The Instigator
The_Silent_Consensus
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Daxitarian
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

The solution to illegal immigration requires enforcement of our current laws

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,222 times Debate No: 1742
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (9)

 

The_Silent_Consensus

Pro

Some argue that the status quo is de facto amnesty because it is extremely impractical to round up at least 12 million illegal immigrants and deport them. Those who say that are right as far as their reason, but off in saying that the status quo is de facto amnesty. Here's what we could do to solve the problem, and it would require nothing more than modest enforcement of our current laws:

1. Finish the fence across the whole border
2. Beef up manpower security at the border
3. Deport those we happen upon through law enforcement and social services
4. Enforce sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants as vigorously as we enforce all our other labor laws
Daxitarian

Con

You are never going fix the problem of immigration with a fence, simply because the "problem" is that we have willing sellers and willing buyers of certain jobs. Here are some problems with your ideas.

1. Finish the fence across the whole border
First, this would be a colossal waste of money. We already have 700 miles worth of fence up in key locations, but the immigrants just knock it down. We could put the great wall of China on our boarder and it still would do nothing. And most immigrants don't cross the boarder through the dessert. They get in with a visa and then don't leave when they are supposed to.

2. Beef up manpower security at the border
Same problem with the fence, most get in with a visa and then overstay their welcome. Also the boarder is huge, so patrolling all of that area would take a lot of man power and the cost of such a program wouldn't justify the use of it.

3. Deport those we happen upon through law enforcement and social services
To the extent that this doesn't happen now is similar to number 2. Money. And immigration isn't a problem that justifies a huge expansion of government to solve.

4. Enforce sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants as vigorously as we enforce all our other labor laws
Why should it be the prerogative of the business to peak around into the lives of their employees? Don't they get taxed so that the government keeps illegal immigrants out? But now they have to turn around and act as the police themselves? Why then, shouldn't businesses also be forced to use drug screening to find people using drugs? It is also a cost on employers which is bad for the economy.

The reason why "just enforce the laws we have now" won't solve anything is because it is the government. Suppose we did build a high-tech fence. In five years it would be dilapidated and ineffective. Because that is the nature of government. It is as predictable as the laws of physics. The government can't just wave its wand and fix things, because that isn't how reality works.

Furthermore, the assumption of your argument is that immigration is a problem, which it is not. Immigration is good for America.

My idea would be to let anyone with a NAFTA passport free access into the country. Most illegals just want to do seasonal work. But since they are illegal, they are forced to stay in America and go underground. By letting them come and go, they would work and then go back to their families--at least then they wouldn't be using our social services and infrastructure as much. Either that or some sort of coordination program would have to be implemented to where employers could bring immigrants here for seasonal work and make sure there was some sort of minimal healthcare coverage for them while they were here.
Debate Round No. 1
The_Silent_Consensus

Pro

A fence is part of the fix, not the entire fix

1. I'm not talking about the fence they show on CNN. I'm talking about this fence: http://www.usillegalaliens.com.... It is double-panel, with patrol in between. Not as easy to get through as the one shown on CNN. With regards to those overstaying their visas, no one method is going to stop all, but the fence will stop some

2. The cost is justified. Those who enter the country illegally threaten our sovereignty. How about instead of having the federal government do all these things it's not supposed to be doing, let's have it do one thing it is supposed to do for a change: secure the border. Besides, they're not just entering the country illegally. If they are working and paying taxes, they've committed fraud with American documents. If they are working and not paying taxes, they've committed tax evasion

3. Money? Are you serious? We have illegal immigrants in our prisons, on health care paid for by government, and in our schools. All those things cost us money, so obviously that's not why. It wouldn't be a huge expansion of government, rather it would just involve requiring proof of residency to be shown if people wish to have access to the treasury, and as I said in 2, it's more than illegally being here that they're doing

With regards to the idea that we need to treat them for emergency care, I ask this: why should a federal law requiring us to treat illegals in emergency care be followed, while another federal law requiring them to be deported should be vigorously ignored?

4. It doesn't need to be the prerogative of business. But when employers enjoy being able to hide these guys and pay them $3/hour under the table, etc... they know exactly what they are doing and should be punished.

If government is unwilling to enforce its current laws, I don't trust them to enforce any new law. The 1986 amnesty had a promise they would enforce a new and tougher law, and that didn't work out

You're talking about a guest worker program, and that's a different debate
Daxitarian

Con

"1. I'm not talking about the fence they show on CNN. I'm talking about this fence: http://www.usillegalaliens.com....... It is double-panel, with patrol in between. Not as easy to get through as the one shown on CNN. With regards to those overstaying their visas, no one method is going to stop all, but the fence will stop some"

Reply: Just look at any project of public housing. After a few years, it falls apart. Why? Because the government maintains it, and given there is no incentive to keep things well maintained, it falls apart. So even if the government did build some future, high-tech fence, it would be falling apart in 5 years. People who want to come to this country would just find a way to cut-through it, dig under it, climb over it, or just blow up parts of it. The fence would be about as useful as building a giant escalator to nowhere, a la the Simpsons.

"2. The cost is justified. Those who enter the country illegally threaten our sovereignty."

Reply: How exactly? Unless they are coming here with tanks and plan on running over your house, I don't think they are threatening your sovereignty.

"How about instead of having the federal government do all these things it's not supposed to be doing, let's have it do one thing it is supposed to do for a change: secure the border."

Reply: Secure from whom? Foreign armies or people looking for a better life?

"Besides, they're not just entering the country illegally. If they are working and paying taxes, they've committed fraud with American documents. If they are working and not paying taxes, they've committed tax evasion"

Reply: They make hardly anything, at least not enough to be substantially taxed. We should be making it easier for these people to become citizens, not harder.

"3. Money? Are you serious? We have illegal immigrants in our prisons, on health care paid for by government, and in our schools. All those things cost us money, so obviously that's not why.

Reply: Deporting someone isn't as simple as just throwing someone in a van and then driving them to Mexico. You have to be sure you have a place in Mexico you can take them to, verify they are not supposed to be in the country, etc. Also, some situations are complex, such as if the child is born in America and is a legal citizen and the parents are illegal. So the cost of implementing some mass deportation policy doesn't pay for the little reduction in costs of schools, health care, and prisons. If it were really an issue about social services, you would be more concerned about reforming those instead of trying to demonize immigrants.

So, the question is, are you serious in thinking that the immigration issue is about money? From what I can find, in 2003, 7.5 billion was spent on educating illegal immigrant children, K-12. That comes out to about $25 dollars for every American. But by having their cheap labor, we save way more to cover that cost. So it's not that immigrants are bleeding us dry. And if you want them to pay more taxes, you have to make it easier for them to attain citizenship, not build a wasteful fence.

Using the numbers from Farius.com, an anti-immigration group, the cost of illegal immigrants in 1996 was 24.4 billion dollars. Using the increase percentage in spending on education for illegals as a guide, a calculated the current figure around 31.4 billion dollars. That comes out to barley over $100 dollars for every person per year.

Now lets say you run a business, and you hire an immigrant to do a job for $12 dollars an hour and the going rate is $25. That saves you $26,880 a year. So to say that immigrants are bad because of money just doesn't make sense. But that's not the reason most people don't like immigrants.

Also, how much will the fence cost? $49 Billion. (http://www.sfgate.com...) And given the law that anything the government builds costs more than is initially stated, it could be much higher. Then you have to pay people to guard it, maintain it, etc. All to stop a fraction of illegal immigration.

"It wouldn't be a huge expansion of government, rather it would just involve requiring proof of residency to be shown if people wish to have access to the treasury,"

Reply: I live in Oklahoma, whose claim to fame lately has been passing one of the state's toughest illegal immigration bills. (http://www.cnn.com...) You can't get a drivers licenses unless you show proof of residency. The result? It takes days to get a drivers license. Because it is just more bureaucratic hassle, which costs time and money. And everyone now hates the law.

"With regards to the idea that we need to treat them for emergency care, I ask this: why should a federal law requiring us to treat illegals in emergency care be followed, while another federal law requiring them to be deported should be vigorously ignored?"

Reply: It's has to do with who is carrying out the laws: Hospital vs. Government bureaucrats. The reason that the deporting one isn't followed as vigorously is because a government bureaucracy is doing it and can't do anything efficiently as a private hospital. Just wishing they would doesn't change the fact that a bureaucracy can't do anything. The law isn't that you have to provide emergency health care to illegal immigrants, but to everyone, legal, illegal, tourist, etc. So I don't think it is feasible to ask an unconscious person to show their documents that they are legal.

"4. It doesn't need to be the prerogative of business. But when employers enjoy being able to hide these guys and pay them $3/hour under the table, etc... they know exactly what they are doing and should be punished."

Reply: No, they shouldn't be punished, because they aren't doing anything wrong. You want to punish the business for hiring someone you don't like. Why not punish business for hiring gay people who marry illegally or break sodomy laws?

"If government is unwilling to enforce its current laws, I don't trust them to enforce any new law. The 1986 amnesty had a promise they would enforce a new and tougher law, and that didn't work out"

Reply: You still haven't given any reason why the government will all of the sudden be able to change and enforce the current laws? Just closing your eyes and crossing your fingers isn't going to make it so.

"You're talking about a guest worker program, and that's a different debate"

Reply: My solution actually deals with WHY immigration is happening and works on that. The current law has no relevance to effects and causes. A fence does nothing to address the issue of willing buyers and willing sellers. It is just a waste of money. Just deporting everyone doesn't work because it is too bureaucratic.

Besides, there is no immigration crises. It's the same trick that gay marriage was 4 years ago. Find an emotional issue that people don't think rationally about and use it to wedge the electorate to thrust yourself to power. Last election, it was gay people who made Americans feel yucky. This year, it's immigrants. Both facades used to distract people from issues that matter.
Debate Round No. 2
The_Silent_Consensus

Pro

"Reply: Just look at any project of public housing. After a few years, it falls apart. Why? Because the government maintains it, and given there is no incentive to keep things well maintained, it falls apart. So even if the government did build some future, high-tech fence, it would be falling apart in 5 years. People who want to come to this country would just find a way to cut-through it, dig under it, climb over it, or just blow up parts of it. The fence would be about as useful as building a giant escalator to nowhere, a la the Simpsons."

That is a huge oversimplification as far as government maintenance goes

"Reply: How exactly? Unless they are coming here with tanks and plan on running over your house, I don't think they are threatening your sovereignty."

Because people coming into this country unbeknownst to our government and in violation its laws have a huge potential to undermine the nation's sovereignty. They haven't acquired the common language and culture of America, and appreciation of America's legal traditions and constitutional principles. Not only will they be a permanent underclass for it, they will make this nation harder to govern. We are the United States of America for a reason; we are a melting pot. We are not the Divided States of America and not the Conformed States of America.

"Reply: Secure from whom? Foreign armies or people looking for a better life?"

Secure from people who want to enter the country illegally

"Reply: They make hardly anything, at least not enough to be substantially taxed. We should be making it easier for these people to become citizens, not harder."

They would still be subject to some taxation, and you have yet to address the fact that if they are paying taxes, they are committing fraud

"Reply: Deporting someone isn't as simple as just throwing someone in a van and then driving them to Mexico. You have to be sure you have a place in Mexico you can take them to, verify they are not supposed to be in the country, etc. Also, some situations are complex, such as if the child is born in America and is a legal citizen and the parents are illegal. So the cost of implementing some mass deportation policy doesn't pay for the little reduction in costs of schools, health care, and prisons. If it were really an issue about social services, you would be more concerned about reforming those instead of trying to demonize immigrants."

First off, it's not a mass deportation policy. Second, no immigration law is going to be taken seriously if an illegal immigrant can receive government benefits when they're not even allowed to be here.

Lastly, money doesn't really matter to me on this issue, it was just that you brought it up

"Reply: I live in Oklahoma, whose claim to fame lately has been passing one of the state's toughest illegal immigration bills. (http://www.cnn.com......) You can't get a drivers licenses unless you show proof of residency. The result? It takes days to get a drivers license. Because it is just more bureaucratic hassle, which costs time and money. And everyone now hates the law."

Who's to say it has to be that way? We're bound to have technological advances where it can be instantly checked

"Reply: No, they shouldn't be punished, because they aren't doing anything wrong. You want to punish the business for hiring someone you don't like. Why not punish business for hiring gay people who marry illegally or break sodomy laws?"

They aren't doing anything wrong? Wow. They're hiring people who aren't even allowed to be here, for sub-minimum wage pay, done under the table. That's criminal, regardless of who the person is, and they know damn well what they're doing. If they were deceived by the illegal immigrant into believing the person is legally here, and is paying them above the table and all other legal stuff, then no, the employer should not be punished

By the way, this whole idea of "these are jobs no Americans will do" is an incomplete sentence. It's really "these are jobs no Americans will do for the pay an illegal immigrant will do it"

"Reply: You still haven't given any reason why the government will all of the sudden be able to change and enforce the current laws? Just closing your eyes and crossing your fingers isn't going to make it so."

They don't enforce the law because they don't want to. The liberals don't want to for obvious reasons, and Bush (along with some other conservatives) doesn't want to because he's corrupted by the very people who benefit from the cheap labor

Secure the border, deport those we happen upon, punish the employers who knowingly hired them, streamline the legal immigration process, and maybe have a guest worker program

Millions of people have obeyed our immigration laws, played by the rules, waited in line, and done everything the government has asked of them to become Americans. The most demeaning thing the government can do to them is give them the message that they would have been better off coming illegally
Daxitarian

Con

"That is a huge oversimplification as far as government maintenance goes"

Reply: No, it's as predictable as the law of physics. Whether it's public housing, public education, the DMV, social security, whatever, the government doesn't have the competitive pressures to maintain anything of quality. That's why government programs don't work.

"Because people coming into this country unbeknownst to our government and in violation its laws have a huge potential to undermine the nation's sovereignty."

Reply: The undermine our nations sovereignty...because they undermine our sovereignty? You're just talking in circles here.

"They haven't acquired the common language and culture of America, and appreciation of America's legal traditions and constitutional principles."

Reply: Neither have a large fraction of high school graduates. By the third generation of living in America, do you know what percentage of immigrants from Mexico and Latin America speak Spanish, even as a second language? Zero. It is the same tired argument that was used against the Irish or Italians. But what is more American than Tony Soprano? We absorb other people and both change for the good.

"Not only will they be a permanent underclass for it, they will make this nation harder to govern."

Reply: They go underground because we declare them illegal. It's not the immigration that needs to be fixed, but the laws that need to be changed so it is easy to become a citizen.

"We are the United States of America for a reason; we are a melting pot. We are not the Divided States of America and not the Conformed States of America."

Reply: Weren't you just talking about how we all need to conform to one culture and language. Aren't you the one who wants to build a fence between the U.S. and Mexico?

"Secure from people who want to enter the country illegally"

Reply: Then make it easier to attain citizenship and we won't have to worry about it.

"They would still be subject to some taxation, and you have yet to address the fact that if they are paying taxes, they are committing fraud"

Reply: What illegals commit fraud to pay taxes? If you are already illegal, why would you risk committing a crime and bringing attention to yourself, unless the benefit outweighed the cost. But it isn't even a benefit they are receiving; it is another cost!

"First off, it's not a mass deportation policy. Second, no immigration law is going to be taken seriously if an illegal immigrant can receive government benefits when they're not even allowed to be here."

Reply: So, you now want the illegals to stay here? Second, immigrants don't come here to be on welfare, they come here to work.

"Lastly, money doesn't really matter to me on this issue, it was just that you brought it up"

Reply: If they aren't hurting our economy, then what's the point of trying to keep them out? If they aren't a threat to us, what are people so afraid of?

"Who's to say it has to be that way? We're bound to have technological advances where it can be instantly checked"

Reply: Well....you. You were the one who wants proof of residency for access to things such as schools and drivers licenses. If by technological advancement you mean an ID card that moves us closer to an Orwellian society then I think it is you who don't have an understanding of our constitution and the principals this country was founded on. Papers please?

"They aren't doing anything wrong? Wow. They're hiring people who aren't even allowed to be here, for sub-minimum wage pay, done under the table. That's criminal"

Reply: What is going on is a voluntary transaction between adults. Minimum wage is the government telling you what the prices ought to be at gun point. That is the only thing criminal here. If you don't understand, I would be more than willing to start that debate. Even if the employer has a hunch that the latino looking person who speaks bad english is here illegally, he has no way to be sure, unless he actually crossed the boarder with him. And under the table doesn't matter because I can go offer to work under the table for less than minimum wage too.

"By the way, this whole idea of "these are jobs no Americans will do" is an incomplete sentence. It's really "these are jobs no Americans will do for the pay an illegal immigrant will do it"

Reply: The point being? That Americans are too good to do work for less than 5.75 an hour? It's not only that immigrants will work for less because they want a better a life, but they also do quality work too.

"They don't enforce the law because they don't want to. The liberals don't want to for obvious reasons, and Bush (along with some other conservatives) doesn't want to because he's corrupted by the very people who benefit from the cheap labor"

Reply: First, we all benefit from cheap labor--whether it is higher profits for your business, cheaper products you buy, or more people buying your product because they spent less on other products that were made more cheaply. Second, what are these obvious reasons? That the immigration laws we have now are a waste of time and money? You need to be more specific.

"Millions of people have obeyed our immigration laws, played by the rules, waited in line, and done everything the government has asked of them to become Americans. The most demeaning thing the government can do to them is give them the message that they would have been better off coming illegally"

Reply: And people have gone through the dessert, risked everything, just for a chance to be in America. The demeaning thing is to build a fence as a symbolic middle finger for their efforts to improve their lives.

LASTLY

"Secure the border, deport those we happen upon, punish the employers who knowingly hired them, streamline the legal immigration process, and maybe have a guest worker program"

Reply: Waste of money, waste of money, wrong because businesses aren't supposed to be used for screening for criminals. Finally--and I can't stress this enough if you are reading this and voting on the debate--you included 'streamline the legal immigration process' and 'maybe have a guest worker program.' This would involve changing our current immigration laws, which the whole point of the argument was "The solution to illegal immigration requires enforcement of our current laws," therefore taking my position.

Well done, good luck to you.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
First, your reasons don't have anything to do with sovereignty. So your argument is still circular. Second, by last argument I thought you were referring to the very last argument in the last round. My bad.

Drea10113: Exactly how is it stupid? What is wrong with working in America for part of the time and then going back to Mexico? Do not people live in one city and then work in another?
Posted by The_Silent_Consensus 9 years ago
The_Silent_Consensus
Straw man in the sense that you broke up passages and took them out of context. For example:

Because people coming into this country unbeknownst to our government and in violation its laws have a huge potential to undermine the nation's sovereignty. They haven't acquired the common language and culture of America, and appreciation of America's legal traditions and constitutional principles. Not only will they be a permanent underclass for it, they will make this nation harder to govern. We are the United States of America for a reason; we are a melting pot. We are not the Divided States of America and not the Conformed States of America.

You separated the first sentence from the rest, and called it circular. That's taking it out of context and misrepresenting the main point. The next sentences were explaining why it undermines a nation's sovereignty
Posted by drea10113 9 years ago
drea10113
idea would be to let anyone with a NAFTA passport free access into the country. But since they are illegal, they are forced to stay in America and go underground. By letting them come and go, they would work and then go back to their families--
wow... what a stupid idea.
have you ever heard of making a desicion and sticking to it?
why cant they make a stupid desicion.. stay or go.
Posted by scottberman 9 years ago
scottberman
Personal beliefs on the subject aside, this is by far the best debate I've read on this website.
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
First, I don't think you know what a straw man argument is, since I used your own words verbatim. Second, no, eric, I don't want to pay for their healthcare. But you have to pay for it whether they are legal or not. It's called medicaid. The solution is to get rid of that. How is building a multi-billion dollar fence and creating more government bureaucracy any better than paying for their healthcare? The problem isn't of money, the problem is that people are xenophobic and don't like foreigners, so politicians can use them as a smokescreen to distract people from the real issues.
Posted by The_Silent_Consensus 9 years ago
The_Silent_Consensus
Let me just say, that last argument by him was straw man to the nth degree
Posted by EricW1001 9 years ago
EricW1001
I suppose you want to pay for the healthcare dax, cause I sure as hell don't.
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