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By Kevin A. Stoda


I was listening to BBC reporting on the election in New Hampshire this past week.  On one of BBC’s talk radio programs, one American stated that the biggest problem America faces is “Illegal Immigration”.


At a time, when liaise faire- and crony capitalism have tanked the American economy for the umpteenth time in 3 decades, I am astounded at the fixation in the USA on illegal immigration. 


On the other hand, I do recognize that in autumn 1981,  I had already found myself taking part in one particular debate practice with the debate team at Bethel College (my alma mater).


That particular 1981-1982 school year the National CETA Debate topic was—--you guessed it !!!!:

 “RESOLVED, illegal immigration to the United States of America is detrimental to the United States of America.” 

In preparing for such a debate, university students have to, of course, normally learn to argue both the pros and cons of both sides of the resolution.


However, I quickly noted in preparing for the practice debate that I could handily argue both sides of this particular CETA Debate  resolution from two almost identical perspectives. 


This dual approach  with a singular argument was initially considered by many of the famous Bethel College forensics & debate teams that 1982 to be  a LOSER


Simply put—in 1982 I had determined to argue the Contra- (or Negativ) side of the resolution: “It is indeed fact that illegal immigration is a problem”, but I had continued, “It is the fact that some or  most of the concerned immigrations are illegal that caused problems--and lack of transparency--in the American economy.” 


Conversely, I had explained from the Contra perspective, “If these immigrants had been legal, most of the negative effects such immigration had on the U.S. economy (and its image) as well as the political or social landscape would have been found to be largely positive.”


Meanwhile, on Pro- (or the Positive) position in debate, I would argue the same case, i.e. “Illegal immigration itself is not the problem, it is the simple fact that someone, namely the U.S. government, has defined or made certain immigrants illegal by law which is the core cause of the negative effects of most all forms of immigration to the United States.


Only the Bethel College debate coach on campus that 1981 had thought that it had been valid for me to use this dual approach on Contra- as well as Pro- debater in that National CETA debate season.




Interestingly, the very following week (after I had practiced with the Bethel College Debate team), that same BC team went out and participated at a major debate meet in Wichita, Kansas. 


This Bethel College Debate team that autumn weekend did fairly well—however, one of the BC teams lost out to another arch rival.  The rival who used a nearly identical set of arguments which I had used in the practice debate, namely, “It is the very illegality of immigration which causes the most detriment in USA society and in the self-image of Americans or the USA.”



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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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