Friday, October 06, 2006

*Back to Debate - Immigration*

So after a month or so layoff from debate and itching to speak during the last two demonstration debates at UWSDS (University of Washington Speech and Debate Society), I finally got my chance. My enthusiam must have been more than evident as the coaches had no hesistation sticking me into the practice round.

The only problem was the following resolution/motion That the US Federal Government should adopt a policy restricting immigration. Of course, to all the experienced debaters there it shouted, US-Mexico illegal immigration problem. The problem is that as a globalist and globalisation supporter and frequent reader of the Economist and the so-called Liberal Mainstream Media, all my arguments were for the other side. And trust me, I have really good ones, you know the ones which I actually have data to back up.

Nevertheless, I took the plunge and for some strange reason, I decided to run a very hardline stance that was just chilling. As it turned out, the President has signed the bill for the erection of a 700 mile high tech fence to plug the rather leaky sieve that is the US Southern boarder. I wanted to run solely that but as it turns out, that's advocating the Status Quo which doesn't really fit into the notion of policy debate (I sort of agree but I think that should not apply to recently passed policies as opposed to one that has been in place for ten years. BUT there are very respected debaters and adjudicators who think otherwise and they determine whether you win). So on top of the fence, I advocated sending another 10000 troops drawn from the reserve national guard with a shoot to kill policy.

Yup. With predictable fallout.

But there was a reason to the madness. Basically one of our main arguments was that the situation now undermines national security. Simply put the conduits that bring in people across the boarder undetected can also be used to smuggle in weapons, drugs and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction (note to self, pick up US geography stat). Therefore, if you attempt to cross the boarder, we will treat you as a potential high level threat and shoot to kill.

The problem with that policy is that I left out a whole bunch of qualifiers. Now, it's one thing to have a shoot to kill policy along the 66th parallel (the truce line between North and South Korea) but is militarisation of that extent necessary along the US-Mexico boarder? Well according to the logic above yes. But what I needed to have done was to talk about things like Rules of Engagement i.e. the officials rules that one must adopt when confronted with another person. Most of it involves warning shots and than incapacitate before shooting to kill (yeah, I got one of those cards. Why a combat medic would ever be in that situation is beyond me).

But very quickly now, the remaining arguments.

One was that illegal immigration undermines the Rule of Law which in turn is a bedrock principle of Democracy and civilised nations. Not to mention a real infringement on sovereignity and territorial integrity. They are "illegal" after all. The counter to that really is that it confuses what the law is and what the law ought to be and I think I didn't develop that argument too well. The better argument is that it creates a web of illegality i.e. you have to keep your head down and everyone else who closes a blind eye is complicit in the illegal act. The problem with that argument is that if once it's not illegal you won't have that problem. The analysis isn't so trite. The idea is that the very illegality of the action causes the harm i.e. it's not the act that is itself harmful.

And of course Economics. Hurting low-wage, low skilled workers who are particularly vulnerable because of their situation, race and in a globalised world. Nevermind that only 10% of Americans don't have a high school diploma and nevermind that most Americans don't want to do the work and nevermind that entire industries are reliant on them because of the situations.

But oh, we argued thatit prevents real economic reform to solve structural unemployment and help with welfare and social security reform. Heh.

But yes, still feeling the rust and definately not on par with the performance I had during the ProAms back in NUS slightly more than a month back. But I am back and I will be at the Worlds.




At 8:02 AM, Anonymous rrrrrrrm said...

Hey, you did well. Not too surprising, actually, if you're a big-L Liberal. On immigration issues, there's no better place to scope out the fun arguments than Down Under. A quick leafing through of policies in recent years should give you some more ideas for a debate like this. Heh.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Shaun Lee said...

*Snigger* We had this whole bunch of arguments to use during the Australs at Brisbane and nothing on immigration came out.

In the end we managed to use everything during one of the NTU IVs.

Fun times those...


Post a Comment

<< Home