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Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,126 times Debate No: 19391
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




Basically the idea is look at my profiles issues list and pick a issue you want to debate me on. State the issue your position and either make your arguments or let me make mine first.
Have fun.


I accept this debate and wish to debate over the border fence,
I am for the border fence, the Pro is against the border fence.

I want to take this round to accept the debate and ask the pro to clarify one thing about the pro's position against the border fence,

Are you against the border fence because you think we should focus on putting more patrolmen on the border instead of a border fence
Are you simply against the US putting any kind of security on the border with Mexico.
Debate Round No. 1


I am not against the border fence because I'm against putting security in place at the border.
I support having security and currently we are not having huge problems with security on the southern border that would warrant spending billions of dollars building and maintaining a border fence. It's projected that a border fence would cost 2.6billion-7billion, while maintenance costs would be around .4billion per year.
Now when I say we are not having problems with security at the border I mean we are not having a huge influx of terrorists bombing our cities, or an army invading us.

The reason I'm against the border fence is because the major factor for it going up is to deter immigration. I believe that immigration even illegal is beneficial for not only America but for Mexico and the people immigrating.
I am against telling the Mexican people that they cannot come to America to work in order to achieve a better standard of living. I believe all people regardless of where they are born should be able to work where they want to and should be entitled to the same chances to improve their lives.

I hope that that explanation of why I oppose the border fence is adequate for my opponent.

Now I realize that my arguments rely on one thing and one thing only; the idea that immigration legal/illegal is beneficial to America. So I will now post arguments and some data to show that immigration is beneficial.

1)Overall an illegal immigrant in his/her whole lifetime will pay 80,000 more in taxes then he/she receives in government benefits. This is mostly because the IRS allows illegals to pay taxes, because local taxes primarily are taxes that illegals cannot avoid, and the fact that illegals due to being illegal cannot get many government benefits.
2)A study done by the perryman group concluded that illegal immigrants contribute 250-650billion dollars to the economy each year.
3)A study put out by a Los Angeles professor estimates that if we were to deport all illegal immigrants it would shrink our GDP (economy) by 2.6 trillion dollars.
So basically my argument is that deterring immigration would result in lower standards of living for Americans and a smaller economy.


I actually agree with the pro about the benefit of immigrants (both illegal and legal) to the American economy but there are many other reasons we need the border fence.

1) Narcotics
The recent drug war that has engulfed Northern Mexico is over the clash between drug cartels and Mexican authorities, with thousands of people being affected including several cities in Mexico where people are fleeing for fear of their lives. The border fence serves two purposes in this case because it cuts back on the amount of illegal substances coming into America, and it prevents the large drug violence in Northern Mexico from infiltrating the southern United States. Without a border fence cities very close to the border like El Paso, San Diego, etc. would be very exposed to this drug violence and the economies of these, along with other nearby, cities would suffer. Without a border fence the sheer amount of illegal narcotics that does make it into the United States would grow exponentially because it would be far easier for cartels to move their goods into American cities.

2) Border security
You argue that we do not need the border fence because we are not in the threat of an invasion, but that is only true of today. It cannot be guaranteed that there will NEVER be an invasion from Mexico, and if that day were to come or if US-Mexican international relations broke down or somehow the two sides ended up becoming bitter enemies than that border fence would sure come in handy.

3) Costs are not really that big.
The numbers provided to us by the Pro about the border fence indicate that upgrading/reinforcing the border fence costs just south of $10 Billion and costs (barely) $5 billion a year, but the income of the US is about $3.15 TRILLION
So is reinforcing + funding a border fence currently worth about 0.476% of our TOTAL income really an issue?

4) Does the border fence deter immigration or just ILLEGAL immigration?
The border fence exists primarily to keep illegal immigrants out but the Pro implies the border fence may deter legal immigration.

Number of legal immigrants who came to America = 25.393 Million (2007)
Number of illegal immigrants who came to America = 12.621 Million (2007)
Total = 37.9 Million

So while the number of immigrants coming into the US (in 2007) equaled the population of California and Wyoming (as of 2010) The border fence may not be deterring immigration to the United States even though it is doing some damage to the number of illegal immigrants trying to make their way into America.

Number of illegal immigrants caught along the US-Mexican border this year = 120,000
also implied by the article is that illegal immigration has declined about 80%

So the border fence is suppressing illegal immigration but legal immigration continues to be as high as ever.

The border fence is good because it suppresses illegal immigration, protects the nation from the ongoing drug violence in Northern Mexico, and one day it could serve as a formidable barrier should US-Mexican relations begin to deteriorate
Debate Round No. 2


First I will highlight my arguments and then address cons arguments afterwards.

Overall illegal immigration benefits America and American citizens; as I posted earlier over the lifetime of an illegal she/he will pay 80,000 more in taxes than he/she receives in benefits; not only that but total illegal immigration increases Americas economic by 250-650 (sources are sourced on my first post).
A border fence would decrease illegal immigration by around 95% [1]. In 1996 there were only around 5 million illegal immigrations in the nation[2], while today there are over 11 million illegal immigrants[3] meaning that over a 15 year period 6 million illegal immigrants came to the USA. So if we put up a border fence it would result in 5.7million less illegal immigrants over a 15 year period. That means a border fence would result in tax revenue dropping by 380billion and the economy being 120billion-300billion dollars smaller.

No on to my opponent's arguments.

1)The drug wars are mostly contained to Mexico; there have been some intrusions on to US soil but for the most part the drug wars aren't killing many Americans on US soil. Also a border fence will not stop drug transportion because drugs can be trafficked and are being transported by the use of airplanes, boats, and underground tunnels. And I disagree with my opponent's assertion that it is a bad thing to have drugs transported into the country. If people want to use drugs that is their decision.
2)There are things called missiles, and bombs, they easily take out fences; meaning a fence really won't do anything if Mexico wants to invade/attack us.
3)It is true building and marinating a fence across the border will not cost much relative to the size of our economy, however the direct effects of that fence will be less illegal immigration which as I posted earlier means less revenue and a smaller economy.

My opponent needs to show that a border fence will somehow result in a much stronger economy. Given that I've shown that the effect of the fence on immigration will result in the economy being 120-300billion dollars lower, and that government revenue would be hundreds of billions of dollars less.



1) The drug wars are certainly NOT contained to mexico, there are many instances where the drug violence spills over the border and innocent American civilians or policemen are killed in the senseless violence.

A border fence is very helpful, not immune, but helpful in stopping the transportation of illegal narcotics into the US because even though they can be transported by airplanes, boats and tunnels the dealers dont use those tactics because they like them, they use them because they are forced to because of the border crossing. The border crossing has actually seized a great deal of illegal drugs too.

Im not going to get into people and consuming drugs, but the drug violence that is brought with these drugs infiltrating the US is certainly unacceptable. The border fence protects against that and with out it drugs would pour into the US and so would the drug cartel violence associated with it.

2) Ok the invasion argument doesnt hold well, but the border still does protect the US from the ever escalating border violence locate din Mexico and without the wall a far larger number of innocent people would end up dead from the cartel violence then without the border wall.

3) Illegal immigrants may pay income taxes but there are some aspects that could cause harm to the American economy. This includes (but not limited to)

1) Overpopulation
2) Increase strains on water supplies in the desert southwest
3) Use of Social Services
4) Use of Healthcare
5) Competition for low income jobs and Unemployment
6) Crime Rates
7) Education costs to the state (depending on number of children)
8) Impacting the price of labor
9) Poverty Rates
10) Cost of infrastructure to absorb all of these immigrants (close to 6 million illegal immigrants according to the Pro)

4) Here are some ways the Border Fence contributes to the American Economy,

1) Billions is invested in construction and technology companies to build, maintain, and upgrade the fence.
2) Millions in salaries paid to border agents which creates jobs
3) Protects US citizens (cant really put a number on them though)
4) Prevents the migration of dangerous infected agricultural products that could later cause millions in agricultural losses

This is why I believe the US needs a border fence
Debate Round No. 3


1)I said mostly contained. This evident by the fact that 2007-2010 only 220 Americans were killed as a result of the Mexico drug war and a vast majority of them were killed in Mexico. (I got these figures from your first source/link). And even though those deaths are tragic the majority of them would have still occurred with a border fence because most the people were killed while traveling in Mexico.

If your goal is to really catch illegal narcotics then a border wall is a bad idea. You put up a wall and then they dig underground tunnels or use boats. A better solution is to deploy drones and have them direct police forces to illegal activities. Not only does this solution result in the capture of more narcotics and narcotics transporters but the drones and police unlike a wall can be diverted to combating narcotics smuggling that occur4s underground and by boat.

And I still postulate that it's a waste of money and that if people want to use drugs then they should be able to; who are you to say what I can put into my body? Not only that but you want to make yourself poorer in order to prevent people from doing drugs (which doesn't harm you one bit). You get poorer because you have to pay via taxes for the police and jail space for all the drug dealers etc. that you arrest.

2)K the invasion aspect doesn't hold water.

3)1) a) Mexicans are still going to have babies regardless of not if they can enter the US meaning overpopulation if it occurs will still occur with a border fence
b) The Census projects that even with immigration by 250 our population will be 400million that population density is 20 times lower than what Japan has low and even lower than what most countries in the world are currently at.
2) I agree too many people living there will but strain on water supplies. However the thing is is that if we block immigration then all the people in Mexico will be stuck in Mexico and water supplies will still be strained. Will immigration some of those people will leave the desert and head up north.
3) As I already posted illegal immigrations pay more int axes then they use in social services.
4) Same thing as #3.
5) They are still able to compete for those jobs in Mexico, at least when they are in America they pay taxes and subsides poor Americans.
6) The crime rate for illegal immigrants is 5 times lower than an American citizen; meaning illegal immigration results in lower crime rates.
7) Same as #3
8) Same as #5
9) Illegal immigrants would be poorer if they stayed in Mexico, meaning a border fence will increase poverty.
10) Same as #3

4)So you need to provide evidence that the border fence will create hundreds of billions in benefits because that's how much money will be lost due to its impacts on immigration.
1)This is a Broken window logical fallacy.
2)Same as above.
3)I'll agree that a fence would stem losses from the Mexican drug war, but the effects would be so minimum that it wouldn't even be noticed, considering that not even a hundred people in the past half-decade have been killed in America due to the Mexican drug war.
4)Hm the transportation of pests from Mexico to America could damage agriculture, however I'm under the assumption that any dangerous pests in Mexico have already been transported and moved into America; and with the use of pesticides I doubt the damages would be very large.


Regarding the border fence, those Americans who died were killed when a select few of them actually went into Mexico. But the death toll in Mexico is rather steep, and without a US border fence would would stop the drug violence from spilling over into America.

The Current death tool from the Mexico drug wars are centered at around 35,000+ civilian deaths, and with no border wall such violence could easily spill over into the US.

The border wall is there to keep illegal immigrants and narcotics out not to catch them...... So the border wall does serve a purpose in containing/preventing (and only once in a while capturing) illegal narcotics trying to make its way into the US

The right to those drugs is another argument....

1) With a border fence though overpopulation would be less since less people would be coming into the US.... its not an issue of whether or not they will stop having babies its a matter of more immigrants = more reproduction, so with the wall you have less immigrants and thus less overpopulation,

As for your second point i assume you mean by 2050, but population density isnt the issue its too many people being located in the wrong area. If you take a region with dwindling fresh water supplies and then make that the area that has to house these millions of immigrants coming in to the US then overpopulation becomes a serious problem over availability of resources.

2) You dont have evidence for that. Also if you keep them in Mexico than Mexico's water supplies are not of concern of the United States. Also if they simply move further north what will they leave in their wake? thats right a completely dry region of the United States destroyed from overpopulation from immigration....

3) Fair enough

4) True

5) They dont necessarily subsidize poor Americans and even then they still take away those jobs that Americans may take up and that would force unemployment numbers up either way...

6) Of your sources,
1 - Your first article only shows the uncertainty of the activities of illegal immigrants
2 - this source relates only to New York City, a city very different than El Paso
3 - this source only shows a correlation between the two, not a cause and effect relationship that proves immigrants bring down crime rates
4 - this source only uses violent and property crimes as evidence
5 - This is google answers
6 - relates to population projections not crime rates

Sources showing that in immigration intensive areas crime has risen as more immigrants came.

7) Education is a service exploited by many immigrants who have children, it is not like healthcare or other systems because in this field immigrants do exploit.

8) This has to do with an abundance of cheap labor driving down wages available to the rest of Americans in that area, this is not over unemployment. If there is an abundance of laborers willing to work for a very low wage then employers will use them as the standard and now everyone else just to compete has to also work for low wages. immigration impacts wages in many states.

9) There is a big difference between poverty in Mexico and poverty in America. We are currently dealing with the largest fiscal challenge in the history of our nation and I doubt that absorbing Mexico's poverty as our own will do us much good. A border fence keeps immigrants out, and contributions to poverty, which does wonders for US poverty rates.

10) Infrastructure includes housing, schools, hospitals, gas stations, jobs, streets, cars, etc needed to COPE with all these immigrants. The costs of making sure all of these are at large enough levels to deal with so many immigration will devastate the states of the south west if immigration grows to extreme proportions. Again with the fiscal crisis going on in America all these immigrants would surely not help the situation...

4) Ive shown how the border wall contributes to the American economy, I couldnt find the right figures but that doesnt mean you can throw out the whole argument..
- 1 - That is a theory developed by a frenchman in the 1850's and it does not show how the government funding or even creating thousands of jobs to create and maintain a border fence that this country needs is actually doing nothing for society...
- 2 - Again Congress is funding long term jobs and that is a benefit to the economy because it creates jobs, supply chains, industries, etc.
- 3 - The number of people who died in America is around 200 (thats quoting you from the top of your last argument), the number of people who died in Mexico from the same violence was close to 40,000. There is a very clear difference in the number of deaths this border fence prevents.
- 4 - Your counter argument is that, they are already in the US, pesticides will protect us, and the damage wont be very large.

There are already many laws designed to prevent agricultural threats from coming to the US, many of them relate to the aviation industry, airline industry, any tourism related industry, and at borders. You cannot just assume they are already in the US when there are personnel whose job is to specifically prevent this from happening.

Pesticides protect against bugs but not actual diseases of fruits or fruits that are already tainted so if a viral strain of strawberries made its way into the US pesticides wont make it any less healthy or dangerous. In fact with fertilizers we would only be rapidly producing this tainted food and years later we would only then start to see the harmful effects of this tainted food.

It could cost a lot of money to agricultural products in general, specific ranches and farmers, lawsuits would fly around, a cure would have to be found, if it could be found, and then you have a huge cost from some small strawberries.

Its happened before,

Cantaloupe grown in Mexico made its way into the US in 2002. After four outbreaks of salmonella, two deaths, and 18 hospitalizations it was discovered the Cantaloupe was irrigated with water from a river used to dump feces........

Also in this same article Green Onions grown in Mexico caused cases of Hepatitis A in Pennsylvania, causing 4 deaths and 600 hospitalizations....

The costs of these two strains alone resulted in easily thousands of dollars in damages along with a handful of deaths and many more hospitalizations..... The damage from tainted foods can be very large.

We need a US border fence for these reasons
1) It keeps out the drug warfare that is raging In Mexico
2) Upgrading, funding, and patrolling the border wall creates jobs
3) It does keep out illegal drugs
4) It prevents overpopulation of the southwest along with the strain it puts on valuable water resources
5) The wall itself does not eat up that much of US expenses, it is less than 1%

Thanks for reading :D
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
Willoweed is votebombing my debates as well.
Posted by imabench 6 years ago
willoweed why are you vote bombing half of my debates????
Posted by imabench 6 years ago
Im surprised I finally found one to accept :P
Posted by Maikuru 6 years ago
I wish I'd stop missing these.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by jimtimmy 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter Teafood votebomb.
Vote Placed by Teafood 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro sourced a lot of sources that showed that immigration is a good thing. He thing made a solid argument that a border fence was less effective than drones and police forces
Vote Placed by 16kadams 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: scources easily go to con, but both debated well, so arguments even