Introduction: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship (03:24)
Moderator John Donvan and Robert Rosenkranz discuss the "why now" aspect of the debate and the use of the term "undocumented immigrants." Rosenkranz considers how to gauge the quality of the debate to make a decision.
Debate "Housekeeping" (05:15)
Donvan frames the debate on giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, instructs the audience to vote, and introduces panel members.
For the Motion: Angela Kelley (06:38)
Executive Director, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Kelley cites poll statistics on the support of citizenship and legalization for undocumented immigrants. She addresses three questions to help viewers understand the context of the resolution: who are the undocumented, why are they undocumented, and what are options for the undocumented?
Against the Motion: Rich Lowry (06:26)
National Review Editor, Lowry defines what the debate is about. The resolution to give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship is grossly unfair to those who follow the rules of the immigration system. He cites increased undocumented immigrant statistics and the need to stop employers from hiring cheap, illegal labor.
For the Motion: Marielena Hincapié (06:45)
National Immigration Law Center Executive Director, Hincapié believes in the promise of America. She outlines three reasons to give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship: the U.S. is a nation of laws, the U.S. benefits economically, and immigrants are good for society.
Against the Motion: Steven Camarota (06:32)
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research, Camarota cites information on the illegal immigrant population including: education, job competition, and the labor market. The cost of giving all illegal immigrants citizenship is approximately $1 trillion, paid for my taxpayers. Camarota cites amnesty mistakes and encourages enforcing current laws.
Path to Citizenship is Unfair (04:57)
Donvan summarizes the panelists' opening statements. Kelley states that outdated laws are the reason a pathway would be unfair. Lowry states that illegal immigrants are "workers at heart" rather than "Americans at heart."
Citizenship Requirements (05:08)
Hincapié states that citizenship is a 13 year wait; let people know the criteria and create a path to citizenship. Kelley discusses clearing out the family backlog. Lowry states that the requirements are often "window dressing." Camarota and Hincapié debate the language in the immigration bill.
Undocumented Immigrants and Benefits (03:03)
Camarota cites the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Hincapié states undocumented immigrants pay into systems they will not be able to access; Lowry refutes contribution claims. Citizenship will allow workers to obtain jobs they are trained for.
Why is Citizenship Good for the Country? (06:49)
Kelley reflects on undocumented immigrants having second-class status; public services invest in the children. Camarota and Hincapié debate law enforcement. Camarota states that a large fraction of children of illegal immigrants receive public services that many immigrants do not receive.
Native-born Americans Hurt by Mass Amnesty and Citizenship? (03:46)
Hincapié supports the enforcement of labor laws and increase in minimum wage; Lowry identifies a problem with the increase. He cites discrepancies in deportation numbers. Hincapié cites California minimum wage affects.
QA: Who Would Perform the Jobs of Undocumented Workers? (03:49)
Hincapié and Kelley discuss undocumented workers continuing to perform those jobs because of the status quo; Lowry agrees that employers benefit from illegal labor. Camarota states that 4-5% of undocumented immigrants work in agriculture; most compete for service jobs.
QA: Amnesty and Future Undocumented Immigrants (06:29)
Kelley stresses the need to update the immigration system, ensure consequences for employers who hire unauthorized workers, and have border security. Camarota discusses a limit on immigrants. Lowry states there will always be illegal immigrants and the cycle will never end.
QA: Right Path to Citizenship and Fairness (07:49)
Proponents agree with the legal immigration pathway. Camarota reflects on enforcing immigration laws after granting millions amnesty. Kelley reiterates the need to clear the family backlog; undocumented immigrants wait in line behind the current backlog.
QA: QA: Right Path to Citizenship and Fairness— Part Two (02:58)
Donvan summarizes Kelley's statements; the current undocumented immigrant issue does not have to repeat itself. Lowry and Camarota state that the 1986 resolution did not resolve the issue; undocumented immigrants increased. Hincapié stresses the need for labor law enforcement; Lowry agrees.
QA: Legalization Numbers (05:30)
Proponents consider if legalizing all current undocumented immigrants or legalizing a few and deporting others would best benefit the immigration system; criteria will decide who is eligible. Camarota states undocumented immigrants are responsible for their behavior; encouraging them to go home would be most beneficial. Hincapié states that people will not leave, they have roots in communities.
Concluding Statement For: Hincapié (02:47)
Hincapié states the undocumented immigration issue is about people, economic opportunities, and American values. She cites personal experience and keeping families like Mercedes Garcia's together. Providing a path to citizenship sends the message that the U.S. is one country.
Concluding Statement Against: Camarota (02:11)
Camarota cites an example of two guest workers coming to the U.S.; one returns home and one stays. Granting citizenship to current undocumented immigrants is unfair to those who followed the rules.
Concluding Statement For: Kelley (02:42)
Kelley states the best way to enact immigration reform is to combine border enforcement, labor enforcement, legalization, and citizenship. It is a question of fairness for those waiting in line and for those who have been in the country for years.
Concluding Statement Against: Lowry (03:18)
Lowry discusses the difficulty for low-skilled workers to get a job in the U.S. Why should we have an immigration system that makes employment harder for those workers?
Time to Vote (03:51)
Donvan instructs the audience to vote, thanks participants, introduces future debates, and highlights several ways to watch Intelligence Squared debates.
Audience Vote Results (01:02)
Pre-Debate - For: 66% - Against: 10% - Undecided: 24%
Post-Debate - For: 55% - Against: 37% - Undecided: 8%
Credits: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship: A Debate (00:05)
Credits: Give Undocumented Immigrants a Path to Citizenship: A Debate
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