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Motion: This House Supports Trump’s “Zero-Tolerance” Immigration Policy
In the 1990s, President Clinton signed immigration reform laws that fast-tracked deportations and helped lay the foundation for the sprawling immigrant detention system that now reserves space to lock up 34,000 immigrants at a time. President Obama – nicknamed “deporter-in-chief” – continued fast-track deportations for first-time detainees, but expanded prosecution of illegal reentry offenders. By 2013, immigration prosecutions topped 91,000 ― 28 times the number of prosecutions in 1993. Of those prosecuted in 2013, 75% received enhanced sentences for criminal offenses, such as drug trafficking (16%) and crimes of violence (12%). The median sentence was 12 months. By the end of the Obama administration, the US had approximately 300 detention centers. Thus, when President Trump took control of the immigration enforcement system, he inherited a well-oiled machine for prosecuting immigration violations. What distinguishes Trump’s approach to illegal immigration from his predecessors is his “zero-tolerance” policy calling for the prosecution of all individuals who illegally enter the United States – first-timers as well as reentry offenders. Although initial implementation of the administration’s zero-tolerance policy involved separation of children from their adult family members in detention, public outcry led Trump to end family separations. In his 6/20/18 Executive Order, Trump vowed to prioritize “family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.” To avoid separating families, the administration is requesting modification of a prior judicial ruling (the “Flores agreement”) to allow detained families to stay together during “criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings." Although a court has not yet responded to the administration’s request, for the purpose of this Motion, we are assuming the zero-tolerance policy will not involve any significant increase in family separations. Many continue to criticize the administration’s zero-tolerance policy even if families are allowed to stay together. They argue that the US needs to attack illegal immigration at the root and address the issues that make people leave their home countries and come here in the first place. Many people leaving their countries do so because they fear for their lives. You cannot jail this problem away. We need to be saving families and giving these immigrants a chance at life. So what do you think? Is the administration’s zero-tolerance policy a reasonable approach to reducing illegal immigration to the US? Or is it fundamentally inhumane, an approach that criminalizes what should at most be an administrative offense. Or perhaps we shouldn’t be all that concerned about illegal immigration in the first place and do more to help people who take such desperate measures to come to this country? Read more:

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The SF Debate Meetup is an open forum for discussion on the events of our time. We have three goals UNDERSTAND OTHER POINTS OF VIEW With so much news available to us, it is easy to fall into the trap of relying on sources that simply support and reinforce our own limited beliefs. The SF Debate Meetup is a chance for you to expand your perspectives and understanding. We believe that when opinions are discussed in public, our critical faculties are sharpened as we are exposed to diverse viewpoints that we may not have considered before. DEVELOP YOUR PERSUASIVE SKILLS If you want to be able to convince others of your ideas; if you want to change the world we live in, SFdebate is the forum for you. Consider SFdebate to be a 'dojo' for persuasive speaking. It is a place where you will not only be exposed to opposing points of view, but a safe place where you will be encouraged to find and speak up for yours. HAVE FUN, MAKE FRIENDS SFDebate is also good fun. It is a meeting of minds, and we follow every meeting with drinks , a bite to eat, and some drunken debate at a nearby bar/restaurant. More info at

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