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Author Topic: Thoughts on Topic #3 (Legal protections)  (Read 6418 times)
repko
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« on: June 22, 2010, 11:51:09 AM »

…very little topic discussion so far – wanted to fire-up a thread on topic # 3.

Here’s the wording:

Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase its legal protection of unauthorized migrants in the United States in one or more of the following areas: immigration detention, removal, non-asylum legal status, eligibility for federal public benefits.

First – Does this deviate too much from the original controversy paper ?...


Some envision the original paper as being more about immigration flows or, better put, reducing restrictions on receiving amnesty, obtaining legal status, etc. I have certainly heard many people complain that topic # 3 deviates too much from this concept. To the extent that Bankey discusses “undocumented immigrants” in the paper, he mostly discusses obtaining citizenship, legalization, etc.

Thus, I comprehend this objection to topic # 3 – it is the one ballot option that is less about “flows” and more about the treatment of undocumented persons in the country. Hagney very briefly discusses social services Affs in the paper as well, so that may serve as a counter-point to the claim that “it’s not in the original paper”

While I like topic # 3 less than other ballot options, I should say that I am (personally) less concerned about deviating from the April vision of the topic and more concerned about where this topic goes.

Second – is this just going to become a legal topic ?... and a broad one at that ?...


I like the idea that the topic tries to include the Arizona SB 1070 Aff. It is assuredly is a major issue in this literature. That said, it includes that one Aff at a significant cost.

This topic may over-invite the single-law review Affs by allowing the Aff to tweak Constitutional protections in a host of ways. While the other ballot options might also allow single law review advocates – the changes dictated by those topics require the Aff to make a more fundamental change in either the amount of migration or in the formal process.

The way detainees are housed, fed, or represented in court all strike me as quite topical. The Legal Protections paper does provide a host of inclusive cards about “legal protections”. Upon reading that wording paper, I was unsure what was *not* a legal protection – can the Aff change INS paperwork to be more multicultural/inclusive ?.. What change made by the Federal Courts (in the “areas”) would fall outside of the scope of this topic ?...

Third – is there a slight wording error that makes this topic even broader ?..


This is odd – the topic has four areas (see above). Two of the four areas are re-modified (“immigration detention” and “non-asylum legal status”). Two are not (“removal” and “benefits”).

Thus, the Aff can use an “unauthorized migrant” as the test-case litigant to secure non-migrant related rights for the US population writ-large (assuming that the Aff is about “removal” or “benefits”).

For example, the 2009-10 high school aff to allow all same-sex couples Medicaid benefits is rather-clearly topical – so long as the “John/Jane Doe” in the test-case is an unauthorized migrant in the United States. The Aff need not discuss contemporary immigration issues at all.

I suppose the cplan to have the test case target non-unauthorized migrants could check some of these Affs. But, that strategy is no walk in the park when Aff’s actor is the Court. And, more generally, it’s not a great approach to the topic in my opinion.

...just my early two cents...

 -- Will

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JimClarion
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 10:12:37 AM »

I think Will raises some valid concerns (especially as it relates to points 2 and 3).  At first I assumed that Resolution 5 was the broadest of the topics, but now I am not so sure.  I find the list of federal public benefits to be a bit unwieldy and given the lack of meaning for "legal protections" I am unsure of how to read this resolution. I guess I find the prospect of affs that tinker with the Native Hawaiian Loan Program as something I didn't anticipate in the topic paper and fear could be where people go given the ability of teams to run to the corner of the topic and hide.   
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SteveMancuso
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2010, 10:28:37 AM »

The "wording error" point raised by Will is checked fully by the CP he suggests to provide the rights using a non-unauthorized migrant. The easy net benefit is politics. Using an unauthorized migrant would almost always clearly be less popular.  Another net benefit would be backlash to the perception of providing greater rights to undocumented migrants.

The breadth of public benefits Jim mentions is checked by the effectiveness of the state CP.

One virtue I see of this resolution is that it provides pretty clear directionality on negative ground. Many of the visa ("flow of immigration") affirmatives are conservative -- they are endorsed by the Heritage Foundation, for example. This resolution has fewer, if any, conservative plans.

I'm not saying #3 is better than some of the other resolutions, I like several of them. Legalization affirmatives can be accessed through either of the two visas resolutions.

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BrendonBankey
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 09:24:17 PM »

I agree that this resolution is problematic. Repko does a nice job of identifying the broad scope of possible affirmatives under the phrase 'legal protections':
The way detainees are housed, fed, or represented in court all strike me as quite topical. The Legal Protections paper does provide a host of inclusive cards about “legal protections”. Upon reading that wording paper, I was unsure what was *not* a legal protection – can the Aff change INS paperwork to be more multicultural/inclusive ?.. What change made by the Federal Courts (in the “areas”) would fall outside of the scope of this topic ?...

What I am more concerned with, however, is the phrase "increase its legal protection of unauthorized migrants in the United States." This phrase allows the US to increase legal protections by constraining state governments. Although this is the necessary wording to debate the SB1070 affirmative, it comes at the cost of allowing any affirmative which limits state restrictions on immigration in the given areas. The example I'm more worried about is the affirmative which eliminates Joe Arpaio's authority to regulate immigration. Or, rather, consider the affirmative which increases regulations on the Texas Border Patrol's ability to fire upon unauthorized migrants. Both have strong aff biases in the literature and have little to do with the access to entry theme of the other possible resolutions.
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BrendonBankey
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 04:39:48 PM »

Also, it appears that this resolution has all of the uniqueness problems that everyone feared. While Obama has not proposed a way of fixing legal migration, he is certainly challenging SB1070. From today's front page of Google News: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/us/07immig.html
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Chris Crowe
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 05:28:28 PM »


What I am more concerned with, however, is the phrase "increase its legal protection of unauthorized migrants in the United States." This phrase allows the US to increase legal protections by constraining state governments. Although this is the necessary wording to debate the SB1070 affirmative, it comes at the cost of allowing any affirmative which limits state restrictions on immigration in the given areas. The example I'm more worried about is the affirmative which eliminates Joe Arpaio's authority to regulate immigration. Or, rather, consider the affirmative which increases regulations on the Texas Border Patrol's ability to fire upon unauthorized migrants. Both have strong aff biases in the literature and have little to do with the access to entry theme of the other possible resolutions.

Why doesn't the "Texas does the plan" counterplan completely eviscerate this aff? It doesn't even link to the more popular theoretical objections to a states counterplan.

I agree that legal protections might be too broad (we should figure out whether or not solvency advocates constrain the number of viable affirmatives enough), but I'm not sure it's because the aff can tell tell a state to do something related to immigration.
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Chris Crowe
Chris Crowe
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 05:40:06 PM »



Third – is there a slight wording error that makes this topic even broader ?..


This is odd – the topic has four areas (see above). Two of the four areas are re-modified (“immigration detention” and “non-asylum legal status”). Two are not (“removal” and “benefits”).

Thus, the Aff can use an “unauthorized migrant” as the test-case litigant to secure non-migrant related rights for the US population writ-large (assuming that the Aff is about “removal” or “benefits”).

For example, the 2009-10 high school aff to allow all same-sex couples Medicaid benefits is rather-clearly topical – so long as the “John/Jane Doe” in the test-case is an unauthorized migrant in the United States. The Aff need not discuss contemporary immigration issues at all.


 -- Will


I'm not sure why this is clearly topical. Sure, a couple of the areas don't have an additional modifier, but they are still bound to only increasing legal protection of unauthorized migrants. Why is ruling that there's a broader right to Medicaid (beyond the class of litigants in the test case) not textbook extra-topicality?  I could definitely be missing something (it's surely happened before), but I don't know what.

One wording problem #3 (with no impact on the size of the topic, really) is that you can't also increase legal protection for AUTHORIZED migrants.  If I'm reading that correctly, a Medicaid aff (on #3 or #5) could topically give unauthorized migrants access to health services, but NOT change the range of restrictions placed on perfectly legal immigrants.  I guess that's only a flaw in areas where substantial legal restrictions exist for legal immigrants (five-year waiting requirements, Legal Services Corporation, etc).
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Chris Crowe
bk2nocal
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 05:42:35 PM »

I appreciate the reservations that people are voicing to Topic #3, but I would also appreciate some solvency evidence for affirmatives of concern being voiced, some thoughts about why the other topics are better than #3 (or #5) and some idea of how (what I think) the core discussion of immigration (border patrol, detainment, amnesty, etc.) would be included on the other topics.  I just feel like we are doing our students a disservice if they spend a year debating what we call "immigration" without them being able to access debates about border patrol abuses, detainment, and amnesty - some things I think most people would think are central to what the country is dealing with on immigration issues.  

I think the Visa topics and Asylum topics do not clearly access these issues...I guess in some ways it talks about legal status, but how do we talk about border patrol abuses?  What about detainment - I'm sure there are some small links to this, but what are they and how much of a link do we get?  What about amnesty?  Would amnesty be an affirmative possibility on these topics?  Doesn't seem a possibility to me, but maybe I'm off base.  

It seems to me that we have gone the route lately of narrowing down the topics to such a point as to disallow topicality discussions from taking place in order to "protect" the negative...but, in the age of the K and of the PIC and of numerous other negative options, the affirmative seems to be left high and dry as to creative options without going the route of those who choose to simply ignore the topic or to find a slight link to the topic and then talk about what they want to talk about.  

I am by no means an expert at this point on any of these resolutions, but it seems to me that we are making the same mistake that the current political discussions in society make - we are very good at saying what is wrong with the options available, but not at all concerned with why or how any of the alternatives are better or solve for the problems identified.  I, for one, would appreciate some of the discussion to focus on which options are better than #3 and why they are better.  As of right now, I am leaning towards #3 and #5 because they allow access to the core issues that I imagine being included in current immigration discussions.  

So, to sum up - I think some of the affs being identified here are questionably solvent.  I think that some of the affs being described here are REAL discussions that happen in politics and that our students should be educated about (do the states or does the federal government control immigration enforcement - what do local agreements allow for when the federal government grants the authority to local officials - etc.) but perhaps those same discussions can take place in the Visa or Asylum topics and I'm just not thinking clearly enough about them.  

--Sue
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Adri
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« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2010, 07:17:41 AM »


The state counterplan is not as much of a silver bullet when the neg has to be prepared for a fairly large number of affs' specific answers.

Will the states/state CP win some of these debates?
Of course, but affs will be pretty prepared for them, which means negs will need to have specific ev against a fairly large number of potential state (or other sub-USFG actor) affs. Add in the numerous potential variations of protections, and this particular topic gets much bigger...

-Adrienne
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