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

Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship to the undocumented currently living in US

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,377 times Debate No: 43107
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




First round is for cases. DO NOT GIVE A REBUTTAL YET. I would love to have a full debate so only accept if you will participate in each rounds. Comments are welcome and much appreciated. This was also Public Forum topic in December.

As the inscription on the statue of liberty reads, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." Because I believe in the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty we must stand in affirmation of today's resolution. Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. I support this stance with the following contentions.

1) A path to citizenship yields many benefits

A) Potential for major GDP growth
In August of this year the White House released a study reporting that providing a path to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States would create a 1.4 trillion dollar GDP boost if the undocumented acquire legal status in a one year period while working towards acquiring citizenship. This is through the undocumented paying federal taxes that they are currently not paying.

B) Job creation
In a separate study done by Robert Lynch, a professor and chairman of the Department of Economics at Washington University, a path to citizenship will lead to the creation of over 200,000 US jobs in the United States annually. We will see these jobs being created because helping these people acquire citizenship will allow them to start up their own businesses.

C) A path to citizenship reduces identity theft
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 75 percent of working-age of the undocumented use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment. The study also showed that illegal immigration and high levels of identity theft go hand-in-hand. Eight of the 10 states with the highest percentage of undocumented in their respective total population are among the top 10 states in identity theft (Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, Nevada, New York, Georgia, and Colorado). As this evidence shows, the undocumented, when unable to obtain their unique identity, will resort to taking other peoples identity.

2) Often times the living conditions in the U.S. are much better than immigrants home countries

A) Human Rights
Seyla Benhabib, Chair of Political Sciences at Yale University, wrote in her book "The Rights of Others" that "if conditions are so bad in a person"s native country that they become willing to risk their legality in order to survive their right to survival, in moral terms, holds as much weight as a country's right to secure its borders against migrants. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as signed into law in 1948 upholds that basic principle, that Benhabib highlights, in Article 14 stating "All persons have the right to seek asylum in another state."
Benhabib, "The Rights of Others" 2007

B) Providing opportunity for undocumented children
Current laws do allow for undocumented children to attend school grades K-12 however most undocumented children do not receive a secondary education unlike their classmates who (75%) go on to attend college. By creating a path to citizenship we are allowing these children, who mind you were brought to this country at a young age, to live to their full potential thus creating future potential business innovations and future jobs.

3) A path to citizenship provides solvency to illegal immigration

A) A path to citizenship is the most effective way of fighting illegal immigration.
Short of removing all border restrictions completely it is impossible to eliminate the presence of all undocumented people from living in our country. However a path to citizenship does offer some temporary solvency while still having long term economic benefits. About 1.3 million undocumented immigrants began their process to a path to citizenship by 1989, just three years after the reform. This is roughly 41% of the undocumented immigrants where living in the United States at the time.

B) The undocumented want citizenship
In a survey done by the Pew Hispanic Research center 87% of illegal immigrants said they would like to become US citizens. The overwhelming majority not only shows a want to assimilate but a desire to become part of the country and progress our economy as well.

It is for these reasons we must stand in affirmation of the resolution resolved and I urge a Pro ballot in today's debate. Thank You.


I accept. Thank you for giving me this offer to debate on this topic.
Debate Round No. 1


Waiting for my opponent to post his case. In order to help progress you can include a rebuttal to my case


Immigration; a mass of people that would eventually lead the end of human civilization as we know it, today. A force that attracts sympathy with it's left hand, but with it's right, would backstab those who showed sympathy to it in a much unneeded way. Immigration, a force that would destroy traditions and culture of a native nation, and replace it with an absurd view that society is free without any borders. Before getting on to my debate topics and rebutals, some important terms have to be defined.

1. Undocumented: not having the official documents that are needed to enter, live in, or work in a country legally (From Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Therefore, documented immigrants, or those who entered the US with papers, should be excluded from this debate.
2. Immigration: To come in a country and live there (
3. Citizenship: the quality of an individual's response to membership in a community (

Potential For Major GDP Growth a lie
Although there are major potential, there are major rooms for more financial disasters on the government's behalf. With the introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act (or Obamacare), these immigrants will soon have to use the government's affordable healthcare program as a need for healthcare. The US government, with the obligation to invest in equality of treatment, spends 8,608$ per capita on healthcare of each and every US Citizen.( Doing the math, the opponent states that there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, so therefore, $94,688,000,000 will be part of the US's government spending if this reform goes through. Apart from this, the United States spends 10,590$ per capita for education, and also believing the statistics that the opponent has given us (aka 11,000,000 undocumented workers), $116,490,000,000 would be added to the burden. ( In total, the United State's would have to spend 210 billion US dollars both on Healthcare and Education only, not to mention other welfare services that the United States provide and the global economy, which is in deep reccession. This, in return, would lead to the slowing down of the US's economical development rate, at the price of the need of citizenship. (FYI, I would be rebutting only one of your arguments per round) Also, the cost of English Language Learning is expensive (, and the US will have to train teachers to speak two languages or in the way EFL teachers are trained, and this would cost the US's government more money. It should also be mentioned that the US is now in 17 trillion dollars of debt.

The above argument still does not stand for what I consider a very important part of society; traditions. Traditions are the identity of the US and it's people. Traditions are the pure spirit of citizens of the USA, and virtues, such as liberty, equality and freedom, virtues that the US have kept for such a long time, would be lost in the proccess of giving ciitzenship to those who do not deserve them.

Although Immigrants, migrants want a piece of home!
Refusal to assimilate into a society can mean many things: eternal hatred of that particular type of people, mild racism, or even xenophobia. However, the American society has welcomed immigrants for over three centuries, and let's see where many American traditions now lie. With the arrival of non-Christian migrants, American society have taken a huge steps to making Christmas a secular holiday. ( Around 90% of all Americans celebrate Christmas, but only 50% of them say Christmas is a religious holiday. Although Christian, the rise of secularism have almost eroded the need for religion even in the most religious holidays of the year. Not only that, but some immigrants still refuse to accept the responsibilities of citizenship in one country. In the United States, a citizenship comes with many responsibilities. The reponsibility to recognize everyone as equals: though there are still some racist and homophobic groups in the United States, every immigrant wanting citizenship must understand that equality is a fundamental part of US society, yet some of them are unwilling to do so. Another responsibility of citizenship in the US is liberty: to recognize the privacy and tranquility of the people. Some immigrants groups hold religious believes that liberty must be opposed in the name of religion. One more example of a responsibility of citizenship is freedom; to recognize that anyone has the rights to say anything. Some migrants still refuse to realize this, and still believe in their religious views. An example of this is Muslim migration. Although not trying to highlight myself as an anti-Muslim, I am quite aware that as many as 10% of all slaves brought to America were Muslim. Now there are many groups, like the Nation of Islam, advocating for the need, for the want, of Sharia law to be implemented on the United States. Not understanding that US society was founded with the basis of liberty and freedom, they go unopposed but mostly unwanted by many US citizens. These two examples are very good examples of refusal to assimilate into US society, and although many minority groups have successfully assimilated into the US, one must also understand that those who assimilated were those who came through legal means! The refusal to assimilate and the want to change US society must be stopped. By giving citizenship to those who immigrate to the US, we are essentially persuading more minority groups to come and attempt to eradicate a country, which was founded on Christianity, Liberty, Freedom and Equality! A citizenship comes with responsibilites, but through the examples I have given, some migrant minority groups are still NOT WILLING TO ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND BURDENS OF ASSIMILATION AND CITIZENSHIP.

It is for these reason, the United States should not give citizenship to those who want it, but not responsible for the burden that citizenship bears. It is for this reason, and many others I am about to present, that citizenship to the undocumented would only harm the United States of America, and I urge you to vote con in the following debate. Thank You for reading this and I would like to thank the debate hoster for hosting this revelant debate.
Debate Round No. 2


So. My opponent on,y responded to two of my sub points so what I'll first do is rebut those attacks and then re affirm my other sub points and contentions.

1:A) he opens by saying potential is a lie. Okay so let's look at this logically, he is doing his own calculations and that's fine if they were anywhere near correct which they are not. However I can still work with his numbers, even if it costs $210 billion that's not on net. So on net it's still the 1.4 trillion dollar number from the COB study I linked in my original round southeast point still stands.

My opponent then states that these people do not deserve a path to citizenship? He doesn't say why they don't deserve an earned path to citizenship I can't really respond to that. He said that we would lose these traditions and yet I'm waiting to hear how, and what traditions are going to be lost in the process.

My opponent stated in his rebuttal that these people do not want to assimilate in our country, and thus should not be made citizens. We can see that this is actually not true, at all. In fact 92% of the undocumented do want to become US citizens! This shows a want to assimilate and progress our economy. My opponent is probably going to say something along the lines of "well why aren't they applying for citizenship now?" Well the main reason is because they are unable to pay the fees in order to become a legalized person while working towards citizenship. A path to citizenship will immensely help them, in fact Pew Hispanic Research Center estimates over 90% will take advantage of a path to citizenship at that point.

Since much of my case went unaddressed I will close by simply saying we can simply put all economic benefits aside, we know that the United States government values morality over everything else. Now if people are not citizens they will be deported of caught. Even those who are just legalized can be deported under circumstances, and the threat of deportation, separation of families, human trafficking, and death for 11.7 million undocumented people is something that must be addressed throughout this debate.

Thus I strongly urge a Pro ballot in the round. Thank you.


I would like to start with the first faults in the opponent's contention, and then move up on to the many other faults that the opponent has made.

Potential GDP Stats still a lie

According to the graph the opponent has provided us (the jobs one), the 1.4 trillion dollars GDP increase can only be achieved if such a reform was passed in 2013 and the few years after it. However, due to the already massive spending of President Obama's administration, this reform is unlikely to pass. And from the graph, we could see that the potential GDP increase decreases every five years, and the cost of living is increasing every year in the United States ( With the cost of living increasing, we can expect the prices of everything to be more expensive; including healthcare and education, but not limited to that. That means that if the legislation passes in the next 5 years, the culumative increase of GDP in the graph the opponent has given us (which is not inflation adjusted) would be severely limited by the inflation that would occur in the next few years. Also, I would like to remind the opponent that the US is still in 17 trillion dollars of debt, and the economy is having it tough on the United States and the world.

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 14.
  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
This is the real Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the opponent's wording of the article ("All persons have the right to seek asylum in another state") is incorrect. We must look at the differences between the wording her. The opponent has omitted "from persecution" into his way of wording his article. Persecution is the acted of being persecuted. Persecuted means "to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly". Therefore, everyone has a right to migrate if they are being prosecuted, and in that case, they should be given an earned asylum, but not to the point of citizenship. However, many undocumented migrants in the United States were not persecuted in their home countries, since the majority of them came to the United States of America for economic reasons rather than reasons of being persecuted. Therefore, it is not a violation to deport them back, or to deny them citizenship and the service of the American state, which was built on the blood, tears and sweat of the American people!

"They want citizenship" says the Pew Hispanic Research Center

According to the article the opponent has provided for us, 87% of Latinos living in the United States want citizenship, not 87% of the undocumented living in the United States. And this brings me to a point: why do they need a citizenship? With a citizenship, they have to pay federal tax, they have to work, and they have to speak English instead of their mother tongue. Without a citizenship, they could live on free government welfare that they did not pay for, they could send their children to public schools for no cost, and they could live on the government's social program. I would like to remind the opponent and the reader that not all, in fact not even half of all the undocumented immigrants come from Mexico and other Latino countries, but the Latinos are given special attention because of there illegal border crossings every year, televised on television programs, while those who come from Asia and other countries are barely given any attention. Therefore, if 87% of undocumented Latinos want citizenship, that does not mean that 87% of the 11.7 million undocumented migrants in the United States want citizenship.

A Case On Assimilation

Yes, I did state that they did not want to assimilate. In my last case, I said that 87% of Latinos wanted a citizenship, but that doesn't mean they are willing to assimilate into American society. American society is a unique society, with nationalists supporting democracy and socialists supporting the Electoral College. American society was built on liberty, equality and freedom, and these virtues are a acceptable to some of the minority groups that dwell in the ranks of the undocumented in the United States. I give one example of this, but it is very much clear that the Latinos are the only minority group willing to accept these three virtues and are ready to assimilate, and yet they still very much show that they are still more or less Latino and are willing to use forces to force Americans to assimilate into their ways. To resist is to win, to adopt is to surrender, and to adapt is to lose.

Fees for Citizenship
The opponent has brought a very relevant point: the fees of citizenship. The opponent states that ""well why aren't they applying for citizenship now?" Well the main reason is because they are unable to pay the fees in order to become a legalized person while working towards citizenship"". This is a very intersting point, but it is clear: if they are unable to pay the fees for a citizenship, or for at least naturalization, how does one expect to react when suddenly the tax payers now have to pay for the citizenship of other people whom they don't want? Keep in mind that the opponent has stated that they are unable to pay the fees of becoming a legalized migrant, and if they are that poor, how does one expect them to advance the economy, pay taxes, and create businesses/jobs? It costs only $680 to get naturalized and become a citizen, but the opponent states that the majority of them are unable to do so because of financial constraints. The only way for this reform to go pass is to include a path for migrant citizenship into taxes, and when taxpayers learn that they, above all, have to pay $680 of their hard earned work for every migrant who wants a free citizenship, how would he or she feel? Especially when the normal American worker would have to sacrifice one month of pay in every year to pay for these illegal migrants already, how would he/she feel when he/she suddenly learns that the government is suddenly giving these people a citizenship and expect them to pay for it? Anger would run straight into his bloods. That is what this reform and the opponent ought to do: to expect American taxpayers to pay for the undocumented who want citizenship.

Due to time constraints, I am unable to post a full reply today, and I apologize for this incovenience. However, I hope my cases prove adequate for you to vote con for the upcoming ballot. Thank you for reading my arguments and I hope you have a nice day.
Debate Round No. 3


alevan forfeited this round.


I extend my cases for the fairness of this debate.
Debate Round No. 4


alevan forfeited this round.


For the good of this debate, I shall end this without introducing anymore arguments.

A citizenship is given, not earned. A nation is an institution of citizens, and immigrants should never be given the same rights as real citizens. In my first argument, I said that American institutions, values and virtues, aka freedom, equality and liberty, were threatened by the mass migrations from many places whose economic situation was not as good as the US, and I highlighted how they tried to change American culture and how they do not understand it. I also stated that the economic costs were too high and would damage US's economy rather than improving it, because of increasing inflation and the economic situation of the US. In my second argument, I stated that opposing/denying illegal migrant citizenship is not a violation of human rights because the opponent has cited Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but that article stated something immensely different: we should give amnesty to those who escape their country because of persecution, not because of economic factors. I also highlighted the opponent's usage of Pew Hispanic Center, and that Pew Hispanic Research Center is not a center of migration research, but purely Hispanic based research. I also stated that such reform would be a dream, as fees for citizenship and naturalization are only $680, which is not much to pay if you truly want to be a citizen, and the opponent states that "they do not have enough money to do so". The only way such a reform would be achievable was to tax the American Middle Class more, and especially when these illegal migrants are living on one month of an average American worker's wages, there would be massive opposition to such a reform.

It is for these reasons, and many more that I am unable to present today, that I urge you to vote con in the following ballot as America as we know it today is threatened. The opponent's absence means that we cannot have a full debate, and I would like to apologize for that inconvenience, although I wasn't able to influence the opponent's choices. I would like to thank the host for hosting this debate, and I would like to thank you for reading the half filled debate and my arguments.

Thank You and have a nice day
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by alevan 5 years ago
So that* not southeast. Lol I guess you can look over it five times and miss that :/ thanks for the good debate Kc1999
Posted by Kc1999 5 years ago
Oops mistake......ehhhh
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by birdlandmemories 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit. Pro posted arguments in only onw round, and those were refuted by con. Con also had sources to back up his arguments, Pro did not. So an easy win for con.