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Extemporaneous Speaking
Welcome to Finalist Files

September 2009 Released

08/25/09 11:57:48 pm

PF Releases

Resolved: United States policy on illegal immigration should focus on attrition through enforcement rather than amnesty.

Foreword: This topic is similar to the topic of October 2006 which was the second edition of Finalist Files I ever wrote. It was great to work with the topic again, and see how my personal perspective on illegal immigration has evolved. The central issue of illegal immigration is really a cost-benefit analysis. Illegal immigrants impose substantial costs on the federal, state, and local governments of the United States by receiving social services. Illegal immigrants also supply unskilled labor to meet the demand of U.S. businesses, to the great benefit of society. This debate requires you to weigh the costs and the benefits.

Terminology plays a substantial role in the immigration debate. Those who support illegal immigration refer to illegal immigrants as undocumented or unauthorized workers or immigrants. Those in opposition to illegal immigration refer to the population as illegal immigrants or aliens. Additionally, those who oppose the Con side of the resolution use the term “amnesty”; those in favor prefer the word “legalization.” Amnesty implies a pardon, whereas legalization implies a path to citizenship likely involving punitive measures such as fines. For our purposes, amnesty and legalization have the same outcome. It is important to use the terminology appropriate for your side of the debate.

I’m always excited to start a new year with you guys! If you have questions or want to run ideas by me, e-mail me at You can also send me a facebook message, or post on the “Public Forum Debate” facebook wall. Good Luck this month!

Michelle Schmit