Sunday, October 27, 2013

PF 2013 Proposed Topics For December

** UPDATED NOVEMBER 1, 2013 **

The Public Forum TOPIC AREA for December is "Immigration." The two resolutions from which students and advisors may choose are as follows:

  • Resolved: Improving border security should be the top priority in immigration reform.

  • Resolved: Immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

I think the topic area is no doubt a major debate to be faced in the coming year within the world of U.S. politics.  The implications of immigration reform touches upon national security and may impact political outcomes but it is likely the largest impact is economical.  I expect much of the evidence will focus on the economy.

The first resolution will center on border security which basically means making it increasingly difficult for people to slip into the country without legal clearance to do so.  There are many ways, immigrants cross the border illegally and once here, it is very difficult to find them.  I think it easy to see there are significant security concerns including the potential for smuggling illegal items, the entry of felons and criminals, and most importantly the entry of terrorists.  Of course, the majority of illegal immigrants are here to seek work and try to make a better life for themselves and families or to flee undesirable political, economic or other disasters at home.  One of the major debates about border security focuses on the difficulty of deciding what is "secure".  The U.S. border is huge and it would be nearly impossible to see 100% lock-down on the borders.  So the big question is how much leakage are we willing to endure and how much are we willing to spend to achieve the desired amount of security?

Here is a source to frame the border security debate.

The path to citizenship resolution, does not necessarily deal with border security as much as what to do with the millions of illegal immigrants that are already here and in many cases contributing members of the economy.  Some feel there should be a procedure for these individuals to achieve legal status and eventually be granted citizenship.  In my view this topic is very complex with many avenues to debate because the path to citizenship has requirements and often each the requirements are controversial.

This source discusses some of the policy implications of proposed legislation.

 Your comments or opinions are welcome.

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