The Instigator
EpsilonIndi
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
Gib
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

The United States should construct a barrier on the border with Mexico.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,980 times Debate No: 1129
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (21)

 

EpsilonIndi

Pro

The United States is being swamped by illegal immigration, of which the vast majority of land crossers come across our southern border from Mexico. Mexico has shown little interest in assisting the U.S. in stemming this flow, and even encourages emigration to the U.S. in order that remittances from its citizens abroad may be maintained to boost the economy at home. With no support from our southern neighbor the U.S. must act in its own defense as countless other countries have done so before.

A border fence can and will work. It was demonstrated to work in the mid-1990's Operation Gatekeeper which saw the construction of a fence in the San Diego sector and dramatically reduced illegal immigration into that portion of California. Successive barriers have forced aliens around them and into hostile terrain, demonstrating that they are effective at impeding illegal entry. A double-layer security fence, combined with a virtual fence in the remoter sections of the southwestern terrain, patrolled by the Border Patrol, will massively reduce the amount of illegal aliens entering the United States every year and force change at home in Mexico.
Gib

Con

Illegel immigration is obviously a problem. There are millions of people living and working in the United States illleglly. It hurts American workers, people who want ot enter the country legally, and compromises the security of our country. However, a barrier on the border with Mexico would not fix the problem.

I try and put myself in the shoes of the illegal immigrants who somehow made it across the border. Why did they come? They came beccause they can make about twice as much money doing the same jobs they would in Mexico. If they have kids in America they become American citizens (which opens up many doors for them in the future). Along with that, living conditions are better in teh United States. Despite not having insurance, I can go to a hospital and get medical treatment if I need it. Despite not being a citizen (or knowing English) I can also send my child to a much better American school. On top of that, my own government does encourage me to go there to help stimulate our economy. If I am a poor Mexican citizen, there is an enourmous pull factor to the United States and an enourmous push factor out of Mexico. If I were poor, I would try and immigrate as well. After all, my ancestors did it from Germany and Ireland - as did many other people's as well.

If a wall was up, it would drastically reduce the number of people who come across. This is true. Operation Gatekeeper was quite successful. That is true. More Border Patrol troops would also help. However, there is a group of people that wants illegal Mexicans to stay - any stay here illegally. Anyone who has a business in which the majority of their workers are illegal immigrants knows that the 12 million immigrants living "in the shadows" work for half of the minimum wage. If you own a business and a najority of your workers are illegal immigrants one of two things could happen from immigration reform.

A.) amnesty is passed. The illegal immigrants are given citizenship and they now are entitled to 7 dollars an hour. You labor costs just doubled!

B.) Any illegal immigrants are sent back home. Your labor pool has just been deported and the only people who can fufill your needs are Americans. Your labor costs have just doubled!

Along with that, there are already 12 million illeglal immigrants in the United States. What happens to them? Are they rounded up and shipped back like Operation Wetback? Are they granted amnesty? A wall doesn't fix that. A wall only stops future illegal immigration. Even if, starting tomorrow, no more illegal immigration took place, and a wall was in place, the legitimate problems that have led Americans to call for building a wall would still be present.

Somoe sort of effective patrolling of the border is neccessary. It's dangerous for people to just come across the border. There are legitimate security concerns. Along with the untold number of drugs and Mexican gang members that come across the border on a daily basis, terrorists could also come into America through Mexico. But until there are teeth to immigration laws for for illegal immigrants AND business owners the profit motive for Mexican workers and American business owners (especially in the Southwest) will trump any concerns about secure borders, assimilation, drugs, terrorism, etc. and a wall will be a big waste of time and money.

Thank you!

- Gib
Debate Round No. 1
EpsilonIndi

Pro

You Said: "If a wall was up, it would drastically reduce the number of people who come across. This is true. Operation Gatekeeper was quite successful. That is true."

You Said: "A wall only stops future illegal immigration."

So you are conceding my point? I didn't want to make this a debate into the gigantic issue of immigration reform, just whether a wall should be constructed. It seems you are actually agreeing with me that a wall would have the desirous effect.
Gib

Con

I am not conceding your point. I am agreeing with you that Operation Gatekeeper drastically reduced the number of people who came across. However, what effect did Operation Gatekeeper have on the illegal immigrants that were already here?

If we are going to discuss the necessity of having a wall in between the United States and Mexico, then you have to make it into an issue of immigration reform. After all, you and I and millions of other Americans would never have any reason to even think about building a wall were it not for the millions of illegal immigrants that were already here. Since there are millions of illegal immigrants in America, any debate about immigration must be a part of a larger one about immmigration reform. If it is not, then it will be shortsighted and will fail to accomplish anything.

In short, advocating to build a wall without advocating immigration reform is a cop out.

It's like saying that all we need to do to fix schools is throw money at them.

It's like saying all we need to do to win and establish a liberal democracy in Iraq is to have more troops and more troop surges.

In all three of those instances you are proposing to solve very complicated issues with bandages when what you need is surgery.

A wall between Mexico and the United States has only one desirous effect - it would drastically reduce (not prevent) illegal immigration into the United States.

In conclusion, I disagree with you for one simple reason - A wall is not enough. Until people in power lok at the causes and effects of illegal immigration and hold businesses that employ illegal immigrants accountable for their actions then a wall is a big waste of time and money. After all, if there were no jobs, there would be no illegal immigrants - wall or no wall. And if there is a combination of profit motive and laws with no teeth with regards to illegal immigration - wall or no wall - there will still be illegal immigration.

Thank you,

- Gib
Debate Round No. 2
EpsilonIndi

Pro

EpsilonIndi forfeited this round.
Gib

Con

No offense EpsilonIndi, but I think this proves that anyone who is offering the generic Republican solution of "build a wall" does not understand the immgration problem. We need to take a good hard look at all the players involved. We also need to think about this, if a wall was built and all the illegal immigrants were sent back to Mexico, how much would that hurt the United States? What would happen to the Southwest united States? How many businesses would go under? Who profits from them being here? Why are there no teeth to teh laws that are in place?

I am not saying that illegal immigration is a good thing. It's illegal for one, dangerous for another, and it hurts both the illegal immigrants as well as the American labor force. When I think about it, it hurts more than it helps. It guarantees Mexican immigrants who want the American Dream that they will never get the American Dream, because they are not allowed to become real Americans. It hurts our security because the borders are not being taken care of and yes, despite what some believe there is the threat that a group like al-Qaeda could smuggle men through the border and execute some sort of terrorist attack. Also, it hurts honest, hardworking American workers who can not compete with illegal immigrants.

Let's face it! If i am a construction worker, landscaper, factory worker, or farm laborer, as required by United States law, I have to work for at least 7 dollars an hour. Illegal immigrants do not. So, if I have a business, and I have an opportunity to cut my labor costs - literally - in half, and get workers who don't have the opportunity to complain about health insurance, OSHA restrictions, etc. then the only thing preventing me from doing so is this one little law with no teeth that says it's illegal to have people who aren't U.S. citizens work here without a work permit or social security card. It becomes even easier for me - the business owner - to justify taking such action after everybody else in my industry starts doing it. Soon, because our elected officials have taken no steps towards doing anything about the problem, I almost have to hire illegals if I am going to be able to compete.

This issue has been put at the forefront of the American political discussion and I think that is great! It compromises national security, and hurts American workers and Mexican immigrants. However, it is unnecessary to build a wall because a wall will not do anything. All we need to do in enforce the current laws that are in place and perhaps put more pressure on business owners who hire illegal immigrants. For some reason, our elected officials and police departments are not doing their jobs. In the end, the only real solution to the crisis is to start auditing, fining, jailing, and revoking the business licenses every business owner who hires illegal immigrants

Thank you,
- Gib
Debate Round No. 3
EpsilonIndi

Pro

EpsilonIndi forfeited this round.
Gib

Con

I am finished.

However, my response must be at least 100 characters long. In that case I would like to encourage everyone to check out the book "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Society" by Dr. Robert Putnam. If you are on debate.org, then you will be interested in it.

Thank you,

- Gib
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Gib 9 years ago
Gib
I thought I did debate the topic at hand. But it seems some felt I did not. And that is fair. The debate was "Should the United States construct a barrier on the border with Mexico?" My response was no.

My argument was that if we build a wall, and do nothing else, then that does not solve the very problem that has led us to this point in which we are comtemplating building a wall. Therefore, we shouldn't build it without doing a some other things. Otherwise,it;s a huge waste of time, money, and resources.

If the question was "Should the United States start enforcing its immigration laws, go after businesses that hire illegal immigrants, start deporting illegal immigrants, AND build a wall?" Then I would have voted Pro (Although, if the first three things I listed above were done a wall would not be neccessary).

At the end of the day a wall or no wall is not the problem. The "problem" is that there is a high supply of cheap Mexican labor and a high demand for cheap Mexican labor. A wall won't fix that. Only teeth to the current and future immigration laws will. Therefore I debated agains the wall.

I understand that his only question was "should we build a wall?" But the only reason we are talking about a wall is because of immigration. So to only argue about a wall is pointless. So I felt it neccessry to argue the entire point. When I did he didn't counter,I assumed I won handily. But apparently not.

So now I have a question for everyone who has responded. I have no expereice debating or anything like that, and I was quite suprised that so many people voted in favor of my opponent considering he didn't answer two rounds. What was it about my argument that didn't work? I'm guessing my answer was a bit evasive? Please tell me how? I'm curious and this is fun!

Thank you,

- Gib
Posted by TJBric 9 years ago
TJBric
I can't possibly vote con because you never argued against the fence/wall. Stating that "more" needs to be done either implies that you're for the fence in addition to other things, or that you're debating about something else entirely. Just because one is for the fence as Epsilon is, doesn't mean he isn't also for other measures to deal with the immigrants who are already here.

I can't vote pro or con because this site is about debating and not just about voting my stance on the issue one way or the other. Epsilon didn't even debate the last two rounds, and Gib seemed to decide not to actually argue about the topic at hand.
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
How could anyone vote Pro here? He dropped the last two rounds... O_o
Posted by PinkiePinkerton 9 years ago
PinkiePinkerton
I had to vote for Epsilon on this one. While I agree that a wall is only part of the solution to preserving the middle class in America, this debate was solely about the fence.
Posted by l2jperry 9 years ago
l2jperry
I can tell you are a Ron Paul supporter by your first response Gib! Didn't even have to look :-). I think that your first response was very good. It will be interesting to see what PRO has to say...
21 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by mscolorado 9 years ago
mscolorado
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Vote Placed by Gib 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by stevster 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by zakkuchan 9 years ago
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