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

The Wall

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,323 times Debate No: 103917
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
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Just like the topic says, I am against the building/extention of the wall on America's southern border with Mexico.

My opponent must debate that the wall would be, overall, benificial to the United States, and disprove my arguments against the wall.

Let's keep this debate civil.

My opponent can choose whether to go first or second. If first, they can accept the debate and then give arguments in first round. Otherwise, just accept. If no arguments are presented in the first round, I will assume that my opponent has chosen to go second.

Happy Debating!


The wall will be beneficial financially, for security reasons and good economically for the USA, therefore I'm for building the wall. I will state my debate point in detail next round, now I hope to hear the opening statements from my opponent of why we don't need the wall.

Lets get it on!!!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate. I am against the wall for the following reasons:

1. The border wall will be a waste of taxpayer dollars. While estimates range for the price of the wall, ranging from $15-$25 billion dollars, the Department of Homeland Security has reported that the initial price would be $21.6 billion (sources 1,2) and take around 3.5 years to complete.

2. For much of the wall, there is no federally owned land, so the government would have to seize landowners land, as they have with the existent border fence (source 3.) The government has also waived the Endangered Species act, the Safe Drinking Water act, Clean Air act, and even the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation act to build the border fence. These were just a few. The full list is available on source 4, second to last paragraph (source 4.)

3. The wall would be ineffectual and minimally reduce illegal immigration, most especially of the smuggling of drugs and bringing in of crime. This is because it is estimated that at least 40% of illegal immigrants come on airplanes (source 5.) In addition, the vast multitude of immigrants come into the USA legally and just overstay their visas. A border wall would not stop them from doing that. It would not stop drug trafficking because the cartels don't just walk across the border, at least the vast majority of them. Many build narco-tunnels, and to quote the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Over the past five years, U.S. authorities have detected more than 75 cross-border smuggling tunnels, most of them in California and Arizona." (source 6.) 170 have been detected since 1990. In source 7, you can see how complex these tunnels have become. This one is a half a mile long, and the associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of San Diego, David Shirk, says “They keep finding tunnels, they keep getting bigger and longer and more sophisticated...It just seems like we haven’t reduced the capacity of people to make tunnels. I think this is a problem we have to manage, not a problem we can actually solve.” (source 7.) There are also narco-submarines. Yes, submarines carrying drugs AROUND any border we have. They are very hard to detect, as they are small and light.

4. The cost of the wall would be the most expensive piece of US infrastructure and would equal out to about 20 hoover dams or double the annual budget of NASA (source 8.) As descriped in a previous debate, there are many more good uses to come out of NASA than a wall would produce (source 9, points 1, 3.) Or this money could be spent on roads, education, or, really, anything else internally. This wall would just continue to drive our nation into debt. There is no way we can force another nation to foot the bill, especially without a breach of soveriegnity.

5. Most importantly, if you build a 30 foot wall, the market for 31 foot ladders increases. A multi-billion dollar investment, which would also require maintanance and therefore more money poured in yearly, would be defeated by a <$20 piece of rope, as Donald Trump found out while giving a speech (see source 10)

This are a few of my major points against the wall.




First of all I would like to discuss the financial burden of constructing the wall. I agree the wall will cost a lot of billions of dollars to construct, but now lets look at the immigration enforcement cost of tracking, capturing and deporting of illegal immigrants by Agencies such as Border Protection Service, ICE, FBI and local police services, these agencies spend billions of dollars a year rounding up illegals that cross over the border some of them up to 6 times after being deported. The border with Mexico is long and the USA does not have enough man power to patrol the whole border now, the wall would provide some deterrence from the open border now. 1/3 of illegals live in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, the immigration problem is a huge burden on the USA. If you have a nice back yard and people constantly stomp all over it, what are you going to do, but put up a fence to keep people out. It doesn't guarantee that they will stay out, but it will provide some privacy. That is what this wall will do.

The construction of the wall is estimated to create over 50,000 jobs, which would help the stagnant economy, it would provide employment for many people for a few years. As for seizing the land of owners, it's not like a significant amount of land would be seized, the government just needs a strip at the border to place the fence/wall in place. Most local owners would not mind as they are for the wall as they are tired of illegals crossing the border and walking across their land and squatting on their property. There is also danger with cartels sending armed gangs across the border, through land owners property. The wall would provide the land owners with more security. Currently the area in question is too large to manually monitor which leaves large open border areas exposed to anyone from Mexico, South America or Central America to just enter the USA unobstructed.

You stated 40% of illegal immigration entered through airplanes, that leaves 60% entering through land border crossings.

You mention the 31 foot ladders, if you need a ladder, you still need to come down the other side, that takes times, that small delay is better then having people just sprint across the border in the middle of the night without delay.

The locals want the wall, it's the cost conservative people that don't want the wall, but they aren't there on the front lines to see how bad the illegal immigration is across the open border. Just look at what is happening in Europe with the open EU borders and when the Syrian migrants started entering Europe, all of a sudden countries like Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, had to put up walls and barbed wire fences to slow down the migration of Syrians from just entering Europe.

The wall is not a solution for everything, it's a means of slowing down the illegal immigration into the USA.

Just like when you put a fence up in a back yard, it wont stop people from entering your property, it will just discourage or slow down determined individuals from entering, at the same time it provides some privacy to your property. That's all
Debate Round No. 2


First off, while it is true that we already spend billions on ICE, Border Patrol, etc., this does not mean that we should invest in a wall, or that a wall would be effective. Vox did a good piece on this (source 1.) The reporter, Johnny Harris, said it best: "One of the benefits of having the border patrol be this collection of people and technology is that you can move it around, instead of having permanent infrastructure always in one spot." The border patrol does do a good job at tracking and finding illegal crossings. An over $21 billion dollar wall deal, with the incresed annual maintainance that we will be required to finance, would not improve the Border Patrol's effectiveness.

This is because of two reasons. Firstly, as I mentioned, and will elaborate on latter, a $30 dollar latter could scale the multi-billion dollar wall, and without sufficent numbers of border patrol personal, the wall will be ineffective at keeping watch for people with ladders. Furthermore, as John Oliver explained in his segment on the wall, training and hiring procedures for increases in border patrol agents, such as has happened before, leds to undertrained, underprepared, and easily corrupted agents who wouldn't pass a standard background check (sources 2,3.) If you really want a secure border, investing in training for border patrol agents and provide them with more modern equipment, such as was on display in source 1.

Furthermore, the government will struggle to find legal laborers to work on the wall, as unemployment is very low. This would lead to an increase in labor costs, further extending the price of the wall to higher than its predicted cost (source 4.) While this alone, I admit, isn't a big enough reason not to build the wall, this, coupled with the other reasons shows that the cost of the wall is not worth it. In addition, 50,000 low-paying, temporary jobs will not boost the US economy of 153,439,000 workers, even if they found that many workers. If there was any stagnation in the US economy, it would be because of large shifts in companies, with the rise of Amazon and others shifting power from Sears and other older companies. An unpredictable future is what leads to economic instability.

As explained by earlier sources, the US border patrol does a good job at finding any illegal crossings, and what would benefit them is an investment in their technology, allowing them to shift around the border fluidly.

Now, I did say that at least 40% of illegal immigration enters through airplanes, but to say that the other 60% comes through border crossings is a logical fallacy. More specifically, fallacy of lost contrast, where you assume that things are either x or not x. Here, that would be coming in on planes or land. This is not true. 2/3 of all illegal immigrants come in on legal visas, and just overstay them. A wall won't stop them. It would make more overstayers, as the trend has been (source 5.) Many people also come via tunnels and boats, both of which go around walls.

To quote wikipedia, "Research shows that illegal immigrants increase the size of the U.S. economy, contribute to economic growth, enhance the welfare of natives, contribute more in tax revenue than they collect, reduce American firms' incentives to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods, and benefit consumers by reducing the prices of goods and services.[7][12][13][14][15] Economists estimate that legalization of the undocumented immigrant population would increase the immigrants' earnings and consumption considerably, and increase U.S. gross domestic product.[7][16][17][18][19][20]

There is no evidence that illegal immigration increases crime in the United States.[21] There is scholarly consensus that illegal immigrants commit less crime than natives.[22][23]"

As I explained earlier, due to visas and low numbers of land crossings, the US illegal immigration situation is nowhere near the drastic levels of the Syrian refugee crisis, with millions refugees attempting similar paths into Europe in addition to the others from Africa and the Middle East. These are swarms of people that needed help, rather than isolated people looking for employment. Furthermore, a wall would stop circular immigration, and keep illegal immigrants from returning to Mexico if they are here just to work (source 6.) It will not slow immigration, just force them to come from another way.

Illegal immigrants also commit less crimes than native-born Americans and also work jobs that Americans don't want to (source 7.)

Furthermore, drugs would continue to flow through the means that I mentioned last round, on narco-submarines and tunnels- both going around any wall.

In conclusion, a wall would just waste precious resources and not do much to stop illegal immigration.



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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Nd2400 3 years ago
FanboyMctroll: i would be more then glad to prove to you that this wall is a stupid idea. Nothing more than a money pit for american citizens. Plus would not guarantee security on the boarder.
Posted by What50 3 years ago
Little iffy on this topic. I am all for securing our border, but I think the building wall is gonna have alot more financial problems.
Posted by R_Jacob_Percival_M 3 years ago
I know. But in the "Big Issues" it says that a majority of is for the wall. Most of them just say "Build the Wall!" if they are pro wall.
Posted by Nd2400 3 years ago
Damn would be a good debate, if i were against the wall. So far every one of these debate is opening against the wall.
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