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Should illegal immigrants be allowed to become citizens in the United States?

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AxlLincoln has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,543 times Debate No: 100703
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Illegal immigrants should be allowed U.S. citizenship.

First off, let's talk about the notion that illegal immigrants are stealing jobs from U.S. citizens. In my opinion, they are not. According to Pew Research Center, illegal immigrants account for 5% of the working population in the United States. The top two workforces they are most commonly in are farming and construction, yet they are still outnumbered by workers that are U.S. citizens. Otherwise, many immigrants are willing to do work that many citizens do not commonly want to do.
Illegal immigrants get jobs through the same application process as U.S. citizens. If a citizen applies to work at Target, let's say, and fills out a form to apply, an immigrant is going to follow that exact same procedure in order to obtain that job. There's no foul play. If the employer believes that the non-citizen is better fit for the job, they give them that job. It's the same as if two citizens were competing for a job.

Immigrants also are normally law-abiding, other than the fact that they are illegal immigrants. I believe that if an immigrant is breaking any major laws besides immigration, it is fair to deport them back to their home country. However, if the person is following laws like other citizens and is not an imminent threat or danger to others, they should be allowed to stay. That person is working for everything they have the same way any other citizen is. They have built a life for themselves, sometimes even new generations of their families, and kicking them out after all they've done is inhumane.

Immigrants should be given easier access to the path of obtaining citizenship. It should be made simpler, but still be fair. Like President Obama said, "...A process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally."


First off I would like to thank you for your willingness to discuss this topic, many people would fail to use discussion and just call those who disagree with them on this issue a racist.
I will begin by debunking each of your arguments.

First: Illegal immigrants are not stealing jobs from U.S. Citizens.
The first thing that comes to my mind as a defense to this is 5% is a large number. I understand your point that they work in labor and construction, both of which are areas where not many legal citizens would be willing to work. Unfortunately, because we live in a capitalist system when you add a supply of 8 million illegal workers and maintain the same demand, (demand for construction is independent of labor available) you end up lowering wages for the Americans that are willing to work in these jobs. Not only that, but due to the minimum wage, it is illegal for them to even offer their services at a competitive price if they wanted to. The minimum wage in Mexico is lower than $4 USD/hour. If one can come to America make $6 USD/hour there is no reason not to come. These people how to have more than they would should they have stayed in Mexico, the company has more than they would have they hired legal workers, and the money now has an opportunity to flow back to Mexico and leave our economy altogether. Since Obama took office, the number of illegal immigrants has gone down by 1 million. to my knowledge, not very many of them became legal workers while they were here. I'll be generous to you and assume each of these people only worked for 1 year, $5/hour 40 hours a week, and only saved half of the money to bring back to their family in Mexico. Here is the math of how much money the US lost. $5/hour * 40 hours = $200/week. $200/week * 52weeks/year = $10400/year. $10400*1/2 saved = $5200/Person. 5200/person *1,000,000 people is over $5 billion

Second, your contention that illegal immigrants go through the same application process confuses me. It is illegal to hire illegal aliens according to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), so a company like Target could not hire them in the first place. I'm not sure as to whether this claim is due to confusion about noncitizen workers and illegal immigrant workers or not, I would like to either see a source in reference to this claim or have you clarify your stance on this statement.

Third, your next statement debunks itself in the first sentence. You say "Immigrants also are normally law-abiding, other than the fact that they are illegal immigrants." the nature of illegality implies that every single illegal immigrant is a criminal. I understand the connotation that goes with this point is unpopular to many, however, these people are by nature criminal. You also contend that those who break "any major laws" should be deported, or at least you said it was fair. However, I would contend that any law broken is one more than if you send them back, therefore if you are pulled over for any reason whatsoever you should be deported because you are driving without a license. I would like you to explicitly say whether or not you agree with this point because this is one of the major contention points among the two sides. In this paragraph you also discussed how it is inhumane to tear apart these families, however, if someone got a DUI and was torn from their family, would that also be inhumane? Especially if the family needs the income of said person in order to continue to build their life. Just because you have worked for something if the foundation is made of sand (or from criminal activity) there is always the possibility of the rest of the tower crumbling down.

Fourth: Immigrants should be given easier access to the path of obtaining citizenship. I disagree with this point for two reasons. The first is that this is giving an unfair advantage to those who broke the law. This gives incentive to people who are, right now, today, thinking about crossing the border, to do it now rather than later. There is also the question of whether or not the USA has an obligation to let immigrants in who do not add to our societal intelligence. America is the best country in the history of humanity, we should continue to provide access to citizenship to people who will add to STEM subjects or the arts, however, manual labor, which as you ceded earlier is the primary work to illegal immigrants, does not add intelligence to the society as a whole therefore the government has no obligation to its citizens to allow competition in as was alluded to with the minimum wage argument.
Debate Round No. 1


I value understanding the other side's point of view on anything. How others think is quite interesting to me, and I definitely want to be well-informed on both sides in the things I support or don't support.

I'd like to say that in my arguments, I am defending those illegal immigrant families who moved here specifically to make a better life for themselves, not those who plan to do things like sell drugs, et cetera. On the topic of those who send money back into their home country to help their families who stayed back, I believe that most of them are only doing it because they had no other option. Getting a job in their home country that could support their family is surely much easier than sneaking across the border and getting a job, and I'm sure most of them would much rather be back home with their families and not have to live in constant fear of being deported. I am defending those who are here for the good of their families and do not have ill will towards the United States. My opinion on those who are here on pursuits that are not imminently related to the good of their family or the good of themselves varies on the person, but overall I believe that they should be deported, because those people do not depend on America for what they *need*.

Regarding the application process point I made previously -- I will acknowledge that I was confused and misinformed. However, those who somehow weave their way around that law (which I know is illegal and wrong, and which I do not fully support, however for those who need the money to live, I can see where they are coming from in doing this), for the most part go through the same process as others. Let's say this person uses forged papers to get a job. They had to pay for those papers, and then go through the application process without even knowing if they are even going to get the job. As for those who are hired by employers that just want to underpay illegal alien employees, those people would not take that job and those working conditions if they were not forced to by circumstance. If they had enough money to support themselves and get another job, then they do not need the job and, in my opinion, should be deported because they have no imminent circumstances requiring money.
I'm not quite sure what you want me to reference in this point. The thing about how they have to go through the same application process is just common sense; there is no reason they would not have to go through the application, unless that employer was specifically looking for immigrants. Not all immigrants work for such employers. Many work in the fields I previously mentioned, as well as for taxi companies and hotels(1).

Another point -- a lot of these workers who got around the law still pay taxes to the IRS(2). According to the cited article, in 2010, illegal immigrants working on forged documents paid $13 billion to the IRS in retirement taxes. Following the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration's estimates of 50,000 more undocumented immigrants coming into the U.S. and working under forged papers a year, that means that 350,000 more immigrants have come into the country and began working since 2010. This brings the amount of taxes paid to about $15.5 billion. If America lost over $5 billion to immigrants in job pay, then they earned it back here, and made profit -- $10.5 billion in profit.

In my opinion, a "major law broken" is breaking a law that is there to enforce the safety of the American people, such as murder, violence, drug dealing, et cetera. If the immigrant in question is driving without a United States license, but has a license in Mexico, I believe that they have not committed a major crime and should not be deported only for this.
My "inhumane" point was referring to those who are only breaking laws that they must to survive and are not in danger of harming others. Taking a citizen from a family and putting them in jail does not count for this because the person was arrested under a DUI charge, which is putting others in danger. It is that person's fault for getting a DUI, as most likely, they knew what they were doing could harm others, should they be in or out of the car. In the case of an immigrant, in my opinion, a DUI would be a case for deportation.

I believe that illegal immigrants have the same responsibilities as American citizens involving following the law. They know right from wrong, and should know not to do things such as drunk driving. Especially since they are immigrants and could face deportation if arrested and found undocumented, they should know to be careful, and if they do get arrested for a DUI or another illegal act that warrants an arrest, they should be deported because that is their own fault. The only times I give them a "pass" of sorts on laws is on the immigration/labor/etc. laws, and only when they need it to live.

Regarding the easier path to obtaining citizenship topic: I apologize if my point came across as, "Give illegal immigrants an easier way to obtain citizenship, but not the people who are looking to obtain citizenship the legal way!" That was not my intention. I think that the entire process should be simplified, for those currently illegally living in the U.S. and those outside who are looking to come in the legal way. I think those already in the United States should be given the ability to try and go through this process, and if they are proven unfit to citizenship, a certain time period to go back to their home country, and if they fail to leave by that set date, forced deportation. Those who want to cross the border would have easier access to the process from their home countries, and would be able to get through the process faster in order to get to the United States faster in a legal way. Those crossing the border illegally due to circumstance mostly do so because it would be too late for them by the time they obtain legal documentation to get in.

I would like to hear more on your point of "...whether or not the USA has an obligation to let the immigrants in who do not add to our societal intelligence." I believe that immigrant work is work however you put it, and that somehow, they are helping something, may it be building a house for someone to spend their life in or doing a job of "higher value", such as STEM career fields. However, I would like to hear what you have to say on this in more detail.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Lookingatissues 3 years ago
lookingattheissues2 response....While my sentences may not have been grammatically correct I believe that most would have no difficulty in interpreting what my point was, only those whose purpose was to distract from the subject would inject extraneous remarks unrelated to the subject at hand.
You posted," what I gather you're saying that immigrants must take jobs in order to get money to survive..."
What I was pointing out was that aliens who enter this country have a basic hunan need to survive, and since they are not self sustaining they must depend on other sources to maintain themselves. There have been studies made about the useage of welfare and it was found that immigrants make use of welfare and its cost to Americans.
The Heritage Foundation had a article titled " The Fiscal cost of unlawful immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. taxpayers by Jason Richwine, Phd & Robert Rector who wrote the following ,"There are approximately 3.7 million unlawful immigrant households in the U.S. These households impose a net fiscal burden of around $54.5 billion per year..." so obviously immigrants do not support themselves.
".... Children in unlawful immigrant households receive heavily subsidized public education. Many unlawful immigrants have U.S.-born children; these children are currently eligible for the full range of government welfare and medical benefits...." How do Immigrants survive, on the American taxpayer, that's how they do it besides driving down the wages of American workers.
Posted by avianage 3 years ago

Your wording is extremely confusing and gramatically incorrect, but from what I gather you're saying that immigrants must take jobs in order to get money to survive, which would mean stealing jobs from citizens by default.
My opinion is that they are not "stealing" jobs the way everyone says that they are. They are only stealing jobs in the same way that an American citizen would steal a job from another American citizen. They also do jobs that there is not a big market for in the United States, such as janitors, housekeepers, construction workers, and more.
Posted by Lookingatissues 3 years ago
Pro Pro (for)
"....Illegal immigrants should be allowed U.S. citizenship...."

"First off, let's talk about the notion that illegal immigrants are stealing jobs from U.S. citizens. In my opinion, they are not. "
lookingatheissues2 : You posted, Illegals are not stealing jobs from "......U.S Citizens...."
Illegal aliens coming to this country are like all humans having the same basic requirements, Food, shelter, and a means to purchase these necessities. If the aliens don't take jobs, How to they purchase these human necessities, how do they find the sources/ money to send back to such countries as Mexico to support their families who remained behind, Could using Public assistance, Welfare in some form, by many of them be the source of their income then if Aliens aren't taking Jobs from Americans as you claim.
Posted by ILikePie5 3 years ago
Well thought out AxlLincoln
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