Instigator / Pro
0
1706
rating
32
debates
81.25%
won
Topic

TBHT: The US Government ought to increase the numbers of immigrants allowed into America

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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0
Sources points
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Spelling and grammar points
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After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
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Last update date
Category
Politics
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
0
1523
rating
2
debates
75.0%
won
Description
~ 842 / 5,000

Ought to: "it is morally right to do a particular thing or that it is morally right for a particular situation to exist" [1]
Increase: "to (make something) become larger in amount or size:" [2]
Immigrants: "a person who has come to a different country in order to live there permanently:"
Allow: "to give permission for someone to do something, or to not prevent something from happening:"

[1]: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/ought
[2]: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/increase
[3]: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/immigrant?q=immigrants
[4]:https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/allow?q=allowed

General Rules:
1. No new arguments in the last round
2. Sources should be posted in the debate rounds, hyperlinked or otherwise
3. Burden of Proof is shared

Round 1
Pro
RESOLUTION: TBHT: The US Government ought to increase the numbers of immigrants allowed into America
POSITION: Pro


OPENING STATEMENT:
"Between 1880 and 1920 America became the industrial and agricultural giant of the world. . . This couldnot have been done without the hard labor, the technical skills and entrepreneurial ability of the23.5 million people who came to America in this period.” (Kennedy, 1964, p. 34)" [1]
The 23.5 million people that Kennedy is talking about and Nathan Nunn, Nancy Qian, and Sandra Sequeira are referencing are the immigrants who moved to the United States during the Industrial Revolution. An example of such workers would be the huge influx of Irish people after the infamous potatoes famine in Ireland thanks to a blight [2]. These starved immigrants became a huge working power behind the, at the time, brand new infrastructure of the railroads [3]

This precedent set by one of the largest periods of immigration into America [4] continues into the current day. They have become a wave of innovators and a large percentage of the skilled workers in America, doing nothing to replace native-born people, complementing and building on Native Americans instead [5]. Furthermore, thanks to several waves of international conflict a new population of refugees are seeking asylum in America, and they would only boost this effect. 

It's not just an economic or infrastructure boost that's Immigrants and Refugees give to the American system, but they also share a core ideal of the U.S. That would be Liberty. Liberty was one of three inalienable rights that the US declared they had when writing the declaration of independence [6], and that trend was continued in the U.S constitution [7]. Refugees leave their countries because of dangerous political and military threats to their families, they are seeking what the US promises [8].

However, as of Donald John Trump's historic term as President, the number of refugees allowed into America plummeted [9]. While this was thought to be something of the past thanks to the new president Joeseph Biden, the National Immigration Report projects only 15,000 refugees will be allowed into America in the fiscal year 2021 [10]. During today's debate, I will argue why the US ought to increase the number of immigrants allowed into the U.S. 


INTERPRETING TERMS & RESOLUTION
The essential terms within the resolution are: immigrant, allow, increase, and ought - the specific resolution isn't combining any terms, so no fiddling with any definitions is needed in order to simplify my burden of proof. It is very simple, I am responsible for demonstrating that the U.S ought (or is morally obligated to) increase the number of immigrants allowed into America. In contrast, my opponent has to demonstrate that they ought not to allow more immigrants into the U.S. To clarify the B.O.P even more; currently, the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) allows the U.S to give 675,000 visas for permanent residence, I am arguing that it should be higher, Con is arguing lower.


OBSERVATIONS (OF THE RESOLUTION)
  • The resolution clearly refers to the moral obligations of the US, therefore the specific how or who will instate such a bill are nontopical, as they do not fall within Pro's burden to prove (note: topicality is an apriori issue)
  • Words such as "allow" within the resolution are distinct in clarifying that we are not discussing illegal immigrants allowed into the US, we are talking about legal permanent residents. 


CONTENTION I. (LIBERTY):
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence [6]:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"
As I began discussing in my opening statement, both the U.S Constitution and the Declaration of Independence cite Liberty as one of the foundational and unalienable rights of someone of the U.S. As such, one of the primary principles that the US should keep itself accountable regarding is liberty. Not just liberty regarding within its own borders, to deny somebody help of achieving their own liberty whenever we have the resources to do so would be fundamentally contradicting to our founding principles. The fact of the matter is that things like armed conflicts that have our attention internationally are typically trending downward [11], however, military budgets are rapidly increasing [12]

There is a clear moral obligation to the refugees, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has displaced tens of millions of refugees [12], regardless of these mass refugees effort, America is continuously lowering the number of refugees into its borders, despite the fact that we have literally excess billions of dollars being spent on increasingly lowering conflicts in the middle east. These people seek freedom, not just from violent dictators, or ultra-military governments, but from disease and starvation. These people need the US's help, we have the resources, we need the workforce (huge worker shortages according to the National Labor Statistics: [13]), and they need our help. 

Gouverneur Morris, The U.S Constitution [7]:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


CONTENTION II. (ECONOMY):
Immigrants have shown empirical growth to the long-term status of the economy, while this is typically associated with short-term problems, they are far outweighed by the long-term benefits.  The first study I will be citing to inform my argument is: "The Effects of Immigration on the United States’ Economy" a background brief by the University of  Pennsylvania [14]. Before I dive into the deductive syllogism arguing in favor of immigrants supporting the economy, I should take some time to debunk some common misconceptions regarding Immigrants in the U.S workforce. (While the study cited above will inform my argument for the contention, numerous sources inform the debunks)


  • "Immigrants take jobs from Native-born Americans" - This is probably one of the most commonly cited arguments. The general logic is that immigrants will move into a new community with a diverse skill set, and are generally willing to work for lower wages than Native-born Americans, therefore, they would obviously steal jobs away from native workers. This is actually steel manning this argument, as it is typically asserted ad hoc, without any sort of justifications. However, even without refuting some of the logic used in the example, the data simply does not support that claim. In fact, Immigrants typically create more jobs than they take; see source [15]:
"Their analyses revealed that immigrants do start companies at higher levels than native-born Americans—and that this is true for both small companies and very large ones. This led the researchers to an intriguing conclusion. “Immigrants actually create more jobs than they take,” says Jones."
The article in the source quoted above actually talks about it a bit; generally speaking, immigrants become entrepreneurs at higher rates than average Americans, they are much more typically self-employed, and therefore actually create more jobs for Americans. Furthermore, the immigrants who don't start-up businesses are lower-skilled workers. This is primarily due to a language and cultural gap in immigrants, and are therefore willing to do jobs that native Americans aren't. in summary, not only are Immigrants not stealing jobs from Native borne Americans they are also filling in the worker gap briefly mentioned in my last contention [13]


  • "Immigrants use more benefits from the government than they ever give back" - The argument here is admittedly a little bit more complex than the one before it. Immigrants come here and (presumably-i.e-falsely) come in and take more jobs, while taking those jobs they only receive little income; however, as they typically have larger families they get huge incomes in benefits from the government, all while paying relatively low taxes due to their low-income wages. Again, I was giving the argument the benefit of the doubt here; moreso, the argument is not supported by the data; immigrants give back more to the economy than they take; [16]:
"Immigrants paid in 2014 an estimated $223.6 billion in federal taxes. This includes $123.7 billion in Social Security tax and $32.9 billion in Medicare tax. On the state and local level, immigrants paid $104.6 billion in taxes. The combined contribution of immigrants in 2014 was $328.2 billion in taxes. In California, immigrants pay 28 percent of the total taxes in the state."
To those who don't look at the numbers, immigrants are actually more and more people with college degrees; and typically earn more money - people with more money pay more taxes, which is one flaw in the misconception. That isn't all, take this into consideration; there are two people, person A and B. Person A is a native-born US citizen, and he graduates with a bachelor's degree, and gives back to the economy. Person B is an immigrant, also with a bachelor's degree, who moved here while he was, let's say, 20. The native-born is at a big disadvantage in terms of giving back to the economy, as they spent around 16 to 18 years, giving back nothing, while the state provided education, food, etc. 

Those are just some of the biggest misconceptions regarding immigrants struck down (while also establishing some arguments regarding the positive impact of immigration), now onto the meat and potatoes; [14]:
  • "Most empirical studies indicate long-term benefits for natives’ employment and wages from immigration, although some studies suggest that these gains come at the cost of short-term losses from lower wages and higher unemployment."
  • "Immigrants also bring a wave of talent and ingenuity, accounting for a disproportionate share of workers in the fields most closely tied with innovation. A 2011 survey of the top fifty venture capital funded companies found that half had at least one immigrant founder and three quarters had immigrants in top management or research positions"
  • "Immigrants in general — whether documented or undocumented — are net positive contributors to the federal budget. However, the fiscal impact varies widely at the state and local levels and is contingent on the characteristics of the immigrant population — age, education, and skill level — living within each state."
  • "Economists generally agree that the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy are broadly positive. Immigrants, whether high- or low-skilled, legal or illegal, are unlikely to replace native-born workers or reduce their wages over the long-term, though they may cause some short-term dislocations in labor markets. Indeed, the experience of the last few decades suggests that immigration may actually have significant long-term benefits for the native-born, pushing them into higher-paying occupations and raising the overall pace of innovation and productivity growth. "
Each claim given is sourced with multiple other sources, and this had the funding of a university behind it, a true powerhouse; going on trends and data alone I have enough evidence to end the contention here; however, in case all of this was unable to convince the Voter of the positives behind immigrants in the workforce, I will leave the contention with a basic syllogistic argument. Each premise will be sourced, to lead to a logically valid and sound conclusion - the entire point here, is that immigrants stimulate the economy which supports everyone in the U.S, that is a net positive for even more than just immigrants:

PREMISE: IF, immigrants increase competition for jobs for Native workers, THEN the economy is stimulated (b/c competition stimulates the economy [17])
PREMISEIF, immigrants don't increase competition for jobs, THEN all of the immigrants complement native-born workers (skilled w/ unskilled [15])
CONCLUSION: Therefore, regardless of immigrants effects on the job market regarding native-born workers, they will stimulate the economy 


CONCLUSIONS:
The resolution: "The US Government ought to allow more immigrants into America" is true because; The founding principle of liberty is upheld by allowing refugees in, and we have more than enough excess funds to care for more than 15,000 refugees. and, immigrants provide an empirical net positive to the economy, and stimulating the economy will support all U.S citizens, a net positive. These contentions should show that it is obvious that immigrants being allowed into America at an increased rate will do nothing but help the U.S, and the U.S has a moral obligation not only to help it, citizens, through ethical stimulations of the economy, but of people seeking liberty. 

On to Con.


SOURCES:

Con
Thank you, Theweakeredge.  

Governments fulfill their end of the social contract through acting in their citizen’s best interest. This is the moral justification for compelling people to pay taxes, or to obey laws that they do not want to. In return, the government uses its power to look out for the citizens interests.

Pro argues that because the US strives for liberty, we have a moral obligation to accept more immigrants, quoting the constitution. But he bolds the most important part, which demonstrates the fallibility of his thinking. “For ourselves and our posterity.” Us, not them. If increasing immigration benefits citizens of the United States, vote Pro. Otherwise, vote Con.
 
I.                 Resource Scarcity

The arguments in favor of mass immigration all presume that even though immigrants compete with the native born for resources, their contributions grow the total amount of resources to the point that it outweighs the increased competition. In other words, natives get a smaller portion of a bigger pie. We will discuss this concept more with my second contention, but it misses something fundamental about the world we inhabit. Certain resources are all but fixed, and thus competition for them is necessarily zero-sum. Admissions into top colleges. Housing stock in areas with lots of jobs. Land. The physical environment itself.

My opponent’s source for taxes paid by immigrants draws its information from a paper by the “New American Economy” group[1]. This very paper, which lauds the impact of immigration, notes that between 2000 and 2010 immigrants caused housing prices in major metro areas all across the country to increase by tens of thousands of dollars. The paper portrays this as somehow being a good thing, but I hardly see how pricing the youth out of homeownership is supposed to be a positive. Considering the large increases in housing prices since 2010, it is safe to assume that this problem has only gotten worse.

When millions of people come to America, they must live somewhere. If they are not driving up competition for the limited existing housing supply new housing is being made, transforming forests and fields into the concrete jungle.  Increasing the population means paving over more and more green space. The EPA puts it best, when new housing is built: “we disturb and erode soil, disrupt habitats, deplete natural resources, pollute air and water and use up land…of the significant sectors in the U.S  economy, new single-family home construction was one of the most environmentally burdensome.”[2]

When immigrants come to America, they quickly rise to American levels of consumption. As a result, studies have found that immigrants to the United States collectively generate 482 million tons more C02 than they would have produced in their home countries[3].To put this into perspective, if this increase was its own country, it would rank in the top ten for emissions.

Immigration, if not carefully managed, represents a tangible threat to the physical environment Americans inhabit.

II.                Immigration and Economics

The most fundamental concept in economics is the idea of supply and demand. Immigration increases the amount of labor available for purchase, which without a corresponding spike in demand, necessarily lowers the value of labor.  

Meatpacking is an example of an industry that has been completely decimated by an influx of cheap labor. In the late 1970’s,meatpacking workers enjoyed union protections, great benefits, and high wages of up to $50 an hour, adjusted for inflation[4]. Just wages for what is difficult and dangerous work. Starting in the 1980’s, corporations went on a recruitment drive to bring in immigrant workers to break the unions, and as a result wages in the industry are now down around 75%.

Even visas for high-skilled immigrants are often abused. As the Economic Policy Institute[5] explains: “For at least the past five years nearly all of the employers receiving the most H-1B and L-1 visas are using them to off-shore tens of thousands of high-wage, high-skilled American jobs. Off shoring through the H-1B program is so common that it has been dubbed the “outsourcing visa” by India’s former commerce minister.”  Wage requirements for these visas are set artificially low, such as offering wages of $12.25 an hour for computer specialists, who typically pull in comfortable six figure salaries. If you have ever seen one of those viral job advertisements where companies are demanding ridiculous qualifications for low wages[6] this is why. Companies are going through the motions of fulfilling the requirement to advertise the job to Americans, but what they really want is to hire a cheap immigrant worker.

Trump took a historically harsh position on immigration and made every effort to tighten visa eligibility requirements and prevent illegal immigration. What happened? According to the Federal Reserve consumer finances report[7], between 2016-2019: “median family income rose 5 percent, and mean family income decreased 3 percent…These changes suggest that the income distribution narrowed slightly over the period, particularly as the decrease in mean income was mainly driven by families in the top 1 percent of the income distribution…These patterns stand in contrast to the 2010–16 period, during which mean income growth vastly outpaced median income growth and the income distribution widened considerably.” The growth in income was particularly outsized among those without college degrees, who most directly compete with low-skilled immigrant workers. In times of tight immigration policies, the poor get richer and the rich get poorer.

If immigration is so good for the worker, none of this makes sense. If we take the commonsense approach that immigrants represent competition for jobs, it all adds up.

My opponent has argued that immigration creates more jobs, because immigrants are more likely to start businesses. I have a few responses that I believe greatly mitigate this argument:

i.                 The statement that “immigrants create more jobs than they take” concedes that they do, in fact, take some jobs. If we cut immigration to exclude those who are highly unlikely to start businesses, we can have our cake and eat it to. Indeed, his own source notes: “The survey data, which also take into account older and more stable firms, found that 7.25percent of immigrants were entrepreneurs, compared with about 4 percent of native-born individuals.” Only 7% of immigrants are doing the heavy lifting.

ii.                Pro has not presented a plan for what he wants our immigration system to look like. This argument supports allowing in highly intelligent, skilled, and motivated immigrants with startup capital. By contrast, the only change he advocates is letting in more unskilled laborers because we have “excess funds to care for [them]."

iii.               Immigrants tend to hire within their own social and ethnic networks, meaning that the jobs created disproportionately go to other immigrants, rather than native-born workers. Andersson et. al[8] found that: “For the average native, about 15% of coworkers are immigrants, while 42% of the coworkers of recent immigrants are fellow immigrants, and 36%of the coworkers of established immigrants are immigrants.”  A global study conducted for The Institute for the Study of Labor[9]  found that immigrant managers are more likely to hire other immigrants, especially in small businesses.

iv.               The Federal Government provides significant financial incentives for minority owned business, which encompasses the vast majority of immigrant owned businesses. Minority owned businesses were awarded $30billion in preferential contracts in 2019[10] Some of disparity in business creation is due not to differences in ingenuity but due to large financial incentives provided to minorities (most immigrants)and denied to non-hispanic whites (most native-born)

v.                Immigrants are disproportionately represented in certain types of businesses with consistent, long term demand. For example, 53% of gas stations and 54% of dry cleaning businesses were owned by immigrants[11]. While laudable, it is not credible to argue that without immigration the US would not have gas stations. A market demand exists and would be filled.

These objections cast sufficient doubt on the question of whether immigration is a boon to native employment. However, the most important takeaway is that this contention does not affirm the resolution. As noted, Pro has to show that the changes he advocates would be an improvement over the status quo. No doubt, certain immigrants really DO create jobs! And others represent competition for jobs and resources. The rational conclusion is not that because some immigration is good, all immigration is good. The rational conclusion is that immigration should be tightly managed and limited to individuals highly likely to contribute an outsized amount to the economy, and workers in fields where we have a long term and intractable shortage of labor.

Many of Pro’s arguments lack the necessary context to be sufficiently evaluated. For example, he notes that “A 2011 survey of the top fifty venture capital funded companies found that half had at least one immigrant founder and three quarters had immigrants in top management or research positions.” Without knowing the average size of venture capital founding or management teams, I have no idea if this is impressive or not. Immigrants are around a sixth of the labor force. If the average team size is two this is indeed impressive. If the average team size is twenty, not so much. Pro presents the total amount of taxes paid by immigrants without contrasting this with the accompanying outflows to immigrants. Since the US has a budget deficit and immigrants both have lower household incomes than natives[12] and consume welfare programs at a higher rate (51% vs. 30%)[13] it is not mathematically possible that the median immigrant household is a net contributor to the federal budget. To the extent immigration contributes positively to the federal budget it is because illegal immigrants pay taxes without receiving the associated benefits, a situation Pro no doubt intends to remedy. What better way to increase immigration than to legalize those already here?

Immigration represents a wealth transfer from wage earners, who must compete with immigrants for wages and resources and pay the taxes for the programs that support their lifestyle, to capital owners who enjoy higher returns on investment due to having access to cheap labor. This is why large corporations and business advocacy groups such as the Chamber of Commerce are so in favor of mass immigration. Because I stand with the American worker over big business, I negate.

Sources:


Round 2
Pro
RESOLUTION: TBHT: The US Government ought to increase the numbers of immigrants allowed into America
POSITION: Pro


BRIEF ROADMAP
This round will primarily be a rebuttal, I believe that my constructive stands firm, and does need to be elaborated much if at all in these rounds. At most I will summarize my essential points at the end of the round. I will address my opponents arguments in sequential order, called as such:
  • HOUSING
  • VISA & TRUMP
  • JOB MAKERS


REBUTTAL I - HOUSING (Con's: I. Resource Scarcity) 
  • INNER GUIDE
    • 1A - REVIEWING CON'S CASE
    • 2A - THE BENEFIT OF IMMIGRANTS

1a REVIEWING CON'S CASE
Certain resources are all but fixed, and thus competition for them is necessarily zero-sum. Admissions into top colleges. Housing stock in areas with lots of jobs. Land. The physical environment itself.
As narrative structure would find fit, this is the supposed main idea of Con's first argument, though - it would be prudent for voters to realize that his actual argument is in regards to housing and housing alone - in fact - a good chunk of this argument is dedicated to the CO2 emissions that would be increased by an increase of construction of housing. To get back on point

  • My opponent's core claim is that an increase of immigrant's allowed into America would screw over native born Americans, taking their houses or causing more to be constructed, negatively impacting the environment. 
"When millions of people come to America, they must live somewhere. If they are not driving up competition for the limited existing housing supply new housing is being made, transforming forests and fields into the concrete jungle.  Increasing the population means paving over more and more green space."

2a THE BENEFIT OF IMMIGRANTS
"My opponent’s source for taxes paid by immigrants draws its information from a paper by the “New American Economy” group[1]. This very paper, which lauds the impact of immigration, notes that between 2000 and 2010 immigrants caused housing prices in major metro areas all across the country to increase by tens of thousands of dollars. The paper portrays this as somehow being a good thing, but I hardly see how pricing the youth out of homeownership is supposed to be a positive"
My opponent cites my own source (oh no, whatever shall I do), to attempt to make a critique on my interpretation of the facts of the paper, and to make some, rather, strange claims regarding the housing in general. 

The very first thing to do is to establish exactly what conclusion these experts come to based on the data in their study:
"Regardless of their immigration status, immigrants settling in American towns and cities contribute to their communities in countless ways. They increase demand for housing, often in areas that would be in decline without them, raising the value of local homes and the wealth of American homeowners and families. They become new customers at local businesses like restaurants and hair salons. These new Americans also create and preserve jobs in the U.S.: they start businesses at higher-than-average rates and fill critical labor needs in sectors like manufacturing, adding new skills to allow manufacturing to grow and remain here in America." [1]
Why such the disparity in conclusions? A very obvious thing really, note my opponent's specific wording in his argument:
"caused housing prices in major metro areas all across the country to increase by tens of thousands of dollars"
I'm sure its quite obvious, my opponent is viewing this, not as a general question "What does immigrants increasing home value do?", but "How does immigrants increasing home value hurt native-born Americans?" What my opponent fails to consider is how this might (and does, at least according to this study) stimulate the economy. Immigrants tend to live in homes that are A) rented, and B) of lower quality [2], so whenever they add value to a home they are stimulating the house market by adding to the supply of more quality houses (as adding value is generally achieved via increasing quality of that home [3]). 

Typically, when we are discussing supply and demand, people acknowledge a very simple fact, as prices increase supply is increased:
"1. As price increases, more firms decide to enter the market—that is, these firms produce some positive quantity rather than zero.
  2. As price increases, firms increase the quantity that they wish to produce." [4]
Thus, my opponent's concern that:
"When millions of people come to America, they must live somewhere. If they are not driving up competition for the limited existing housing supply"
Is completely unfounded, as immigrants increasing relative value of their homes would increase the supply of houses, as I both stipulated and cited.

Further, my opponent is worried for the effects on the environment:
"When millions of people come to America, they must live somewhere. If they are not driving up competition for the limited existing housing supply new housing is being made, transforming forests and fields into the concrete jungle.  Increasing the population means paving over more and more green space"
My opponent needs not be worried. Generally, as we move on, construction is becoming more and more green, in fact, in 2020 alone almost 80 billion dollars were spent on green construction [5]. Green construction is generally just how the market is skewing, why? Well, constructing green just employs several benefits that... well, benefit firms and other construction companies. 

They, in summation [6]:
My point, is that stifling the industry now will not prevent the massive CO2 emissions, remember my opponent is arguing for the status quo not reducing construction, what you will do is, in the long run, stifle the trend towards green. By reducing interest in a market that is becoming increasingly green, the industry will no doubt be more swayed away from the path of green construction. 

Though, it is curious, what my opponent's own source says. He quotes a blog by the EPA, and one would think that given this is his only source regarding the burden, environmentally, of homeowner construction, it would at least agree with his conclusion. Yet, the blog actually goes onto say:
"In the Analysis of the Life Cycle Impacts and Potential for Avoided Impacts Associated with Single-Family Homes, EPA first fully uncovered this burden and then suggested changes to counteract it. This “life-cycle” analysis of a national scale considers goods used during “pre-occupancy”, “occupancy” and “post-occupancy” stages of single-family homes and highlights the most significant ones. EPA shows that if we grow the recovery and reuse of just a handful of building materials from single-family homes, we could notably counteract their full environmental burden" [10]
This would make the impact of my opponent's claim... lacking, to say the least. The solution to decreasing CO2 emissions is not decreasing the amount of construction of houses (which to be clear, still isn't my opponent's argument), the only one who believes that is my opponent himself, not the experts they cite. To get back to my point, immigrants are benefiting the U.S economy, they typically add value to low value properties and thereby increase supply - counteracting my opponent's concern of a limited supply - and support the increasingly green construction industry. Ironically enough, immigrants help to solve the two issues my opponent has with the construction industry. 



REBUTTAL II - VISA & TRUMP (Con's II: Immigration and Economics)
  • Inner Guide
    • 2A - REVIEWING CON'S CASE
    • 2B- VISA'S AND TRUMP

2a REVIEWING CON'S CASE
"The most fundamental concept in economics is the idea of supply and demand. Immigration increases the amount of labor available for purchase, which without a corresponding spike in demand, necessarily lowers the value of labor. "
Now, while this is presented as the central argument, it.. isn't. No, generally my opponent is arguing that, based on the economic uptick during a time when illegal immigrants are being more controlled, immigrants don't contribute to the society, and that visas for workers are often abused... see - I'm not touching the:
"My opponent has argued that immigration creates more jobs, because immigrants are more likely to start businesses. I have a few responses that I believe greatly mitigate this argument:"
Until the third contention, so until then I only have the preceding three or so paragraphs, and they are.... disjointed to say the least. To be more direct, my opponent makes three central claims:

  • Hiring immigrants lowers wages, apparently in the meat packing industry specifically
  • Companies abuse Immigrant VISAs for cheap labor 
  • Trump's stricter immigration policy could only be coincided with increasing financial situations IF immigrants don't net-benefit to the economy

2b VISA'S AND TRUMP
Let's analyze the three claims made by my opponent, sequentially, of course:
"Starting in the 1980’s, corporations went on a recruitment drive to bring in immigrant workers to break the unions, and as a result wages in the industry are now down around 75%"
And, I promise voters, you can go check, I am not cutting off a source - my opponent is merely asserting that this is the case. This is preceded with a claim that in the 1970s, meatpackaging workers had: "enjoyed union protections, great benefits, and high wages of up to $50 an hour, adjusted for inflation", which is true! What my opponent seems to have missed in this article, is what its primarily about- that is -the exploitation of immigrants in the meat industry.
"More than a century ago, when Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, the workers in American meatpacking plants were recent immigrants, largely from eastern Europe. Sinclair eloquently depicted the routine mistreatment of these poor workers. They were employed for long hours at low wages, exposed to dangerous working conditions, sexually abused, injured on the job, and fired after getting hurt. In the novel, the slaughterhouses of Chicago serve as a metaphor for the ruthless greed of America in the age of the robber barons, of a society ruled by the law of the jungle. During the following decades, the lives of meatpacking workers greatly improved, thanks to the growing strength of labor unions. And by the early 1970s, a job at a meatpacking plant offered stable employment, high wages, good benefits, and the promise of a middle-class life." [11] 
That is to say, the demographic of workers were already immigrants. My opponent simply wants to assume that hiring immigrants lowers wages, but.. well that isn't the case because the meat industry has historically hired immigrants (according to his source), and... ironically also says this:

" Far from being a drain on the American economy, immigrants have become an essential component of it. According to a recent study by the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University, “The industrial produce and animal production and processing systems in the U.S. would collapse without the immigrant and migratory workforce.” The handful of multinational companies that dominate our food system are hardly being forced to employ immigrant workers. These firms have for many years embraced the opportunity to exploit them for profit." [11]
My point? The source my opponent employs FAR from provides warrant for his claims, this one actively discredits my opponent's arguments, in almost literally every metric. 

The next claim my opponent makes:
"Even visas for high-skilled immigrants are often abused"
I agree actually! The last source you provided also points to this fact yes. Corporations love to take low-earning workers and exploit them, specifically immigrants. But uh.. my opponent seems to be shifting who the problem is:

"Companies are going through the motions of fulfilling the requirement to advertise the job to Americans, but what they really want is to hire a cheap immigrant worker."
In order for this to be an impact towards the resolution, regarding allowing more immigrants and refugees into America, it would have to be the people being EXPLOITED's fault that they are being exploited.... voters, please understand the absurdity of that position, in order for these facts to have any impact on the resolution how my opponent wants to convey it to be, we would have to completely ignore that these corporations are corrupt. The solution is not to stop immigrants from coming into America, the solution is to regulate these industries from exploiting people - that would naturally stop the influx of labor of immigrants that my opponent seems to be scared of. 

Finally, this claim:
"The growth in income was particularly outsized among those without college degrees, who most directly compete with low-skilled immigrant workers. In times of tight immigration policies, the poor get richer and the rich get poorer."
Which, is basically saying asking: "Why is the economic situation of America improving with stricter regulations of immigration." That's... a pretty easy question to answer, and not nearly as hole-poking my opponent thinks it is. The answer is two-fold.

  1. Existing and Legal Immigrants
  2. The Depression of 2008-2009
1.
So... yes, new immigrants are being restricted under Trump's policies, but there are still literally millions of immigrants that already live in the US, any boost to the economy gained by immigrants, especially ones who lived there for a long time - which - is a good portion of the economic benefits that immigrants provide, would be largely unaffected by Trump's policies during his presidency, furthermore, while immigrants have been restricted under Trump's policies his reign is by no means a "historically harsh position on immigration."

At least not one with the highest impact, nor even closest to the highest impact on immigration to the US. During 2016 to 2019, US Immigration only dropped from around 1,183,000 to 1,000,000 - which - yes is a horrible restriction to immigrants, but compared to like, 1991 to 1995? It's nothing, in 1991 the annual legal residents were 1,800,000, and in 1995 it was 720,000, over a 50% decrease, as contrasted with the less than 10% decrease provided by Trump [12]. That is to say, Trump's policies would largely have zero effect on the benefit immigrants provide. 

2.
Next is a little history lesson in U.S Depressions:
"The Great Recession lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, the longest contraction since the Great Depression. The subprime mortgage crisis triggered a global bank credit crisis in 2007. By 2008, the damage had spread to the general economy through the widespread use of derivatives. GDP in 2008 shrank in three quarters, including an 8.4% drop in Q4. The unemployment rate rose to 10% in October 2009, lagging behind the recession that caused it. The recession ended in Q3 2009, when GDP turned positive, thanks to an economic stimulus package." [13]
Famously, this depression had long lasting impacts on the US Economy:
"In each of these cases, an economic recession can lead to “scarring”—that is, long-lasting damage to individuals’ economic situations and the economy more broadly. This report examines some of the evidence demonstrating the long-run consequences of recessions. Findings include:
  • Educational achievement: Unemployment and income losses can reduce educational achievement by threatening early childhood nutrition; reducing families’ abilities to provide a supportive learning environment (including adequate health care, summer activities, and stable housing); and by forcing a delay or abandonment of college plans.
  • Opportunity: Recession-induced job and income losses can have lasting consequences on individuals and families. The increase in poverty that will occur as a result of the recession, for example, will have lasting consequences for kids, and will impose long-lasting costs on the economy.
  • Private investment: Total non-residential investment is down by 20% from peak levels through the second quarter of 2009. The reduction in investment will lead to reduced production capacity for years to come. Furthermore, since technology is often embedded in new capital equipment, the investment slowdown can also be expected to reduce the adoption of new innovations.
  • Entrepreneurial activity and business formation: New and small businesses are often at the forefront of technological advancement. With the credit crunch and the reduction in consumer demand, small businesses are seeing a double squeeze. For example, in 2008, 43,500 businesses filed for bankruptcy, up from 28,300 businesses in 2007 and more than double the 19,700 filings in 2006. Only 21 active firms had an initial public offering in 2008, down from an average of 163 in the four years prior.
There is also substantial evidence that economic outcomes are passed across generations. As such, economic hardships for parents will mean more economic hurdles for their children. While it is often said that deficits can cause transfers of wealth from future generations of taxpayers to the present, this cost must also be compared with the economic consequences of recessions that are also passed to future generations." [14]
To summarize: the era of 2016-2019 would always be better financially speaking than than the era of 2010-2016, the fact that there was even growth at all is astounding, because it was directly after one of the worst U.S Depressions in literal decades. The performance of the US Economy during Trump's reign was the the economy finally recovering from the long-lasting impacts of that depression. My opponent's claim is completely contradicted - the US Economy rising was not due to stricter immigration policies, but other reasons, and the boost provided by immigrants was not effected by Trump's policies. 



REBUTTAL III - JOB MAKERS (Con's II: Immigration and the Economy)
  • Inner Guide
    • 3A - REVIEWING CON'S CASE
    • 3B -  CON'S OBJECTIONS

3a REVIEWING CON'S CASE
If immigration is so good for the worker, none of this makes sense. If we take the commonsense approach that immigrants represent competition for jobs, it all adds up. My opponent has argued that immigration creates more jobs, because immigrants are more likely to start businesses. I have a few responses that I believe greatly mitigate this argument:
My opponent's main goal is to "mitigate" my arguments. That's quite literally it, though, he does a number of things to do that: First, he attempts to make several arguments that would cast doubt on Immigrant's worker creating capabilities - he argues that - immigrants still take jobs, I have no plan, immigrants are more likely to higher immigrants than other companies, the government gives to immigrants, Immigrants are in positions which answer long-term, demand, and attacking my argument for net benefit of immigrants.

This is a low, my opponent is indeed shotgunning arguments at me; however, as anyone who has debated can note - typically shotgunning arguments is done intentionally - its to distract their opponent and the voters from realizing the independent weakness of the arguments themselves. Lets not loose sight of that voters, if a group of arguments are all bunk, then that group is no less bunk than they are separately, in other words - there being more arguments does not make my opponent's claim more credible, if anything the reliance on more, weaker arguments, discredits my opponent's claims. 


3b CON'S OBJECTIONS
Because it would actually be much to character consuming to explain the entire problem with Con's sources and their arguments, I will speed round the objections here:
"The statement that “immigrants create more jobs than they take” concedes that they do, in fact, take some jobs. If we cut immigration to exclude those who are highly unlikely to start businesses, we can have our cake and eat it to. ... Only 7% of immigrants are doing the heavy lifting."
So what? It doesn't matter if they "take" jobs, they create more than they take-  thereby increasing the net jobs in the US Economy - as sourced in round 1 [15]. Furthermore, increasing the allowed amount of refugees/immigrants into America at all is arguing in favor of my claim, my opponent's distinction between entrepreneurs and low skilled workers is irrelevant. Furthermore, recall the worker shortage brought up in round 1 as well, which provides economic purpose for low-skilled workers [16]. Objection negated


"Pro has not presented a plan for what he wants our immigration system to look like. This argument supports allowing in highly intelligent, skilled, and motivated immigrants with startup capital. By contrast, the only change he advocates is letting in more unskilled laborers because we have “excess funds to care for [them]."
Immigrants, in general, provide economic support for America, there is no clear divide between the immigrants that are "highly intelligent, skilled, and motivated" until they have been in America for a surplus of years. Recall my argument regarding the long-term benefits of immigrants from round 1 [17]. Objection negated


"Immigrants tend to hire within their own social and ethnic networks, meaning that the jobs created disproportionately go to other immigrants, rather than native-born workers.  A global study conducted for The Institute for the Study of Labor[9]  found that immigrant managers are more likely to hire other immigrants, especially in small businesses."
My opponent seems to think that this somehow matters, what this means it that immigrants are less likely to discriminate than other employers do - furthermore - impacts of jobs, control for immigrant labor in immigrant entrepreneurship, even given immigrant employment - however - even disregarding that fact-  my opponent is confused. On average, immigrant entrepreneurs hire other immigrants because the immigrants are the ones who started the business in the first place. As their business grows, this becomes less so [18]. Objection negated. 


"The Federal Government provides significant financial incentives for minority owned business, which encompasses the vast majority of immigrant owned businesses. Minority owned businesses were awarded $30billion in preferential contracts in 2019[10] Some of disparity in business creation is due not to differences in ingenuity but due to large financial incentives provided to minorities (most immigrants)and denied to non-hispanic whites (most native-born)"
My opponent doesn't understand a very simple concept. "Minority owned businesses" is not exclusively or even majority made up of immigrants - to somehow claim that this creates the entire benefit is to not understand, fundamentally, what a minority is... because guess what, hispanics are not, in general, immigrants-  native born Latinos have grown in population size from 16-18 percent [19]. 


"Immigrants are disproportionately represented in certain types of businesses with consistent, long term demand. For example, 53% of gas stations and 54% of dry cleaning businesses were owned by immigrants[11]. While laudable, it is not credible to argue that without immigration the US would not have gas stations. A market demand exists and would be filled."
This is absurd, the over-representation of immigrants in long-term demand means that the market demand was answered by immigrants, and given the general worker shortage in the American economy, it is not un-credible to say that these fields would be understaffed if not for immigrant workers [16]. Objection negated 

The last relevant objection brought up by Con is thusly:
"Pro presents the total amount of taxes paid by immigrants without contrasting this with the accompanying outflows to immigrants. Since the US has a budget deficit and immigrants both have lower household incomes than natives[12] and consume welfare programs at a higher rate (51% vs. 30%)[13] it is not mathematically possible that the median immigrant household is a net contributor to the federal budget."
Is my opponent deliberately ignoring my argument which did in fact account for outflow:
"Immigrants paid in 2014 an estimated $223.6 billion in federal taxes. This includes $123.7 billion in Social Security tax and $32.9 billion in Medicare tax. On the state and local level, immigrants paid $104.6 billion in taxes. The combined contribution of immigrants in 2014 was $328.2 billion in taxes. In California, immigrants pay 28 percent of the total taxes in the state." [20] 
Furthermore, I want my opponent and the voters to remember this argument:
  • Given the situation of two 20 year old adults, both with bachelor degrees, the native worker will have always taken more money from the government
    • The immigrant is more likely to have arrived in America as an adult, thereby not spending between 16 and 18 years taking from the government in the form of healthcare, education, without any give back. 
    • In contrast, the native-born worker will always take these 16 and 18 years unproductively taking from the government, whereas immigrant workers will come and more likely to immediately benefit to the economy. 
To summarize: my opponent's arguments are bunk. 

Back to Con


SOURCES:
Con
Thank you, TheWeakerEdge!

I will go through my case, defending it against Pro’s objections, and then I will review my opponent’s case.

=My Case=

I.                 Resource Scarcity

Recall the established facts. According to Pro’s own source, immigrants drove housing prices up tens of thousands of dollars in all metro areas between 2000-2010. Pros attempts to rebut this point all fall flat due to misunderstanding the housing market. Pro argues that the only way immigrants increasing housing prices is because they “improve” homes, as “adding value is generally achieved via increasing quality of that home." This is wrong. Housing prices are overwhelmingly driven by local supply and demand, which is why literal shacks in San Jose are selling for two million[1]. More immigration means more people competing for limited housing stock, according to his own source. Pro also argues that immigrants live in “lower quality” homes—AKA, starter homes for young families. Housing is one of the top financial worries of millennials, as rising prices have made homeownership increasingly unaffordable for middle income families. A report from Unison[2] found that: “it takes nearly 15 years to save up for a 20% down payment on a median-priced home if you have a median income. In Los Angeles, someone must save for 43 years; in New York City and Miami, it's 36 years; and San Diego, 31.”

Pro’s solution is: build more houses! Many metro areas have severe supply constraints on land, particularly in mountainous states such as Colorado and California where the surrounding hinterlands cannot be easily paved over. Even in states with an abundance of flat land, you can only build so many houses within an hours commute of the city. But Pro misses the point that even where you can build, this imposes extreme costs on the local environment. Why does Pro insist upon paving over every green space? His only answer is that if only we could convince the construction industry to adopt new building standards, we could mitigate the damage. But the point is missed entirely—it will never not be environmentally disruptive to take a field or a forest and pave over it. Building more houses is a BAD thing!

Pro also completely fails to address the point about immigrants and C02 admissions, falsely stating that this is only attributable to housing. Not so—as noted, immigrants quickly rise to American levels of consumption, resulting in higher pollution output than if they had stayed in their native countries. The resulting delta would be in the top 10 polluters if it were its own country.
 
II.                Immigration and Economics
 
Pro takes great exception to the fact that I used a pro-immigration source to make my claim about the meatpacking industry, but he does not dispute the facts I used for my argument, or the logic that immigration decreases wages due to the law of supply in demand. Pro totally misconstrues the history of the meatpacking industry. It was an immigrant dominated industry in the early 1900s when immigration levels were as high as they are today[3], but by 1970 the foreign-born share of the population had dropped 2/3rds, to less than 5%. Non-coincidentally, worker conditions were great during the nadir of immigration and hellish when companies had unlimited supplies of cheap labor to tap.  The meatpackers of the 1970’s were blue collar Americans, and companies deliberately brought immigrants into meatpacking communities populated by African-Americans and working-class whites, often swelling their towns population by 50%, under sinister corporate plans with titles such as “The Hispanic Project.”  

Keep in mind that this is not about a single industry, meatpacking is just a perfect case study for what has happened everywhere. Wages have stagnated or declined for middle and low wage workers since the 1970s[4], and while this cant ALL be chalked up to immigration, Pro has not made a sound argument for how a constant influx of cheap labor benefits the common worker.

Pro concedes that “high skilled” visas are frequently abused by corporations and used to undercut American wages, but morally immigrants are not to blame, the corporations are. The debate is not about if immigrants are bad people, the debate is about if we need more of them. Pro’s only argument is that we can “regulate” businesses to keep them from “exploiting” immigrants, but he does not say how we can regulate these companies. Considering that these businesses are bringing in workers to work at lower wages than Americans, regulating away their ability to hire cheap labor would destroy the incentive to hire immigrants, resulting in lower immigration levels and negating the resolution. As Pro states, regulation would: “naturally stop the influx of labor of immigrants that my opponent seems to be scared of.” I agree! We need to stop allowing corporations to undercut American wages by reducing the pool of immigrant labor they have access to. Please vote Con!

Pro completely misunderstands the economic situation in 2016. Contrary to Pro’s suggestion that we can chalk everything up to the great recession, GDP recovered in 2011, the stock market recovered in 2013, and employment recovered in 2015[5]. By 2016, the recovery had already happened, so we should have expected LOWER growth going forward, as the low hanging fruit of recovery had already been plucked. In fact, the opposite occurred.

Pro argues that Trump “only” cut legal immigration by 15%, but this is a significant number. Certainly large enough that if immigration is so good for the worker, the detrimental impact of lower immigration levels should have been picked up in the statistics. Moreover, while good statistics on illegal immigration are intentionally difficult to come by, we do know that after Trump’s first year the number of “self-deportations” among illegals doubled[6]. Clearly there was a significant cut to immigration under Trump, and economic conditions substantially improved for lower and middle wage workers, who saw increased wages. While it is above my paygrade to suss out exactly how much of the improvement can be attributed to lower immigration levels, the point is that what happened is consistent with my arguments, and totally inconsistent with what my opponent argues. Immigration WAS cut between Obama and Trump, and where was the harm? Things got better!

Here are the facts: We know that prices are governed by the law of supply and demand, and that mass immigration represents a massive increase in the supply of labor. We know that broadly, our current period of high immigration has coincided with decades of wage stagnation for middle and working class Americans. We know that wages in some formerly middle-class industries, such as meatpacking, were destroyed by immigration. We know that visas for “high skilled” immigrants are abused. We know that a recent President cut immigration by at least 15% and conditions for the American worker did not deteriorate, they improved. We know that big business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce are strongly in favor of mass immigration. Things could not be any clearer: mass immigration harms the worker.

=Pro Case=

Note that my opponent still has not presented a plan for what he wants our immigration system to be like. He mentions that he wants to let in more refugees, but he does not say how many. He does not advocate for a single other change to the system. How many immigrants does he want? What type of immigration? What will the rules of the new system be? You cannot vote Pro until he has answered these questions.

I.                 Liberty

Pro has not responded to my framework that governments have the obligation to secure their citizens best interests—and no one else’s. Pro has completely failed to demonstrate that we have a “moral obligation” to let it more immigrants/refugees—indeed he has consistently refused to even tell us who these people he wants to let in are!

II.                Economics

Pro consistently misunderstands his burden of proof. The resolution is not “on balance, immigration is good”,  he is obligated to advocate for an explicit change in the status quo. The fact that certain immigrants contribute an outsized amount to the economy does not mean that they all do. Recall from his own source that 93% of immigrants are not entrepreneurs. This entire contention only works if we assume that it is completely impossible to make any distinction between immigrants. Nobody is saying we should exclude people like Elon Musk or Sundar Pichai, but we can safely assume that an illiterate day laborer with a third-grade education is not going to create the next Tesla. Pro also argues that we should accept more immigrants because we have a “labor shortage.” His source for this is the March 2021 BLS numbers, which do indeed show a lot of job openings—however this is due to the unique situation of generous Pandemic unemployment insurance. Between the $300 a week from the Federal Government and the average of $320 a week from the states[7] workers are making the equivalent of $16 an hour to stay home. Of course this is leading to an artificial “labor shortage” that will be quickly ameliorated when the federal unemployment bonus ends this fall. In fact, now is the worst time to increase immigration because there are still ten million fewer jobs than when the pandemic began, with an unknown number permanently lost[8].

My opponent has accused me of unethically “shotgunning arguments” but what I am attempting to do is paint a picture of what immigrant business creation looks like. We know that immigrants are disproportionately represented in sole proprietorship small businesses such as gas stations or laundromats, that immigrants are significantly more likely to hire other immigrants above native workers, and that virtually all immigrants are eligible for significant financial incentives that most native-born Americans are not. We know that only 7% of immigrants are involved in business creation of any sort. This does not mean that no native-born workers benefit from immigrant owned businesses, but it certainly paints a less rosy picture of the situation. Given my own economic arguments, it is an open question whether immigration on the whole is good for native-born employment—fortunately for me, that is not the resolution. I can neatly sidestep the entire issue by simply noting that we can have our cake and eat it too by limiting immigration to those highly likely to contribute an outsized amount to the economy and excluding those who are extremely unlikely to represent a long-term benefit. Successful completion of literacy and intelligence tests along with proof of an immigrant’s ability to be economically self sufficient should be required for entry.

Pro failed to respond to the argument that immigrants are a net negative for the federal budget, taking resources that could instead be spent elsewhere, or used to pay down debt. Of course they pay a lot of taxes, but they also consume a lot of benefits. Recall that 51% of immigrant households consume welfare programs compared with 30% of native born households. In 2018, President Trump proposed amending the public charge rule to exclude immigrants who are likely to consume “Medicaid, Medicare Part D premium and cost-sharing subsidies, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance” or who have low incomes. Pro-immigration sources lamented the fact that, should this rule go through, many immigrants would be excluded because69% of legal immigrants use at least one of those programs[9]. Clearly, the American middle class is subsidizing a LOT of poor immigrants. Why in the world should this be permitted? So that corporations can have cheap labor? 17% used THREE or more of those programs! You can vote Con: if we make absolutely no other changes, we need to cut out any immigrants who want to move here and be immediately housed, fed, and cared for on the taxpayer dime.

Pro compares two people, one of whom was educated here at our expense and one abroad and says this is proof that we need more immigrants .Certainly, the ability to poach high quality people at other countries expense is a benefit of immigration, but Pro is not presenting any plan to screen potential immigrants for skills, knowledge, resources, or education. Once an immigrant is admitted, they are Americans and if they are unable to stand on their own the taxpayer is going to be subsidizing them and their families indefinitely. They are going to be with us for the long haul. We need a more robust system in place to ensure that potential immigrants are a safe bet. As it stands, the American immigration system is a racket that forces the middle class to subsidize the ability of business to hire cheap labor. Please vote Con.
 
Sources:



Round 3
Pro
Forfeited
Con
My opponent was unable to complete the debate due to personal/academic concerns. Please do not vote on this debate, as it has not been completed. However, any feedback you have on the first two rounds would be appreciated. 
Round 4
Pro
Forfeited
Con
Hopefully this debate gets redone at a later date (and with a lower character limit!)