The Instigator
TheCalmCanadian
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Garbanza
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The United States should not grant citizenship to immigrants if they cannot speak English

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Garbanza
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 854 times Debate No: 61295
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

TheCalmCanadian

Pro

Just for clarification this debate has no intent of bashing on foreign immigrants seeking shelter in the United States. The base of my argument is that they should not be granted citizenship to the United States if they have not learned English (to a very low level) at least the ability of carrying out a simple conversation should be required if you wish to have permanent citizenship of the country.

Please no swearing or terrible spelling mistakes.

Good luck!
Garbanza

Con

I can't understand the benefit to anyone of excluding babies and toddlers from citizenship. It just seems like extra layer of bureaucracy as well as creating stress for their parents.

Also, this rule would exclude all deaf people and be unnecessarily harsh on refugees, many of whom are traumatized and may be in no position to learn a foreign language.
Debate Round No. 1
TheCalmCanadian

Pro

"When I visit a person house I do not demand that they switch their furniture around to suit me. That is what is happening in America to day. And the coward businesses are falling in lockstep with the immigration pimps, the democrats, and posting dual language signs in their store. Why don't we just give them California. Of course we would have to build fences on that border as well when they destroy its economy as they did in Mexico. Although the democrats are already doing a good job of that." -cheyennebodie

That right there is what i'm getting at. I don't mean children or immigrants needing immediate support or help I mean people seeking permanent refuge in the United States, people who will have an influence on our economy, our education, our children, and our technology. I mean no offense to those who seek shelter the country, or those who are to young (They will attend school as part of the law so of course they will learn English). I mean those who are older. Deaf people would not be considered to learn English as there is no need for them to learn the language. As long as they have some form of communication or understanding (sign language) then they should be accepted as citizens, assuming they meet the correct requirements. This would be by no means to discriminate or make it difficult for those who urgently need a home. As I stated earlier they would not be traumatizing and they would be given a period of time to learn the language, supplied by school systems. Night classes would be open for those who do not wish to pay for a private tutor. The level of English they will be required to speak would be at a minimal level, just enough to understand and get by. I think that is a reasonable requirment if you wish to live in a country where the main language is English, where signs and politics take places. If you have the right to vote you should understand who you are voting for, if you are signing up for a job you should understand the main language of the country. Learning the English language is something that is necessary if they wish to succeed in a new country. It's not for the benefit of those already living in the country already it's to help those who have just moved to the country have a better understanding of their abilities a better understanding of what they are capable of, it's to help them understand that when they are given citizenship they are given a choice and a control over what happens in their new country, a limit on stereo types that come along with only speaking one language, and a whole new understanding of the culture in general allowing them to avoid scams, bullies, and other negativities that come along without understanding a language.
Garbanza

Con

My opponent says that potential new citizens should learn english for their own sakes.

He also concedes that the English requirement would be waived for children and for deaf people who know sign language.

Perhaps then it would be enough to just encourage immigrants to learn English? Perhaps free lessons or volunteers could run conversation classes. There's no need for a language test on citizenship.
Debate Round No. 2
TheCalmCanadian

Pro

Government encouraging English lessons is already going on. There are night schools which take place in public schools where they teach English to those who are new to the country, guess how many people go? Not many. If it is not required they will not learn. If public school is not required half of it's students will stop showing up. For many who have just moved to the country they can get by without learning English as they work in a family run store or they live in a district where many people speak their native language. This is not okay. If you read the quote from cheyennebodie above you would know what i'm talking about. A lot in this country is done in English as it is the language laws, politics, libraries. People need the language to succeed and that is what you aren't understanding. You keep going into the deep questioning, deaf peoptle, and those seeking immediate help.

What you don't understand is this is supposed to help. Not hurt!
From what I can see you aren't making an argument against, it almost seems as though you are agreeing with me but listing off the other possibilities as well.
Garbanza

Con

My opponent argues that immigrants will not learn English unless they are "required" to, and he also argues that learning English is in immigrants' best interests and therefore it makes sense to withhold citizenship until they do learn.

At first I protested that not everyone can learn English, including deaf people, traumatized people and very young people among others, and my opponent has conceded this point. People who are unable to learn English should not be required to. Implicit in this idea is that English is not essential to becoming an American citizen. There are some people who cannot learn it and who are nevertheless entitled/deserving of being citizens. This negates the resolution, I think.

My opponent then shifted the argument to those immigrants who do not speak English but who are capable of learning it and yet refuse to despite it being in their best interests to do so.

There are lots of skills that are in people's best interests to learn and yet they refuse to do so. Good nutrition, negotiations skills, defensive driving, basic maths. There are countless skills that really are essential to living in modern society. I don't really understand why my opponent has chosen English particularly.

We don't force people to learn skills because it's in their best interests to do so. We don't withhold citizenship from people because they refuse to learn these other skills, and I can't see why it makes sense to do so for English.

Why not just market English learning a bit better, make it easier and more accessible?

Most of all, we have to trust people to act in their own best interests. If learning English is so great for immigrants and makes sense for them, then they will learn it. If trying to get a house and a job and establish friendship networks seems more important to them initially, then they will focus on those things first, and I don't see why we should interfere.
Debate Round No. 3
TheCalmCanadian

Pro

I think it would be in your best interest to look back and actually read what i've written. Withholding citizenship should not be a problem. With this new plan those in need would be able to enter the country and live here for a period of months before being granted citizenship. They would ideally be given everything they would need as those living off of a visa or green card. If you think about it that is all they need a place to live, they won't contribute anything to the government or community until they learn how things are done and without the understanding of the English language that is near impossible. Just follow logic here instead of repeating everything i'm saying. Your claim of "withholding" citizenship should have no effect on these people. Keep in mind the English that they will be required to learn will be simple, enough to understand and get by. I"m not asking them to learn every word or have a large understanding of the English language but rather enough for them to understand what they need, enough for them to be able to communicate their thoughts and needs. These are one of the basic needs of life, communication without it you can"t thrive. We see this in many places and it is even proven to us when you visit parts of California. Everyone is speaking Spanish signs are written in both Spanish and English on Government buildings, street signs, tourist attractions. In many cases the Spanish writing is written first. This is yet another proof and point of what I"m trying to get across. People need communication and understanding. It is up to them to conform to our culture not for our officials to speak their language. Not for our country to change to suit them. That is not how it works, and that is not how it should be. Once again something well said by cheyennebodie "When I visit a person house I do not demand that they switch their furniture around to suit me. That is what is happening in America today. And the coward businesses are falling in lockstep with the immigration pimps, the democrats, and posting dual language signs in their store. Why don't we just give them California? Of course we would have to build fences on that border as well when they destroy its economy as they did in Mexico. Although the democrats are already doing a good job of that."

After that fact you still continue to avoid that it can help both them and us. You go on to nitpick and try to complicate things. I have already countered the fact that deaf people and people traumatized would not have to worry. Once again these people would be learning English to a very easy level. The curriculum would be easy for someone even with learning disabilities. They will be evaluated on their skills and as I said earlier months to learn the language this would put no pressure on those who have recently had a child, have minor learning disabilities or those who are as you say "traumatized". This is simply helping them assimilate themselves into our culture and helping them feel more a part of our society. Learning the language of the country is tied to helping immigrants settle into this new and different place, this is something that you cannot deny.

People are lazy and it is natural to be so. You and I have nearly unlimited resources on the internet, we have money and access to programs with can teach us any language that we please. Why do we not apply our focus to these programs? Main reason being we don"t need to. If immigrants were not required to learn the English language they would not. It is not essential to their survival in this country but more essential to their success. In many Mexicans who live in California have no need to learn English, everything there is pretty much all in Spanish anyways, what is the point. That is something that we need to avoid, they are not majorly involved in politics or the economy but instead stay in their small communities leeching off of welfare checks with no need to change their ways. They are useless when it comes to marketing or creating a business. They have nothing when it comes to finding a job with corporations or bettering their community.

As to your statement "I don't really understand why my opponent has chosen English particularly."
I don"t think it"s that hard to understand why. It"s the language of the country and it is necessary if they want to succeed.

Hmmmm as to your statement "We don't force people to learn skills because it's in their best interests to do so. We don't withhold citizenship from people because they refuse to learn these other skills, and I can't see why it makes sense to do so for English." This is terribly incorrect. We force people to learn skills all the time. Our whole education system is stemmed off of forcing public education because it is in their best interests. That is how the country works "for the people by the people", it"s as simple as that.

"Moist of all, we have to trust people to act in their own best interests" <- a bit of a grammar mistake their on your part, but moving on. We can"t trust people to act in their best interests if that"s how things worked our country would falling apart. People would be uneducated and work low class jobs, forward movement in industries would skid to a halt and we would be stuck in a cycle of hunger. Losing all forward momentum in society would be the result of trusting people to act in their best interests. I for a fact can say that if I was given the option of whether or not to attend public school as a child I would have undoubtedly said NO!
Garbanza

Con

My opponent's metaphor is that visitors to his house can't move the furniture around. New citizens are not visitors, though. They are new habitants of his house, who live there too, and maybe they do have equal rights to shift the furniture around to suit them. That's the whole point of citizenship, I think, voting - having a voice - and belonging.

My opponent argues that witholding citizenship from immigrants would be no hardship for them, that they would be able to live in the US without it. At the same time, he argues that they would NOT be able to live in the US without speaking English, and that learning English is in their best interest. I find this totally confusing. Can people who don't speak English live here or not? Given that there are babies, and deaf people and monolingual Spanish speakers already living perfectly happily here, how can he be so sure that learning English is essential to citizenship?

He also argues that people are already being forced to do things that are in their best interest, and he uses the example of school children. Children are different. We accept that they are not mature enough to make wise decisions for themselves and that's why parents are allowed by legislation to decide things for their children. However, immigrant adults are not children and may make decisions in their own best interests. If learning English is something that is best for them, then we can rely on them to decide to learn it. There is no need to tie it to citizenship.

He didn't really address my point about other skills. Basic maths skills are really useful for living in modern society, as an example, as well as driving skills and cooking. Why not tie those skills to citizenship? I suggest that my opponent's obsession with English is due to prejudice rather than any real concern for immigrants. I think he dislikes seeing signs in Spanish and hearing Spanish spoken and would like to get rid of it.
Debate Round No. 4
TheCalmCanadian

Pro

TheCalmCanadian forfeited this round.
Garbanza

Con

All arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Garbanza 2 years ago
Garbanza
You sure?
Posted by computertooter 2 years ago
computertooter
Is everyone forgetting that one of the requirements outlined by our Constitution is you must be able to read, write, and speak english? I know this debate is over... but come one guys. So it is a given. If a person cannot speak english then that person is not a citizen.
Posted by TheCalmCanadian 2 years ago
TheCalmCanadian
WAT DA FaaaaaCK. I was mid way through writing my argument, fml.
Posted by AlternativeDavid 2 years ago
AlternativeDavid
That's some good semantics right there. From what I can see, Con is getting my vote.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
When I visit a person house I do not demand that they switch their furniture around to suit me. That is what is happening in America to day. And the coward businesses are falling in lockstep with the immigration pimps, the democrats, and posting dual language signs in their store. Why don't we just give them California. Of course we would have to build fences on that border as well when they destroy its economy as they did in mexico.Although the democrats are already doing a good job of that.
Posted by Aircraftfreak1 2 years ago
Aircraftfreak1
Great topic start. I agree with ya.
Posted by dancampbell869 2 years ago
dancampbell869
I 100% agree with you. This will be an interesting debate though.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
TheCalmCanadianGarbanzaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
TheCalmCanadianGarbanzaTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff, and pro fails himself by giving way to deaf people and children.