The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Donald Trump's Idea for a Border Wall is a Good Idea

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,802 times Debate No: 90569
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




The BoP for this debate is shared, meaning both sides will have to provide evidence to support their side of the argument. I will be arguing that Donald Trump's border wall is *not* a good idea, while my opponent will argue that it is.

Round 1: Acceptance, opening statement
Round 2: Opening arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Counter-rebuttals, closing statement

No kritiks or trolling. Don't accept if you can't be sure you won't forfeit every round.

By accepting this debate, you agree to these conditions.

Opening Statement: Donald Trump's wall would be a waste of time, money, resources, and will do more harm than good.


I will argue the importance of maintaining a nation"s sovereignty and the importance of a boundary under the belief that the United States is:

1)An independent republic governed by laws

2)These laws are created and adopted by elected representatives of the people

3)The wall represents a psychological and physical barrier for individuals who determine their will is to violate legal passage into the country
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I hope this debate becomes a great discussion! Keep in mind that I am referring to Donald Trump's plan specifically, not necessarily the idea of a border fence in general, though many of the points I will make still apply.

1. Expenses and the American Economy
First, let's assume that the US tried to pay for this wall. It's unclear exactly how much this wall would cost as this varies wildly depending on what the wall is made of and how many fortifications it has (guards, barbed wire, etc.). However, it's clear from Trump's website that he expects it to cost billions.[1] Currently, the US is already in the trillions in debt.[2] We would have to borrow more money in order to be able to pay for the wall. It might be possible to afford the wall if the government had an increase in taxes and thus had more of its own money to spend, but Trump wants to reduce taxes significantly.[3] Paying for the wall would clearly add unnecessary amounts of debt to our existing amount.

2. Relations with Mexico
Currently, the US has fairly friendly ties with Mexico. The US Department of State says: "U.S. relations with Mexico are strong and vital. The two countries share a 2,000-mile border, and bilateral relations between the two have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, whether the issue is trade and economic reform, education exchange, citizen security, drug control, migration, entrepreneurship and innovation, or the environment. The scope of U.S.-Mexican relations is broad and goes beyond diplomatic and official relations."

This clearly shows how vital our relations with Mexico are. Trump plans to make Mexico pay for the wall he wants. This is bad "manners" for several reasons. First, because this involves the livelihoods of people in both the US and Mexico, the two countries should be cooperating on a deal like this. Giving Mexico full responsibility is just unfair. Second, demanding such an immense task would anger many people in Mexico. Mexicans have burned effigies of Trump because of their distaste for him.[4] Even the current president of Mexico has shown his dislike of Trump and says he won't pay for the wall.[5] Forcing the wall on Mexico like Trump plans is just bad for international relationships.

3. Immigrants and the Economy
Now, let me be clear in saying that I am in no way condoning illegal immigration into the US or into Mexico. However, a notable portion of people in the US are illegal immigrants from Mexico, and we need to accept that our economy functions because of them. Am I saying that any economy needs illegal immigrants to function? No. What I am saying is that illegal immigrants are currently an important part of *our* economy, and we need to recognize that.

Some immigrants are willing to wallow through infested water to get to the US because they are so desperate to get a job. Police officers will see them and tell them to get out, but most don't. The officers themselves won't get into the water because it is filthy, but the immigrants have to if they want work. Why am I bringing this up? Because it shows how much these people need jobs. They are willing to do hard labor that many Americans won't do. Corporations are cognizant of this and plan specifically to give these immigrants jobs because it keeps their company running. I find this to be a despicable practice because the labor conditions are often very bad and possibly illegal, but we need to accept that this is a part of our economy as it stands and until we can find a suitable, sustainable way to change our economy, this is how it works in America.

4. More Problems than Solutions
So, let's assume that all of the previous three points were ignored and construction on the wall commenced. There are still many problems to be had. How many gates to pass through do there need to be? This is important because a lot of people are going to pass the border. How long will this wall take to build? Likely, a while. This is also important because the wall doesn't solve very much if it's nonexistent. Perhaps most importantly, how much security do we need? This is a big issue. Recall that China built the Great Wall to keep out the Mongols, but it didn't work. Simply building a simple wall or fence likely wouldn't keep most Mexicans out either.

So, should we fortify the wall with barbed wire? The border with Mexico is almost 2,000 miles long, so that's an enormous amount of metal to purchase.[6] Should we add lots of guards armed with guns to guard the wall? That's definitely more effective, but who's going to pay these people their wages? The government? Considering the amount of workers that would need to be hired, that's going to be a notable amount of money even at minimum wage. Not to mention, a heavily guarded wall between two countries defended with armed guards sounds a lot like the DMZ between North and South Korea. Just saying.

I look forward to your arguments!



The Declaration of Independent declared the intent of the United States to assert their right to become an independent sovereign nation. A nation whose purpose was one to separate itself from the established subordinate relationship it had previously with the United Kingdom. Thomas Paine understood this idea when he stated an Island cannot rule a Continent. The motive behind the statement was partially built to absolve the responsibilities of America to a Europe which was plagued by constant turmoil and conflict. Equally important, today America operates from a position of power and through this concept the same principles which absolve the United States from Europe exist with the parasitic relationship that Mexico enjoys over the United States. The need for separation existed in the Declaration of Independence; Thomas Paine illustrated governmental interest needs required separation, while James Otis established that a people who pay towards a government must be represented within the government. These ideas form a foundation of national sovereignty within the United States.

National Sovereignty
Individual governments should be concerned when world organizations promote standards which exceed their authority. These organizations [eg. United Nations, WTO, and IMF] operate in a manner to generate a belief of globalization as being a fundamental right of all people, at the expenses of national policy. The idea of sovereignty operates on the belief that each state operates autonomously and free from the dependence of other states. Alan Simpson explores the idea of the border when he illustrates the first responsibility of a sovereign nation is to control its borders; furthermore, he expresses his grave concerns that uncontrolled immigration is one of the great threats which face our country. These concerns illustrate the importance of strengthening our border and protecting our children"s future.

The Social Contract and the Government
A social contract exists with the people and their government. The Declaration of Independence instructed the people that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". The rights derived from these powers can be obtained through birth or by law. The Constitution allows authority in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, and again in the 14th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. These laws determine citizenship in the United States. The citizens born within the country or legal migrants fall under the institution of government known as the United States. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution establishes the authority of the land, a nation whose power is drawn from the governed. Simply, we elect the nominees to represent our nation.

Creation and Authority for Border Protection
Congress and the President/ Vice President are elected by the people. The Executive Branch appoints members to the Federal Courts and the Cabinets. Congress, through the powers given by the Constitution, are entrusted to set forth legislation. This legislation is sent to the President for approval, and concludes at the Judicial Branch for interpretation. The Executive Branch is entrusted towards the enforcement of the laws by the use of public officers. These officers of the law operate under the legal boundaries set forth: jurisdiction. This requires the government to protect the interest of the citizens of the country from the unknown which may enter this country.

The Wall
The wall represents a psychological and physical boundary which individuals must conquer if their intent is to enter into the country illegally. The lack of a wall would represent just a psychological boundary in the form of a sign which establishes the separation between Mexico/ Canada and the United States. The wall is not intended to eliminate migration into the country; rather, the establishment of the wall serves as a deterrent. It serves as a purposely placed reminder to those who may seek access by unconventional means. Building a physical boundary outlines and establishes intent for violators who fail to adhere to the sovereignty of the nation. The mere presence of the wall relinquishes the requirements of judicial inquiry to formulate the intent of the individuals who may claim unawareness as a reasonable defense without the provisions presented through the adoption of the wall. The construction of the Trump wall would secure the United States position as a sovereign nation whose boundaries will be respected by the world.
The idea of a wall should not be unusual to individuals who reside in the country. Just as it is not unusual to see locks, gates, guards, and alarm systems to protect private property. We plant trees and place fences at our homes to alert others of our property lines.

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. Philadelphia: printed.
Simpson, Alan. Quoted in Carlos Rico, "Migration and U.S."Mexican Relations" Western Hemisphere Immigration and United States Foreign Policy
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for providing an interesting argument in what I hope turns out to be an interesting debate! Remember that the rebuttals this round are reserved for rebutting Round 2 arguments.

Now, your first two paragraphs are simply history that establishes the idea of national sovereignty. However, this seems to be incredibly irrelevant for multiple reasons. It seems the only reason any of this was brought up was to enforce the idea of citizenship. It makes sense in a way, but it seems like a bunch of wasted time and effort. You bring up a lot of irrelevant topics like international organizations such as the WTO.

The only real argument that is made is the last paragraph, which I will now rebut.

"The lack of a wall would represent just a psychological boundary in the form of a sign which establishes the separation between Mexico/ Canada and the United States. The wall is not intended to eliminate migration into the country; rather, the establishment of the wall serves as a deterrent."

Granted, but as I have stated before, illegal immigrants cross because they are desperate and a job in the US is their only real hope. Therefore, I don't think that the creation of the wall would be a significant psychological deterrent. The wall would simply act as a reinforcement of the idea that these people are breaking the wall, but the immigrants already know that. They realize that they are breaking the law and I don't think a physical barrier will change that.

"The mere presence of the wall relinquishes the requirements of judicial inquiry to formulate the intent of the individuals who may claim unawareness as a reasonable defense without the provisions presented through the adoption of the wall."

Perhaps, but how many people really are going to claim unawareness of the border? The distinction between Mexico and the US is clear to people who live near the border. Those who cross know the potential consequences of doing so. Therefore, I would hardly consider this an advantage.

"The construction of the Trump wall would secure the United States position as a sovereign nation whose boundaries will be respected by the world."

But the United States is already recognized as a sovereign nation. It's readily recognized by all of the developed world as one of the most, if not the most, influential and powerful nations in the world. The Trump wall is not going to change that.

"The idea of a wall should not be unusual to individuals who reside in the country. Just as it is not unusual to see locks, gates, guards, and alarm systems to protect private property. We plant trees and place fences at our homes to alert others of our property lines."

A border around private property is immensely different from a border around a country. An owner of private property who puts up a fence usually wants to keep everyone off their yard. This is not the case with the United States, which has a very high immigration rate. Many people to come to our country. While some people do come uninvited, I'm not convinced that the wall would be a significant deterrent for them without being an enormous expense. There are more effective ways to prevent illegal immigration. For example, we could make the process of becoming a legal US citizen much simpler and easier. That way, we can still maintain the significant percentage of workers in our country from foreign countries, and we don't have to worry about the economic struggles of maintaining a secure wall spanning almost 2,000 miles.

I am eager to see your rebuttals!


Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns about the Trump wall. I will analyze your argument point-by-point.

1. Expenses and the American Economy

Your first point was as follows: "First, let's assume that the US tried to pay for this wall."
This is a valid point if the proposal actually considered the United States funding this expenditure. The Trump plan [1], as sourced previously, indicated that the wall will be built by Mexico.

You then mentioned the debt of the country by stating "the US is already in the trillions in debt".
Again, as stated in the Trump Plan [2], the United States debt or increased taxation is not a concern when factoring the cost of the wall. It will not be funded on United States currency.

2. Relations with Mexico

According to the State Department you cited, "the US has fairly friendly ties with Mexico" .
Louise Shelley contends that transnational organized crime has been a serious problem which undermines the integrity of individual countries [3]. She further assesses the need to develop a "coordinated" policy which addresses the concerns of transnational criminality [4]. The United States has assisted Mexico with funding, supplies and intelligence to thwart the massive drug cartels in Mexico [5]. How has Mexico responded to the threats posed by people of this country? According to a Business Insider report, Mexico"s weak government, corrupt judicial system and lack of infrastructure makes it impossible to combat the cartels as long as the United States drug demand exists [6]. Mexico would have friendly ties with the United States when their cartels send drugs over the borders, the cartel brings the money back to their economy and the United States funds Mexico to control their cartels while combatting the drug problems in this country. The State Department may consider this friendly, but this relationship seems to be one-sided which the benefits being reaped by Mexico. The Trump wall would be the first step towards being an ally to Mexico by reducing the strength of the cartel.

Your next point was forcing Mexico to build the wall would be "bad manners".
The White House released a fact sheet which indicated "Mexican drug trafficking organizations have been operating on public lands in the U.S. to cultivate marijuana, with serious consequences for the environment and public safety. Propane tanks and other trash litter park lands from California to Tennessee." [7] Are these the bad manners that we are speaking of? Or maybe it is the 40,393 people who died from drug-induced causes which do not reflect the homicides related to drug trafficking [8]. With friends like this who needs North Korea!

I will not provide a dissent on the need for cooperation between both nations. We have provided resources, funded the current initial inadequate wall and funded the border patrol. What has Mexico done so far? If they are serious about stopping illegal drugs and illegal immigrants from entering this country, then they should fund this expenditure. If it would assist in the development, they could even build the wall on their side of the border. This would then provide some work for a population who seeks entry into this country illegally for employment purposes.

Your next point was that this would anger Mexico.
We have millions of illegal immigrants in this country, and billions of dollars of illegal drugs enter this country every year. The United States tax payers are angry at Mexico. What have they done to stop this activity? When they respect us, then we will respect them. We have made efforts to assist them with the border, and we are given the same consideration from them.

You then mentioned Mexico burning effigies of Trump. You failed to mention that they burned Obama effigies as well [9]. I am sure this was an oversight, but it shows the level of disrespect Mexico has for the United States President and *our* country.

The Mexican President does not have to build the wall. He is absolutely correct, and we should expect him to build it; however, he will fund the Trump Wall [10].

3.Immigrants and the Economy

I understand that you do not condone illegal immigrants in our country. Most law abiding citizens would not. You did make an argument that we do need to accept that our economy functions because of them. You sidestepped this fallacy quickly, and digressed to a position that they are important to the economy. So are illegal drugs, prostitution, catastrophic events and disease, but that does not mean that this is a positive to the economy. If you work construction, then you are not upset when the hurricane did not ravage your community this year. If we cure all diseases, we will not be upset because of the potential money that was lost in the economy. So why should we be concern with individuals who enter the country illegally. If you have cancer you do not keep it or ignore it as a problem; rather, you seek treatment for the disease. Our nation is resourceful and adaptive" we can even get legal workers to replace them. For every illegal immigrant who enters there is an immigrant willing to migrate legally.

Your argument on the living conditions in the country, and their willingness to work is not a concern to the United States. We have a certain amount of people who can enter the country legally. Are the rights of the individual who enters illegally worth more than those who enter legally? Tell that to the Nigerian who applies legally, and is accepted through a lottery system. If they are not selected, then they will likely die well before their time. How about the Mexican who is not selected to enter legally? Does that give him the right to enter our country illegally? If corporations cannot get legal workers to employ willing to work for the wages, then capitalism and economics indicates that they will have to pay more to the employee. Maybe then we would not have riots over raising minimum wages.

4. More Problems than Solutions

You are correct that the wall will take time. It is a construction project. I have been driving on a road that is under construction for the past three years. How do I still get to work? This is a normal problem which can be supplemented by additional resources until completion. I am not going to entertain specifics such as how many gates, the material it is made of or if the state flag or American flag will be on it. That is irrelevant towards the argument. You would not need more guards; conversely, less guards would be needed if the wall would be constructed to actually stop individuals from crossing. Technology has allowed for such events to actually become reality.

Thank you again for the opportunity to provide a dissent to your opinion.

[2] ibid.
[3] Shelley, Louise. (1995). Transnational Organized Crime: An Imminent Threat to the Nation-State? Journal of International Affairs, 48.n2.p463-489.
[4] ibid.
[5] Council of Foreign Relations. (2005). Mexico"s Drug War.
[6] Wyler, G. (2011). How Mexico Can Stop Losing the Drug War. Business Insider.
[7] Officer of National Drug Control Policy (2014). Consequences of Illicit Drug Use in America.
[8] ibid.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Zombie812 2 years ago
Aw, I wish I could vote. Even if there were only three rounds.
Posted by KristaBoy 2 years ago
1.Best idea ever by a maybe new president.

2.Will 30 or 45 precent Wall Mexico / U.S.A.

3.At least 10 precent border in U.S.A. / Mexico.

4.Trump is good as well Obama and W. Bush if he beating Clinton.

5.Clinton is good as only Obama by democrats.
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
I'm sorry, I accidentally set it to three rounds, not four. I'll make a new one.
Posted by project1237 2 years ago
No closing statements- or counter-rebuttals? Disappointing...
Posted by Conspiracyrisk 2 years ago
What are your thoughts?
Posted by Zombie812 2 years ago
I'm gonna love this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Emmarie 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: I was really disappointed to have read the whole debate, and then come to find out that Con only made the debate 3 rounds. I cannot judge this debate anything but a tie because counter rebuttals are really needed in order to determine a winner, as both Con and Pro made compelling arguments. Pro made the new arguments in favor of building the wall, when rebutting Con. [1] It will not be funded on United States currency. and [2] "The Trump wall would be the first step towards being an ally to Mexico by reducing the strength of the cartel." Through Con's own fault, (by stating it was going to be a 4 round debate, when it was actually 3 round) he left himself unable to rebutt Pro's new claims in the third round. Since pro's claims in the third round were part of his rebuttal for con's argument in round 2, I don't fault him for making new claims in a round that wasn't supposed to be the last round.