Debates on Immigration (High School)

Yesterday, the Civic Spirit Scholars from the Civic Spirit Club at La Salle Academy engaged in an extremely important and timely debate around immigration. Regardless of their personal opinions, they practiced the urgent civic skill of weighing two sides of an issue.  Additional topics the students have debated are bail reform and homeless policy.

DEBATE TOPIC: “Should illegal immigrants have the same rights as citizens?”

The Positions:

A) The “Pro” team articulated numerous claims to support their argument, including the denial of human, constitutional and fundamental rights. They used statistics to demonstrate how illegal immigrants contribute to society and “city-building” (a term the students created for their argument). 

B) The “Con” team had a difficult task at hand, as the two members strongly believed that immigrants should have the same rights as citizens. However, they dutifully argued their case, noting healthcare statistics and economic burdens. They also posited that granting equal rights to the two groups would devalue those who have become citizens and pledged their allegiance to America. 

Honoring the Civic Spirit Shared Aims:

Civic Belonging: The students applied definitions of belonging and grappled with how that concept influences action or contribution in society. 
Democratic Fluency: The students applied their knowledge of constitutional rights and policies to support their arguments. 
Civic Skills: The students expressed thoughtful opinions while also respectfully engaging with the opposing side.