Illegal Immigrant Debate

Alexandra Smith

The sensitive subject of undocumented immigration in the United States lead to a heated debate in the Cardinal room of the Memorial Union Wednesday night.

Each side had a chance to give their argument with an audience Q&A following the debate.

“I’m just a strong supporter of human rights,” said Chelsea Schmidt, sophomore in linguistics, in the debate.

The side saying undocumented immigration helped the United States argued it was morally and ethically wrong to uproot a family from the United States and deport them, legal or not. Those in favor also argued the illegal immigrants are doing jobs that the Americans refuse to do. 

Those on the other side of the argument held the stance that if someone plans to live in the United States, they should be documented.

“I know a lot of illegal immigrants that don’t pay taxes. They’re consuming resources, and taking jobs,” said Austin Langfeldt, senior in mechanical engineering.

Following the debate, the audience was given a chance to voice their opinion. Some used examples of their past and where their parents had came from.

One audience member said his parents came to the United States when they were 16 and because of that he now has a better life.

One of the most heated debates of the night was the subject of racial profiling. Some people debated whether it is right to be able to stop someone that fits a profile just to see if they are a citizen, while others argued it is just the most effective way to weed out the legal from the illegal. 

Two polls were given at the debate, one before and one after. The beginning of the debate started with every one pretty well evenly distributed between feeling that illegal immigrants was a hinder or help to the United States and then neutral people.

By the end of the evening, a lot of people switched sides, deciding that by having undocumented immigrants, the United States benefited.