Debate of the Month

September 2019


Switch Side: Switch side debates act as normal debates; however, speakers do not know what side they are speaking on prior to the debate. As a result, speakers should be prepared to speak on both sides of the resolution. 



Resolved, the United States should adopt open borders.


Background: As the news cycle has become increasingly dominated by issues regarding the United States' attitudes towards immigration, debates surrounding immigration policy have become more prevalent, with some arguing in favor of open borders. Open borders entail the free movement of people between political jurisdictions with little to no restrictions. Essentially, open borders signify little border control. No country currently operates on a fully open border system, but 26 European nations, a variety of Caribbean nations, some Middle Eastern countries, and all 50 states in America practice a variation of the system amongst themselves, respectively. The United States instituted open borders for much of its early history, but since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, it has become a more intensive process for those seeking permanent residency, leaning towards a closed border system. The current system of border control entails questions regarding citizenship, destination, intended activity, and length of stay, in addition to a search of the items being brought into the country. These procedures occur at the airport and at the land border. Given the elevated politicization of foreign immigration, proponents of open borders argue that instating such a system would tremendously destigmatize foreign immigrants, fostering a more unified America. On the other hand, those who oppose the concept of open borders assert that the possible dangers being brought into the country outweigh the possible benefits, causing it to be too large of a risk. However, the question remains: should the United States adopt open borders? 




  • The United States has a plethora of resources but is coming short on a labor force. Therefore, facilitating an unrestricted system of immigration would profoundly benefit the economy, subsequently bolstering America’s place on the world stage.  
  • The current system of immigration is excessively bureaucratic, confusing, and complex, and systematically serves to expel foreigners on the basis of ethnocentrism. Therefore, an open border system would reclaim America’s former glory of being a home to immigrants. 
  • As issues such as conditions of detainment rise to the surface of American concerns, politicians have attempted to devise solutions to such heinous occurrences. Eradicating the idea of “illegal” immigration would wipe such issues from existence and prevent them from occurring in the future.



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  • Open borders are indicative of a country’s inability to afford proper border control, such as in the case of the Caribbean. If the U.S. has the means to put safety checks in place, it would be foolish to abandon such practices that have ensured our safety for decades. 
  • Essentially permitting anyone to come into the country poses a myriad of dangers to American citizens. Without sufficient background checks, the U.S. would be facilitating crime within its own borders. 


  • Allowing a massive influx of immigrants to arrive to the U.S. will act as a catalyst for intense societal and racial rifts. This phenomenon has occurred in Germany and the UK, and is highly probable that it will appear in the U.S. as well. Therefore, controlling immigration preserves America’s relative peace. 


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