1 year ago
dtaylor971
Short but compelling.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 1 year ago
bladerunner060
1HistorygeniusGeographiaTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate was certainly interesting. Unfortunately, Con conceded, and a concession really overrides anything else. I am awarding conduct, though, to Con. Not because Pro did anything wrong, but because I think concessions (as opposed to simply making your opponent wait as you run out the clock to a forfeit) should be rewarded. Obviously, the ideal is to have a full, real debate. But if that's not achievable, I think an honorable concession is the next best thing. As always, happy to clarify my RFD.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 1 year ago
dtaylor971
1HistorygeniusGeographiaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession due to time restraints.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
1HistorygeniusGeographiaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Unfortunate, but I must accept Con's concession and award the debate to Pro. Looked like this was going to be interesting, too.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 1 year ago
Zaradi
1HistorygeniusGeographiaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession from Con accepted.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
1HistorygeniusGeographiaTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: As requested by Con in the final round due to time constraints (concession), my vote is for Pro. What I will say though is that this was a great debate and one that I hope to see fully finished at a later date. You both did a great job.