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Author Topic: Immigration Controversy - Open wording thread  (Read 29388 times)
AndyEllis
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 01:14:24 PM »

R: No one is illegal.

Nice simple to the point policy resolution that gives the negative a ton of ground by giving the affirmative predictable and easily bound ground with a solid k/ policy argument.
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ScottyP
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 02:56:00 PM »

Kuswa,

If there were ever a word the debate community were wedded to, its substantially. It won't go away. I think last year it was in the resolution 26 times. And a more loveless marriage there has never been. We all know the alleged "why" of substantially. We also all know that it fails to limit the topic in any meaningful way. The question, I guess, is "does the annoyance of including the word every year outweigh the 1 debate/50 years where it is useful to limit out Elian?". I think the answer is clearly yes. The problem is no one in the real world uses substantially in a precise or meaningful way.

What kind of limit would this word create on the upcoming topic? The only 2 examples on google are both about excluding an entire race of people from entering the country.
1. http://books.google.com/books?id=nW-jEBMG55AC&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=%22substantial+immigration+restriction%22&source=bl&ots=mUTfbC0AWE&sig=GoxhIBZaMvXN5ZKYVTA3DNqIYKw&hl=en&ei=B-72S82gBIH6lwex7ZSICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22substantial%20immigration%20restriction%22&f=false

2. http://books.google.com/books?id=SHM12rk4h0cC&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&dq=%22substantial+immigration+restriction%22&source=bl&ots=hZASIf_XNV&sig=ml43V7-gy68um29G4rIjC5m88Mo&hl=en&ei=B-72S82gBIH6lwex7ZSICw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22substantial%20immigration%20restriction%22&f=false

As appealing as T gotta ban a race seems...

What including the word will cause is a lot of bad debates over "contextual definitions" that have no intent to define like examples below

27 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1265
Recent debate over United States immigration law has raised important issues of public policy. 9 There should, however, be no illusions as to the remarkably narrow scope of the debate. Current United States immigration policy may seem generous, relative to that of many other nations. 10 But this should not obscure the fact that the mainstream, contemporary immigration debate focuses only upon various substantially restrictive immigration policies. What might reasonably be referred to - with sensible qualifications - as an open entry policy of any sort is not typically considered a viable option. 11  [*1267]

Given the limitations on judicial decision making, it is not surprising that the courts do not take an open immigration policy seriously. 12 The apparent indifference of most major legal and moral philosophers 13 is, however, less justifiable. 14 To the extent that such writers ignore immigration questions, or merely assume the implausibility of any open entry policy, this indifference should be called into question. This Article therefore seeks to expand interest in the most basic assumptions underlying the law of immigration, and in the viability of some forms of an open entry policy.

Substantial legal restriction of immigration is not a clear reflection of historical tradition in the United States. Currently, of course, entry into the United States is subject to legal restriction. 15 Alien immigration was, however, essentially unrestricted at least at the federal level until 1875, 16 with the first general immigration statute following only in  [*1268]  1882. 17 Legal restrictions on the total annual amount of immigration into the United States were not imposed until 1921. 18

Plainly, matters such as United States population density, international wage differentials, government benefit programs, and the demand for unskilled labor do not now stand as they did during our first century. Each of these considerations bears legitimately upon United States immigration law and policy. It would therefore be absurd to argue that since an open entry policy was once viable, it must remain viable today.

Still, the historical fact of roughly a century of open entry into the United States has some force against certain kinds of cultural, as opposed to economic, arguments against an open entry policy. Both cultural 19 and economic 20 concerns are examined below. For the moment, it suffices to observe that in light of our first century of open entry, any argument that the United States ethos or the United States community requires rigorous cultural restrictiveness in immigration is implausible. 21 Whether the United States ethos in fact requires, or at least suggests, abolishing such restrictiveness is taken up below. 22

For some time now, admittedly, federal immigration law has imposed substantial restrictions on immigration. 23 Since 1990 specified annual ceilings or maxima are imposed on most important categories of immigrants. 24 Although statutory provision is made for the granting of  [*1269]  asylum to a class of refugees, granting such asylum remains within the discretion of the Attorney General. 25 More broadly, persons deemed illegally present, border arrivals temporarily paroled into the United States, and would-be entrants interdicted on the high seas are subject to deportation or exclusion on the basis of correspondingly minimal hearing rights. 26

31 Seton Hall L. Rev. 400
The INA also provides additional preference categories for aliens seeking to immigrate who do not qualify as immediate relatives. See INA 201(a), 8 U.S.C. 1151(a) (1994). There are, however, numerical limits imposed on these categories that substantially restrict the number of immigration visas allocated annually to qualified immigrants. Depending on the country of origin, such limited allocations result in lengthy waiting periods before immigration visas become available. The numerical visa limitations found in INA 201(a) apply to three visa preference categories: family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, and diversity immigrants. The maximum annual allocation of visas for these categories is 491,900, world-wide family sponsored preference limit is 226,000; world-wide employment-based preference limit is at least 140,000, and the world-wide limit for diversity preference limit is 55,000. Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Dep't of State, Visa Bulletin: Immigration Numbers for Nov. 2000, available at http://travel.state.gov/visa bulletin.html (last visited Nov. 6, 2000).

Any consideration of an "alternative" must start from the recognition that
-this word has no precise meaning
-its inclusion is based on tradition, not utility
-the debates about it are universally bad for debate

So I would say the alternatives are
1. Don't include it
2. Try to find a word that has meaning in the context of immigration , and if there isn't one, don't include any of them either.
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kevin kuswa
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2010, 07:15:50 AM »

1. we're not calling for increased restrictions so the "ban the entrance of a race" argument does not apply.  The evidence goes the other way in that it partially defines the intent of the status quo and what remains from the quota policies of the 1920s.

2. i'm not a lover of substantially any more than the next person--but it often is better than refusing to use a descriptive adjective (or adverb) that requires larger action by the aff. 

3. there may be ways to find better alternatives in the literature.  I worked on "drastic" and "drastically" (and even "dramatically") last year because they kept appearing in the nuclear weapons context--ultimately people decided that "drastically" was too burdensome on the aff and the committee stayed with substantially.

4. the evidence you posted, scotty, is not that terrible--at least it starts to put large changes in context and define them.  What scares you so much about your cards?  On the other hand, I agree with you overall and I'm still hopeful we can get rid of "substantially" in favor of a better wording.  "R:The USFG should reduce (major/significant/forms) of restrictions on entrance permits, asylum, legal permanent residence, or naturalization" is pretty good in my opinion.  I also wouldn't mind replacing "substantially" with "greatly" in some of the topics, but I haven't found much evidence on that change yet.

keep sending out the cards--much appreciated,

Kevin
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SteveMancuso
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2010, 09:39:04 AM »

Verbs

Here are a few ideas of verbs for our basic resolution. They seem to be at least as common when paired with the word "restriction" in the context of immigration policy.  Does anyone have any thoughts about preferring one over another?

The USFG should reduce/ease/lift/relax/liberalize its restrictions on visas, legal status etc. 

"ease" is probably the most common pairing with "restrictions" concerning visas, legal status, registry etc.

"lift" is common, but might imply a total removal of a restriction. If a legal status plan changed the registry date from 1972 to 2008, would that be a lift? I doubt it, at least the part of establishing a newer date.

"relax" is also used pretty frequently, although not as common as "ease" in the context.

"liberalize" is a spiffier economics term, but liberalize also has a stylized definition which means moving toward "market forces" which might not be exactly what we're looking for in all cases.

Other ideas?
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andreareed
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2010, 04:52:06 PM »

Regarding this wording suggested by Gordon/the committee... Resolved: the USFG should substantially reduce its restrictions on visas, legal permanent residence, naturalization and/or asylum.

Do we need to limit these areas any further?  For example...

1) Do we want to include all types of visas?  The paper talks about 3 kinds- H-1B, H-2B, and family visas... though the State Dept website lists approx 25 different types of visas (http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1286.html).  Do we want to debate about travel visa restrictions?  Recently there was controversy over whether or not the US would grant Ahmadinejad a visa to come to the NPT conference, he got it, but I could see other examples like this sneaking into debates.  What about visa restrictions on students, athletes, au pairs, and journalists?
2) Do we want to talk about all the restrictions on naturalization?  Do we want to debate the aff that makes it no longer a requirement for the applicant to read and write English? To be fingerprinted? To take the word God out of the Oath of Allegiance? Ect...

I do like where this wording is headed compared to the broader "substantially reduce restrictions on immigration" suggestions, though I am wondering what people think about the scope of these areas.

Andrea

 
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JimClarion
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2010, 07:48:41 PM »

Re: Andrea's post

I think we would be wise to limit the topic down to specific types of visas.  I don't think we need to do that with an overly listy topic but can probably solve that with an inclusion of immigration as a modifier.  I say this because I don't think we want to debate things like student visas.  International students, as an example, are not allowed to have off-campus jobs, and I fell confident saying that we probably didn't vote for immigration so that aff would be topical.
I know some find "immigration" cumbersome but I think the definition Whit provided was pretty good - and confirmed by a graduating debater of mine who is an international student and who explained to me that he is clearly not an immigrant in the eyes of the USFG.


Re: Huh 

Do we really need another topic with "and/or"?  "One or more of the following" seems to work and is grammatically superior.  Shoot, if we can defend "and/or" we should be able  to defend the inclusive definition of "or" itself.

Jim
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kelly young
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2010, 08:31:29 PM »

Re: Andrea's post

I think we would be wise to limit the topic down to specific types of visas.  I don't think we need to do that with an overly listy topic but can probably solve that with an inclusion of immigration as a modifier.  I say this because I don't think we want to debate things like student visas.  International students, as an example, are not allowed to have off-campus jobs, and I fell confident saying that we probably didn't vote for immigration so that aff would be topical.
I know some find "immigration" cumbersome but I think the definition Whit provided was pretty good - and confirmed by a graduating debater of mine who is an international student and who explained to me that he is clearly not an immigrant in the eyes of the USFG.

Very valid concern, but the problem with using "immigration" to control these affs is that it overlimits. Limiting out these affs with just use of the term "immigration" could also exclude all of the visa affs listed in the topic paper, as all of these visas are for non-immigrants, according to INA classification.

Kelly
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JimClarion
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« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2010, 08:07:19 AM »

Kelly, good point regarding the other visas.  I agree that limiting out things like H1-B and H2-B could be bad.  But, I would point out that there are "immigrant visas" and "non-immigrant" visas.  The family visas, as an example, are immigrant visas.  I'm not making a claim about where I think the topic should go on this front but just providing the observation.


Immigrant visas vs Non-immigrant visas:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/questions/questions_4429.html

Types of immigrant visas:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1326.html

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Hester
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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2010, 09:40:59 AM »

i don't claim to have done significant research to flesh all the specific meanings of the phrase, but "comprehensive immigration reform" is certainly a term used frequently by immigration policy makers and analysts. It's a term used to identify legislation (both the 2006 act and 2010 proposed legislation), and used by advocates (like AILA).

R: The USfg should [adopt/enact/etc] comprehensive immigration reform [if people are freaked out about bidirectionality - which they shouldn't be, but it's hard to allay the fears of fraidy cats, then a modifier limiting the CIR to a particular direction could be inserted here]

two basic reasons why CIR would make for a good resolution:

1) it's good for NEG ground. the warts tend to worry about NEG ground more than AFF ground, so i'll address their concern first. "CIR" is vastly superior to "substantially" as a resolutional means for excluding small cases. "Elian" (or migrant birds) don't pass the smell test if the phrase "comprehensive immigration reform" is in the resolution. CIR > substantially because unlike "substantially" (or other adverbs), CIR is a field contextual term.

2) it's KEY for AFFs that actually want to solve harms that aren't based on subset populations or temporally-limited obstacles. the reason why "comprehensive immigration reform" is used so frequently by folks debating immigration policy in the <ahem>  real world  is because there's a very strong belief by those experts that piecemeal reform stinks and the only way to address the problems caused by poor immigration laws is to enact comprehensive reform. i'm a lot less concerned with small affs destroying NEG ground than i am expecting a resolution which is crafted so narrowly in an attempt to exclude 'small affs' but ironically ends up making only 'small affs' solvent.

and finally, one reason why CIR should be on the ballot: it's a freakin ballot, CHOICE IS GOOD. if we have a ballot with 3-5 resolutional wordings that are ontologically indistinct, then the purposes of having a second vote in the topic selection process are not being served.

a few "answers to answers":

"But i did a search of 'CIR' and it has too many different meanings"
1) yes, i agree, Topicality is a good argument for the NEG to be ready to run
2) Unique Turn - debates over the preferred meaning of 'CIR' will be infinitely more topic-specific-educational than debates over whether substantially means "in the main" or "of the esssence" or "without material qualification."

"But in the world of PICs, AFFs will always lose to the 'Slightly Less Than Comprehensive' CP"
1) No link - AFFs including actual words from the resolution in their plan text is so 1990's. the only CPs that will be competitive are the ones that exclude specific mandates. [granted, my ignorance of the field lit may be omitting a big problem with 'CIR' - if everyone agrees that "CIR" must include "shooting random Mexicans," then there be a fairly defensible PIC which always wins]
2)  If you can't defend what's in your plan, maybe the NEG should win.
3) Except for those evil teams that run more than one CP in a round, the result of this CP debate is net positive. Instead of silly PICs that are all process and no topic-specific substance, the SLTC CP would at least focus the debate on immigration reform.
4) Casey can blog some sweet answers to this PIC and make it go away.


good luck to the topic committee.




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stables
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2010, 11:06:35 AM »

The biggest issue here is that the controversy paper specifically rejects comprehensive reform. The authors' position is that comprehensive has its own set of issues and that the single direction of reducing a barrier to immigration is preferable.  The committee as such is not looking at these broader options.

This is a big part of the controversy process. The choice is found in the author's decisions and in the community vote. If folks like a subject matter but not the controversy, that is an important part of what you need to consider.

I know there is disagreement about the role of the 2nd vote, but in our short window (3 weeks or less) of time our primary task is to make sure we have solid wording options related to the winning controversy. It is not (and should not be) to produce the single greatest set of choices that are any way related to the original subject matter.

In a specific example, how much attention do you think the specific aspects of reducing restrictions would get in a world where comprehensive reform (which includes more and less restrictive options) was an option? This is how big mistakes get made.

When people ask how we turned "support Native American sovereignty" into "increase federal control" and "China" into "pressure" and how Russia and China were options for the 'rogues' topic the answer is found in having too broad of a mandate for the 2nd part of the process. Because we were following the approach of giving voters the best choices on every aspect of the subject matter we spread ourselves awfully thin. The committee used to have an impossible mandate and we need to appreciate that limiting the scale of the task is the best way to avoid those kinds of problems.

In an ideal world this committee would have months of time to study and a variety of help. In reality, there is a limited window of time and effort. As I have said many times, the best sign of success is if the process seems unexciting in phase 2. The community votes for something it wants to debate in phase 1 and then we fine tune the wording.

Choice needs to be meaningful. The community now makes the real choice in phase 1 and the committee can't ignore their will, even when trying to 'help' them have 'better' options. Mike's concern is real - folks basically know what the topic is about now. That, to me, is still a marked improvement over the time when (under the banner of providing choice) the committee considered items that were not what the community anticipated when voting in phase 1. We can do better, more focused work, and the community knows what they are voting for with greater certainty. I stand by the last several years of evidence of how the process develops. There are still plenty of flaws, but the basic theme of the controversy is maintained throughout.

As an aside and now speaking just for myself I agree this makes the 'topic' functionally known very early. I hope we can eventually find a way to push the whole topic process back into the summer.

Thanks. The feedback and conversation is what makes our community so great.

Gordon
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Gordon Stables
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Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
andreareed
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2010, 04:26:44 PM »

Re: limiting the visa area...

H-1B and H-2B visas are "temporary worker visas"... though using those words in the rez would not limit it to just H-1B and H-2B, as other types of workers are also included in that term (like temporary agricultural workers- the H-2A visa, or nursing visas- the H-1C visa). See http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1275.html

I dont know what the numerical classification is for family visas, but info about it can be found here... http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1310.html

Basically, I'm not sure there is a word you can use to limit the rez to only H-1B, H-2B, and family visas, though "temporary worker visas" is getting us much closer.  And that phrase does limit out travel and student visas.
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Hester
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2010, 06:57:22 PM »

Gordon's explanation makes sense. i wasn't passionate about CIR, so i can live without it.

separately, i will provide a slightly different take on how we ended up with a crappy Indian topic. the folks that wanted to debate Federal Indian Policy never wanted to debate the resolution that won. the problem was (and continues to be, to a certain degree) a certain percentage of the community is more concerned with what they is protecting the NEG than with what kind of resolution makes sense in the context of the literature. China Pressure came from a similar trajectory. the typical response for those that worry over NEG ground is to direct resolutional action toward the least popular/intuitive policy actions and/or narrow potential topical actions as much as possible.

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David Glass
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« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2010, 07:39:43 PM »

Regarding this wording:  Resolved: the USFG should substantially reduce its restrictions on visas, legal permanent residence, naturalization and/or asylum.

...it might be more clearly worded this way:

Resolved: the USFG should substantially reduce its restrictions on one or more of the following: visas, legal permanent residence, naturalization, asylum.

We go through this almost every year; if you keep the first wording, there's at least an argument that you have to reduce restrictions on the set of "visas, legal permanent residence, naturalization" with the option of adding in "asylum" to that list or only focusing on "asylum".   With the colon and list, it's clear you can pick one or more items on the list to reduce restrictions.

Also, the wording would be a lot tighter if the term " obtaining citizenship" was used instead of "naturalization" since the only relevant definition for "naturalization is "obtaining citizenship", and there are other non-relevant definitions for "naturalization", the most troublesome being "To adopt (something foreign) into general use."

David Glass
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David Glass
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2010, 09:36:27 PM »



...so... for the above reasons, I'd suggest:


Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on one or more of the following: visas, legal permanent residence, obtaining citizenship, asylum.
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antonucci23
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« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2010, 01:39:01 PM »

David:

1. There's no direction in that topic - it would allow many outflows as well as inflows.

For example, wouldn't allowing more visits to Cuba be within its scope?  Iran?  Although I don't know very much about dual/multiple citizenship, I imagine that we restrict the process of acquiring multiple citizenships - *for US citizens* as well as foreign nationals attempting to immigrate *to* the US?

I presume that the topic wanted to address the movement of persons *into* the US, not *out* of the US.

Correct me if I've misunderstood either the topic process or some component of the immigration system that moots my concern.

I enjoy elegance, but that I think that topic needs more words.  I really think this is a pretty big deal problem.

I thought about finding a blanket term that encompasses the movement of persons *into* the US.  Unfortunately, it's hard to find that blanket term without creating some exclusion, because migration doesn't encompass naturalization or LPR.  

Individual mods to the term might work.  What about "obtaining US citizenship" and "US visas" - for starters?

2. If you only say "asylum," wouldn't you limit out restrictions on refugees who haven't touched shore or a port of entry yet?  Refugee interdiction seems like a pretty big deal to me.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 02:38:55 PM by antonucci23 » Logged
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