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Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

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  • Tom Tancredo on Immigration

    Clip: Tom Tancredo argues for the motion "Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses."

  • Kris Kobach on Immigration

    Clip: Kris Kobach argues for the motion "Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses."

  • Tamar Jacoby on Immigration

    Clip: Tamar Jacoby argues against the motion "Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses."

  • Julián Castro on Immigration

    Clip: Julián Castro argues against the motion "Don't Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses."

Debate Details

America, built up by the hard work of its immigrants, now finds itself home to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. The federal government, even under the reform-friendly tenure of President George W. Bush, has been unable to find the consensus to overhaul our country’s immigration laws. Both the Dream Act and an Arizona statute requiring police officers to detain anyone they suspect to be illegal, has brought the debate back to the forefront of national politics. Are immigrants taking American jobs, or, does immigration help our economy? Is there any difference between low-skilled and highly-skilled immigrants, and, if so, is it time to honor this distinction?

The Debaters

For the motion

Kris Kobach

Kansas Secretary of State

Kris W. Kobach is the secretary of state for Kansas and former professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He served... Read More

Tom Tancredo

Founder of nonprofit organizations the Rocky Mountain Foundation and the American Legacy Alliance.

Is a former Republican congressman from Colorado (1999-2009). He sought the 2008 Republican nomination for President of the United States with the... Read More

Against the motion

Julian Castro

Mayor, San Antonio

Julian Castro is the 36-year-old mayor of San Antonio, making him the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city. In 2001, at the age of 26, Mayor Castro... Read More

Tamar Jacoby

President and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA.

Is president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation working to advance better immigration law. She is the author of Someone Else’s... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • While corporations benefit from the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide, American citizens are left with depressed wages and higher taxes to cover illegal immigrants_ use of government services.
  • Amnesty only rewards illegal behavior and punishes anyone who has gone through the process of entering legally.
  • The majority of illegal immigrants are here today for economic opportunity and this leads to a lack of assimilation that is essentially destroying the ideas and ideals that bind us together as Americans.
  • We need to enforce the laws that we have and secure our borders. The Center for Immigration Studies has used the government_s own numbers to deduce that simple, consistent law enforcement can reduce the number of illegal immigrants to half within five years.
Against The Motion
  • You can_t wish away the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here, and prohibition has already shown the difficulty in enforcing unrealistic law. They must be given a path to becoming legal.
  • We must increase our immigration quotas. Even in this economic downturn there is a need for both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, and as the economy improves, this need will grow.
  • We need to help immigrants assimilate and we cannot underestimate the appeal of American values and our democratic way of life.

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The Research

The Research

Judge Puts Brakes on Action in Arizona Immigration Case

Alia Beard Rau
April 1, 2011

Immigration Policy and Less-Skilled Workers in the United States

Harry J. Holzer
January 1, 2016

Increasing the Supply of Labor through Immigration

George J. Borjas
May 1, 2016
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