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Let's Stop Welcoming Undocumented Immigrants

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Debate Details

An estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants currently live in the United States. Immigration advocates argue that the U.S. benefits from their contributions both economically and culturally.  But others cite depressed wages, unemployment, and the creation of a permanent underclass as reasons to be critical. Should we impose tougher enforcement measures to reduce their numbers, or should we find a way to allow them to stay legally?

The Debaters

For the motion

Jr. Vernon M. Briggs

Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University

Briggs' research has been on such subjects as minority participation in apprenticeship training, Chicano employment issues, and immigration policy... Read More

Mark Krikorian

Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank that promotes stricter immigration standards and enforcement. Krikorian is a regular contributor... Read More

Heather Mac Donald

John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal

A non-practicing lawyer, Mac Donald has clerked for the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.... Read More

Against the motion

Daniel T. Griswold

Director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies

Griswold's 2002 paper "Willing Workers: Fixing the Problem of Illegal Mexican Migration to the United States" was used in the Flake-Kolbe-McCain immigration... Read More

Enrique Morones

Founder of Border Angels in 1986

Border Angels is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to saving migrant lives by placing place water, blankets and food in the desert around... Read More

Karen K. Narasaki

President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center

The Asian American Justice Center is a non-profit civil rights organization whose mission is to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Pacific... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Unskilled American workers lose jobs to undocumented immigrants willing to work for less than minimum wage and in exploitative conditions.
  • Undocumented immigrants receive benefits, such as education and health care, paid for by American taxpayers.
  • Allowing immigrants to illegally obtain employment, often using false documents or Social Security numbers, without recourse serves as tacit approval of their actions and encourages others to follow the same path.
Against The Motion
  • The American economy relies on migrant workers to fill jobs that are not otherwise filled by American citizens.
  • Attempting to deport all undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. or allocating greater resources to boarder control measures is an expensive and futile exercise.
  • Efforts to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country increase the prevalence of illegal smugglers and migrant deaths, and deter American resources that are better served ensuring national security. 

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