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Voter I.D. laws are constitutional and needed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,046 times Debate No: 23041
Debate Rounds (5)
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Round 1 is acceptance. Please keep it clean, and have fun!

I will be arguing for (pro) voter I.D. laws in America. Good luck!


As you might suspect, I will construct a case against voter ID laws. I take these laws, in a very loose sense, to be those whose intent is to establish a criterion for voter eligibility based on representable condition of belonging to the body politic (e.g. being a born or naturalized American citizen).
Debate Round No. 1


For obvious reasons, voter I.D. laws are very much needed in America. We currently live in a country where at least 11,000,000 illegal immigrants live, committing atrocious crimes, and ruining the quality of life for those in the border states, and even all over the country. Now, we want to allow them the right to vote in Federal elections? This absolutely cannot be allowed. They are not citizens, and have no right to even be here, much less vote in our Federal elections, where the fate of nearly 310,000,000 Americans' is laying in the balance. Illegals do not pay taxes, do not pay into social security or welfare programs (some may, but most are paid in cash, and are not taxed). And as I said, most are criminals, running drugs across the border, as well as murdering and raping innocent American citizens. It is not difficult to become a citizen of the United States. There is no reason why 100+ years ago, Europeans sailed across the Atlantic to become a citizen, and yet Mexicans cannot simply file a few papers, and cross the border legally.

Now, one of the most popular arguments against vote I.D laws is that it disenfranchises low income Blacks and Hispanics. This makes absolutely no sense. For starters, why Blacks? Are they not required to have a state issued I.D to buy cigarettes, alcohol, or receive welfare? Or drivers a license to drive? The same for Hispanic American citizens. If they are legal residents of the United States, then they should have a state issued I.D. or drivers license. Costs of a state issued I.D. range from $5 in Maine, to $29 in Oregon. There is no reason why, even a poor person, cannot afford an I.D. And as aforementioned, to receive welfare in the United States, an I.D. is required.

So there is no logical reason why voter I.D. laws should not be enforced in all 50 states. It is becoming more and more obvious (if it wasn't already clear as day) that President Obama is going for the Illegal Immigrant vote. The 2008 Presidential elections was decided with a nearly 10,000,000 vote difference. This upcoming election will most definitely be closer than that, and he will do whatever necessary to win, even using the votes of illegal immigrants. And we cannot allow the fate of this Nation to be decided by a bunch of criminals who shouldn't even be in this country to begin with.


Anti-foreign bias [] is defined by Bryan Caplan as the "tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners". Basic principles of comparative advantage indicate that both parties always benefit from the opening of specialized trade relations, says Caplan; however, we often fall victim nevertheless to a xenophobic bias according to which the foreign "Other" is marginalized and excluded due to its inability to represent itself under some particular political identity (e.g., the "American"). Because of the in-grouping which comes necessarily from assigning rights and moral worth according to these identities, conflict is nearly inevitable. For every category of identity upon which the nation-state, in its birth-territory-state formulation, is founded, there is always necessarily some external identity to which the former must always maintain itself in relation (to demonstrate its own superiority) while nevertheless regarding it as an enemy to be fought and eliminated. This conflict can take many forms--the American and the foreigner--the white and the minority--the Christian and the Muslim--the democrat and the terrorist--the citizen and the non-citizen--the native and the immigrant. In the case of modern liberal democracy, the direct investiture of sovereign power in "the People" is nothing less than the newest and most frightening formulation of this exclusive operation. That so-called "human rights"--supposedly inseparable from man by his very nature--are ever only recognized when they assume the form of rights belonging to the citizen of a state is proof enough of this. Such is citizenship, then--the immediate abstract political category into which birth disappears immediately to secure the preservation of rights attributed, oddly, on the basis of that birth.

No wonder we run into such a peculiar problem when confronted by figures like the illegal immigrant, then--or the refugee--or the stateless person. Breaking the identity between man and citizen--between pure birth and political nationality--these characters serve as interesting limit figures (which explains the torment undergone by nation-statists when confronted by this break between nativity and nationality, and the zeal they display in attempting either to "naturalize" them--that is, to "re-birth" them in order to preserve the identity between birth and nation--or to repatriate them in the form of deportation to whichever state with which they can claim identity). In the space of the illegal immigrant, the refugee, the stateless person--the space between exclusion (repatriation) and inclusion (naturalization)--lie those specific beings for whose creation the nation-state is responsible, but whose existence the very same political order cannot bear to tolerate (hence the need to include or exclude, rather than let be). Hence the bizarre aporia in statements lie "they are not citizens, and have no right to even be here". On the one hand, changing the identity of the "they", in the form of naturalization, permits residence. On the other hand, changing the "be here", in the form of repatriation, preserves the identity of the fictive political body.

The impossible option, in this system, is being without proving one's belonging--that is, to reside here without being able to demonstrate one's citizenship. Such is the dilemma of the refugee, who, as part of a mass phenomenon, cannot be dealt with in the traditional ways, and must therefore be turned over to police power (often in the form of a series of camps). This is represented most precisely by Pro's title for them. They are not "human beings" or bearers of "rights", but also seem to be even less than non-citizens; reduced to nothing but bare, biological life, they are immediately turned over to sovereign power in the form of a threat to the national political body--they are immediately criminals (their very existence without assimilation in the political body is in fact a crime), or, to appropriate Pro's term, "illegals". Failing to "get with the program" by being neither expelled nor re-birthed, their subjection to state power is complete through the characterization of these already-criminals as rapists, murderers, gang members, drug traffickers, economic parasites, and, as the most immediate threat to the body of the People, political malcontents out to subvert American Democracy. This sentiment parades itself with pomp and circumstance in Pro's statement that "we cannot allow the fate of this Nation to be decided by a bunch of criminals who shouldn't even be in this country to begin with."

I could talk about a few things in this debate--I could, for instance, debunk that immigrants are criminals by pointing to the five natives who are incarcerated for every one immigrant []. I could invoke evidence about how immigrants are not economic parasites, and actually do pay taxes [][][]. I could submit some evidence that illegal immigrants probably aren't, either all or a majority, drug smugglers []. And yet, I think that all of these sidestep the fundamental political issue of the nation-state which in the first place permits arguments about national identity, rights, citizenship, the meaning of "American" and so on.

So, no, I don't want voter ID laws. I don't want to cement further the fiction of an American body politic. I don't want to maintain the link between man and the citizen. I don't want to continue a system in which you have a division between the all-inclusive political People and the excluded mass of common "people" who have to be eliminated--as is the case of the "illegal"--to preserve and secure the People against existential threats. I'm tired of inclusion and exclusion, and of marginalizing, oppressing, and criminalizing people on the basis of some arbitrary notion of citizenship or other representable condition of belonging to a political body. And that's all Pro's really doing. All these voter IDs serve to do, really, is highlight and cement the division between the political body and the people of the excluded who, in service to an undivided, idealized American People, have to be in some way eliminated. If it cannot be done through inclusion in citizenship or exclusion by deportation, it is done through treatment as a criminal through disqualification from political participation precisely through the bringing to light of the illegals' lack of a badge of political belonging.

Look. The system of exclusive fictions on which nation-states rest, and their mechanism, the inclusion of our birth--our very natural life--in the political order (in its false identity with the citizen, as the source of "human" rights, as the very ground of sovereignty and referent for state legitimacy), are just in every way divisive, destructive, and oppressive. A fortiori, laws designed to cement the operations of a system like that--a system in which, as instances of state power like the TSA, brutal zero-tolerance policies in schools, and the juridical green-light on strip searches demonstrates, even citizens themselves are immediately potential criminals who assume the form of a threat to the political body in which they are simultaneously included (as citizens) and excluded (as threats to the body of which they are nevertheless a part)--are unquestionably, categorically repugnant.

I apologize to readers if this is perhaps less professional than other debates of mine. But, honestly, this identity politics stuff just makes me sick.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to start off by saying that I also get tired of the identity wars. Black vs White. Christian vs Muslim. Republican vs Democrat. All are getting old, however, this is not a case of bigotry or discrimination. It is common sense. No other successful country allows illegal immigration. Mexico is one that doesn't. It is a felony, punishable with fines and a deportion, possibly imprisonment. And yet, we allow it. And as for your fact that the ratio for arrests from legal citizen to immigrant being 5:1, remember that there are 11,000,000 illegal immigrants, compared to nearly 310,000,000 legal citizens.

According to a study [1] "of a sample of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests." Also from this study, "About 45 percent of all offenses were drug or immigration offenses. About 15 percent were property-related offenses such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and property damage. About 12 percent were for violent offenses such as murder, robbery, assault, and sex-related crimes."

So, yes, there are plenty of illegal immigrant criminals, who, if our immigration laws were enforced (they are there for a reason), wouldn't have been here to commit these henious crimes. And this study, as it says, involved only 55,000 illegal immigrants. Only 1/20 of all illegals residing in this country.

As far as human rights are concerned, I consider the right to vote, a citizenship right, one that you get when you meet the requirements for whichever country you're in. For America, it is required that you be a legal citizen, at 18 years of age. To say that the right to vote is a human right would be wrong. It is the right of a citizen of a country that allows citizens to vote in elections. Otherwise, it could be seen a right for Americans to vote in, lets say the Russian elections, or French elections, when that is very wrong. We don't live in Russia, or in France, therefore we don't vote in their elections, and they don't vote in ours.

And there is no doubt that they are criminals. It is a crime to illegally cross our borders, so the first act in this country is a crime. And I don't agree with the term "refugees". If they are desperate to get out of Mexico, fine. Sign the necessary papers and become either a citizen or get a visa, and reside here legally. Ask anyone living on the border of Mexico-USA how the crime is down there. They would tell you it is high, because of illegal drug runners and murderers who came over the border of Mexico.While I'm sympathetic for the innocent citizens who have to live in Mexico, it doesn't justify crossing the border illegally and not going through the necessary steps to become a citizen or receive a visa. If you don't agree with the steps of becoming a citizen, then don't live here. However, if you want to show us that you do wish to be a law abiding citizen, and just wants to provide for your family, then show use by becoming a citizen or applying for a visa. Otherwise, you broke our laws by crossing our borders, and should be punished for it, but being deported.

Early in your debate, you quoted a Bryan Caplan, as saying anti foreign bias is the "tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners". I am not implying any anti foreign bias. Both sides of my family immigrated here from Europe, so obviously for me to be biased against immigrants and foreigners would be hypocritical on my end. I am not like that. I am against illegal immigrants, who are crossing our borders, taking our jobs that they have no right to (a right to a job is another right that belongs to a citizen of a particular country, not a human right), and want to vote in our elections, which is a right reserved for a citizen of a particular country. Once again, if you want to legally immigrate here, then I'm all for it. I have nothing against it. But do it legally. Doing otherwise shows a disrespect for our laws, and shows me you really don't want to live here.



You cannot claim that you are "tired" of identity conflict when the system upon which your entire argument is predicated--that is, the nation-state--functions entirely on a mechanism of exclusion that parses out categories like "citizen" and "illegal". That you invoke expulsion procedures--deportation or inclusve expulsion in the form of imprisonment--is proof enough of participation in this exclusive operation. In other cases, things like sex, ethnicity, and sexual orientation can create conflict, certainly. Yet, if you claim to have no taste for this conflict, it would be self-defeating to then claim a preference for the inclusion of biological life--to which things like sex and ethnicity are merely potential predicates--in the political and juridical spheres. At the moment at which I reject political partitioning in the form of "countries", "citizens", "sovereignty", and others, appeal to what a "successful country" would do is futile.

Regarding the study: the calculations are done as (total number of institutionalized) / (total number of individuals in a subject population), so it is inaccurate to take the "more natives get arrested because there are more natives). And, as is indicated on pp. 9-10, it's likely that immigrants are extremely undercounted by Census officials (up to a 37:1 immigrant:native ratio in the 1990 Census). So, not only is it true that immigrants are less frequently institutionalized--if the counting of immigrants was more accurate, the larger denominator would produce an even greater disparity between natives and immigrants.

Moreover, it is also not useful to use arrest statistics when almost half of the arrests reported have to do with immigration. If we're trying to figure out whether immigrants are criminals, it's sort of inane to include illegal immigration, since it's by definition a criminal act. By that definition, all illegal immigrants are criminals--but that's not really what we're talking about. We're discussing things like theft, rape, murder, etc. Violent crimes, more or less. So:

1. Getting rid of immigration and drug-trafficking (non-violent crime), you have 27% of total arrests being for crimes ranging from theft to violent crime. Oddly, 45 + 27 = 72%. Apparently, the other 28% are things like DUIs and obstruction, but those don't exactly seem earth-shattering.

2. (.27 x 459,614) = appx. 124,100 crimes. So, that leaves you around 2.25 crimes/illegal. And that's if you're doing averages. If we actually measure individual variance, I suspect that you would begin to see the worst crimes concentrated in a minority (already within a minority, mind you).

3. Your link doesn't even take us to a study--it takes us to a hazy secondhand website (which, given that it's called "Renew America", probably has some kind of agenda) which cites A) the names of three institutions, B) raw statistics, C) "some criminologists" and "researchers". That isn't very convincing.

Seems like we would probably be better off not assuming by default that the people who self-select to immigrate over here are the hardest of criminals. This is why I protest so harshly the term "illegal". By parsing the "citizen" from the "illegal", the former is always already criminal, as Pro reaffirms in this last round: "And there is no doubt that they are criminals. It is a crime to illegally cross our borders, so the first act in this country is a crime." The "us" and "them", the "ours" and "theirs", the "citizen" and the "illegal"--it all sets up the sort of world I've described, in which the Other must always be assimilated or expelled. When the immigrant cannot assume the form either of the "citizen" or the "deportee", he immediately becomes a criminal--an "illegal"--who constitutes a threat against the Nation, and therefore, against the State (to which the identity of Nation is immediately tied). As such, their very existence becomes criminal. Pro, by characterizing them as "illegals", seems to hold some hope of attaching to them also every predicate commonly associated with the term "criminal": rapist, murderer, thief. And this is all wrapped up, I submit, in the very system Pro is attempting to defend with Voter ID laws (and which, at the beginning of Round 3, Pro seeks to dismiss by distancing himself from other forms of identity conflict). This, I argue, is precisely why we should withdraw our support.

And of course, I've never claimed that immigrants necessarily are refugees--rather, the refugee is a useful paradigm for considering the case of the immigrant; they share, I suggested, some underlying conflict with the National-State apparatus. Abandoning attempts to expel these immigrants, however, Pro, rejecting altogether the possibility of transcending inclusion and exclusion (indicated by the paradigm of the refugee who cannot, for whatever reason, be repatriated, but who nevertheless expresses no desire to be naturalized), turns to the possibility of inclusion. He advocates the typical "they ought to do it legally" approach, which, as the discursive template laid out by this card suggests, doesn't really function as advertised [].

One might be inclined to skepticism about the burdens of legal immigration. Surely, one might think, immigration procedures aren't that backlogged? Unfortunately, even immigration law experts [] suggest that the average wait, if you're lucky, is a few years. Processing times, backlog, interview scheduling, visa and green card caps--all of these draw out just how difficult it is to participate in the inclusion operation []. Fourth preference individuals, for instance, have an average wait time of 12-15 years. If I applied to immigrate at 20, I would probably be almost 35 years old before my application was even given serious consideration. And this, mind you, is only to get a visa or a green card. Full citizenship is a bit further still down the road. And, in some countries with large backlogs, like Canada, immigrants who have been waiting 5, 10, some more than 20 years just to hear back on their applications, could see their cases simply chopped from the list []. At the very least, this ought to raise the question of how many applications could be cut in the US as we see wait times and caseloads continue to climb. Pro can criminalize illegal immigrants as much as he would like; yet, when the smoke clears, it becomes obvious that the very political order which he is trying to defend through Voter ID laws is the same system which, eventually breaking down from internal contradiction, comes to make "necessary" the arguments advanced by Pro.

And, as much I don't want to engage it, I have to at last hit the "jobs" line. First: [] Second, foreign workers don't displace natives--they contribute to growth because of extra demand (which results in new employment). [] And I mean, the majority of jobs that immigrants take are low-skill (sometimes migrant) jobs that involve things like back-breaking physical labor on farms, which most ordinary Americans probably wouldn't take if it was offered to them. In fact, when the UFW put the offer on the table [], it had only attracted three takers by the time it was discussed on the Colbert Report []. The fact that we don't "own" "our" jobs as it is is bad enough. That native-displacement theory is just factually inaccurate is one more nail in the coffin. A good sum-up of this line of attack can be found here [].

With laws like these, what's to respect?
Debate Round No. 3


Yes, I am tired of identity wars. The racist wars (white vs black), the religious wars (Christian vs Muslim), and the political wars (Republican vs Democrat). But this so called war on illegal immigrants you claim to exist, doesn't. We are not arguing about whether Mexicans or Americans are better, we are arguing whether or not a foreigner can vote in our elections. I cannot name a country that allows this, so why should we? This is simple common sense. It is not mistreatment, it is not inhuman, it is simply making the right to vote exclusively the right of the legal citizens of this country, a simple, logical rule that every country that holds elections has.

The study I referenced, once again, included just 55,000 illegals. Not even 1/20 of what we have now. But the fact is, that a good portion of the illegal immigrants in this country do commit violent crimes, a good portion also evade taxes and are taking our jobs. You say that they are working jobs Americans don't want. That is wrong, they don't want the jobs for $5 a day like the illegals will work for. Regardless of how much money this is saving businesses, illegal immigrants our not entitled a right to a job in America, and if businesses don't want to pay Americans enough, then no one will take the job. Eventually, both the business who needs the worker, and the worker who needs the job, will find a point of mutual agreement on a salary. Either way, illegal aliens are not entitled to a job here in America.

So, I fail to see your logic on why voter I.D. laws shouldn't exist. You seem to think that it is a right of the illegals as humans to be allowed to vote in our elections, when that is far from the truth. The right to vote isn't a human right, and, as I mentioned in my previous argument and you failed to refute, is that no other country in the world allows illegal immigrants to vote in elections. Try this in Mexico and see what happens. You will be incarcerated (I don't know about you, but I have heard some bad stories about police corruption in Mexico. It certainly isn't someplace I'd wish to be arrested in).

To live in a country is a privilege. To vote in the elections of a country (if elections are held) is the right of legal citizens, not illegals who broke our laws by entering here illegally. To say that immigrants, legal or otherwise, have the right to vote in the elections of a country to which they are foreign to, would be very wrong. It isn't racist, it isn't an act of an "identity war", it is simple common sense to deny the right to vote to foreign citizens.


Allow me to make as clear as possible the fundamental content of my argument. Throughout the past three rounds, I have been employing an a fortiori argument against the use of Voter ID laws by criticizing the very foundation upon which their legitimacy rests: the system of nation-states. In other words, by opposing "countries" as such, we can infer that legal subsystems which perpetuate political differentiation and the parsing out of exclusive identities (e.g., the citizen and the immigrant)--that is, systems created under the direction of the nation-state superstructure--are similarly defeated. On this account, then, my objection can perhaps be understood more clearly. I am not merely talking about "identity war" in the sense of Republicans and Democrats, Christians and Muslims, Whites and Blacks. As I indicated in Round 2, these are merely potential predicates which are attached to the natural life situated at the very center of the political order (in the form of declarations of rights or, more accurately, as the immediate bearer of sovereignty in the form of the birth-citizen identity, in terms of what is included in that political order).

Otherwise stated: if I'm criticizing the notion of "country", of "citizen", and the related exclusive mechanisms upon which they rely, then you can't use "this is what successful countries do" as a starting point, since that's precisely the sort of political organization that I'm criticizing. You have to step down a level and look at the systemic critique of the nation-state and its inclusion/exclusion operations that I have been advancing for the past three rounds. You have left this project unaddressed in every case, which is why I suspect you have failed to grasp the chain of reasoning I employ to arrive finally at my opposition to Voter ID legislation. I hope in the final treatment of my opposition that you will engage more intimately with my systemic objections; however, I suspect that this is totes not gonna happen. You're clearly very intelligent, though, so I have some optimism that you will find useful my further clarifications.

On the empirical case, though: it doesn't seem like you've really answered my methodological objections.

1. To the extent to which we suppose that sample of 55,000 individuals to be representative of all illegal immigrants, my math still holds--we still have to remove half of the crimes for being non-violent (since counting illegal immigration as a crime makes it useless to use criminality as a metric for illegal immigrants). You still end up with about 2.25 crimes per illegal when you extrapolate (unless you want to argue that your sample isn't representative, in which case we throw it out anyway), at which point you return to my argument about averages not measuring individual variance in the form of concentration of violent crimes in a minority of individuals.

2. Your study isn't really a study. It's a secondhand source with weak citations and a possible agenda, which means you probably default to my plurality of sources which suggest that immigrants aren't generally criminal dead weights bringing down the American Powerhouse. As I pointed out in Round 3, mass undercounting of immigrants means that, if you actually represented the entire population as part of the institutionalization function, you get a substantially larger disparity between natives and immigrants (in favor of the immigrants, no less).

Moving back to "TOOK OUR JOBS" (see R3 video), you can't just assume as a fact that what you're arguing is the case, since that's the point in the first place of engaging in discourse--particularly when the numerous sources I provided indicate that A) thinking of them as "our" jobs (i.e., perpetuating the inclusion/exclusion mentality) is to commit a fundamental error; B) undocumented workers actually contribute to growth, creating new demand and new employment through their consumption; C) workers actually do take jobs that Americans tend not to want, primarily in fields that are low-skill and require excruciating physical labor (e.g. strenuous field and farm labor). That less than five individuals signed up for the "Take Our Jobs" initiative advanced by the UFW is testimony enough for that. Even controlling for "bad advertising", you have to admit... That's three people. In a labor market with millions of low-skill unemployed. Like I said, a great way of articulating my streams of analysis can be found here []. Also, on top of that, you can't really blame undocumented workers for being willing to work for lower wages--if anything, you would want to blame A) minimum wage laws, for forbidding American workers from competing fairly with immigrants not bound by those laws, and B) American workers who, if given the chance, would feel some bizarre sense of entitlement to a "proper wage", which could certainly cause them to lose out to people willing to work not only harder, but more cheaply (and in such a way that it's still preferable to living conditions back home).

So, no, it's not that I "never refuted" that other countries don't allow immigrant voters; I explicitly stated, in multiple rounds, that you can't refer to what "other countries do" as a model of behavior when it's the notion of countries as such to which I am objecting. Nation-states and their identity mechanisms, their partitioning, their exclusion operations, are a no go. So, that which strengthens and cements that kind of organization, if you flow down, is equally a no go.

Also, you completely missed when I took down your "they should just immigrate legally" argument in Round 3, so I think we both know that's out.

Hence why the case of the refugee is so useful in examining the plight of the illegal immigrant (and perhaps the "citizen" as well). In the grey area between inclusion and exclusion is the territory of the refugee, the representative par excellence of those who can neither be expelled through repatriation or deportation, but who are nevertheless either unable or unwilling to be assimilated through naturalization. This is the territory also of the illegal immigrant, as we have seen. In the zone between deportation and assimilation, the only option remaining for Pro is to consign immigrants to immediate criminality. Being non-citizens, but desiring nevertheless to coexist, these individuals--like the mass movements of refugees produced by some or other political crisis--threaten the trinity of birth-territory-state upon which the nation-state founds itself. Representing this immigrant class as a threat which cannot be dismissed through the usual channels, criminalization is the only route which remains. While I would suggest that the citizen also take this zone as its place of residence (shedding in the process the inclusive/exclusive title of "citizen"), this is an altogether different discussion. For the purposes of this topic, it is sufficient to conclude that Voter ID laws, in line with the other products of the inclusion/exclusion operations of the nation-state, are in no sense necessary in light of my critique, which extricates itself from those political categories from which Pro appears unable to escape.

I am anxious to see whether Pro engages my fundamental thesis more closely in Round 5. Running short on characters, I'll stop here and, waiting with bated breath, hand control back to my colleague.
Debate Round No. 4


I believe I have been refuting your arguments well enough. You claim a distaste for the "nation-state". I don't see it as a problem. By your logic then, there would be no citizens, no immigrants, people could come and leave this country as they pleased, which is something we certainly don't need. You are against nationality. I don't see why you would be. Without it, we wouldn't have any laws. The citizens wouldn't belong to this country, they wouldn't have to pay taxes, abide by any laws, so obviously, the idea of a nation-state is perfectly fine.

The study I linked to is still a study, albeit the site it is on isn't necessarily the greatest source, but it's a study nonetheless. And, unlike you, I prefer to separate immigrants (the legal ones) from illegal immigrants. The reason being, that people who immigrate here legally are less likely to commit crimes. Why would you sign all the papers, and be put "on the grid" so to speak, when all you're going to do is commit a crime in this country? On the other hand, what does an illegal have to lose? See what I'm saying? So obviously, an illegal immigrant is far more likely to commit a crime, especially a violent one, than a legal immigrant.

Summing up what I've said, I don't see this problem as complicated as you do. I see it as, we have citizens, immigrants, and illegal immigrants. We also have a problem, of who has the right to vote in the elections of our country. Obviously, it is only logical to allow the citizen the right to vote. Why should an illegal immigrant be allowed to vote? Or even a legal immigrant? The citizen is the only one who should be allowed to vote, because the right to vote was entitled by our country to its citizens, and to no one else. And without the nation-state, where we have a citizen or a non citizen, then we will have no laws because no one will be entitled to follow them. Definition of law-[1]-"A binding custom or practice of a community". Without the "community", (a community of citizens), then there is no law.

So I argue that my opponents argument against the laws of voter I.D., because of the "nation-state", is unsound, and that voter I.D.'s are something that this country needs to implement, and should have long ago.



Before I begin this final round, I would like to offer some excellent mood music to represent to you folks my closing thoughts about the structure of this debate:

"By your logic then, there would be no citizens, no immigrants, people could come and leave this country as they pleased"

You got it, playa. One important clarification, however, is that we wouldn't be organized in terms of "countries", so to speak. Nation-states are organized fundamentally on a birth-territory-state trinity. Breaking the identity between birth and citizen (abandoning the latter, and releasing the former from biopolitical capture) and ridding ourselves of territorial partitioning, we also remove ourselves from subjection to the power of the sovereign, its family of political categories, and the violent operations of inclusion and exclusion upon which such mode of organization founds itself. Hence my opposition to the brainchild of these mechanisms--Voter ID laws.

As far as your study, I think we both recognize that it's donesky. First, my methodological objections were never addressed; second, the torrent of counterevidence suggests that you default Con on the empirical debate; finally, recall that you dropped the argument about legal immigration as an alternative, in which I demonstrated the high difficulty/wait time involved with legal inclusion channels. When you have backlog like that, and hundreds of thousands of people a year still lining up to get into the United States, it's not as if you're just getting hardened criminals self-selecting across the border. When you default to a paradigm according to which you treat people as if they're always already criminals (implied in the designation "illegal"), you can expect nothing less than a general climate of oppression. And, to the extent to which criminalization of undocumented immigrants encourages subsequent criminal behavior (i.e., a criminal twist on "in for a penny, in for a pound"), we should be equally wary of the fact that this behavior, as I have suggested in previous rounds, is a direct product of the sort of clogged, internally contradictory system advocated by Pro. It's much like individuals who support the drug war as a means of fighting cartels, but who fail to recognize the role of legal sanctions in empowering cartels by driving production, distribution, and consumption into the criminal underground. Thus emerges the tension of the "illegal" which I earlier described: the nation-state system necessarily creates these particular criminal entities within itself, but is nevertheless forced, in response to the threat, to act in its own "defense". In the space between the mechanisms of inclusion (naturalization) and exclusion (deportation/repatriation) resides that figure whose presence within the order of the nation-state is both unavoidable and absolutely intolerable.

That Pro cannot imagine a community of individuals who do not participate in the inclusion/exclusion operation--by means of requiring proof of belonging (e.g., citizenship papers)--is proof enough of the inability of that system, with Pro as its representative here, to cope with the kind of world to which I have alluded (namely, one in which we can grab and make the most of that space, between inclusion and exclusion, in which the refugee, the illegal, the stateless individual, and others of their kind reside, and in which the only identifiable condition of belonging is belonging as such.

Also, this isn't particularly relevant, but I find it sort of funny that Pro decided to define law as any custom/traditional practice that a community might have. I had supposed Pro was referring entirely to the juridical concept of law, since that's usually what we mean when we say it. Coexisting individuals can clearly share an ethos [] without it being formally codified through the state apparatus. I think that's a tune we can all dance to, guys.

Other Drops:

1. Took Our Jobs

2. The Refugee Paradigm

Rather than restating impacts again, just refer to those sections in my R4. Because they further demonstrate the way in which Pro has just systematically abandoned particular kinds of arguments in an effort to find a hole small enough to plug.

Peace out, bros.
Debate Round No. 5
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Posted by innomen 1 year ago
Cody_Franklin = Charlesb?
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