May 21, 2024

Student debate touches on race, immigration

The Baker Center hosted Voterpalooza on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Written by Aubrey Mullins

Two UT students representing Trump and Clinton debated each of the candidate’s policies regarding immigration for the upcoming election during Voterpalooza in the Howard Baker Center on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Diana Howell, ambassador for the Baker Center, moderated the debate. She asked each of the representatives of each party questions regarding the positions their candidates held; “What will your candidate do to stop current unauthorized immigrants from entering into the United States?”

Reid Guthrie, speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton, was the first to answer.

“First we need to create pathways to citizenship and that’s what Hillary Clinton is doing,” Guthrie said. “She is making it easier for people to come here legally.”

Guthrie also made the point that Clinton wants to get rid of racial profiling, which will be done by making the process to obtain citizenship easier. This point also leads into Guthrie’s first jab against Trump saying the extreme to which he wants to go regarding immigrants is “ridiculous.”

Duncan Ing, speaking on behalf of Donald Trump, was then given the opportunity to take two minutes and explain his candidate’s standpoint.

“I have two points I’d like to point out before I answer that question,” Ing said. “First off, under the Obama administration, which Secretary of State Clinton has supported, deportation is higher than it was under President George W. Bush.”

His second point was directed at Guthrie’s initial comment about racial profiling saying Clinton stated young black man were “super predators”.

The “super predators” line refers to a speech given by Hillary Clinton in 1996 defending President Bill Clinton’s “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act”, passed years earlier in 1994. In the speech, Clinton said “They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super predators.’”

Ing then continued by saying that Trump believes we should enforce our immigration laws that we currently have in place, strengthen our ISIS forces, and hold illegal immigrants until they can be deported.

In a rebuttal, Guthrie first responded to the “super predators” line; “First off, Clinton was referring to gangs and gang leaders, not the entire African American community.”

Guthrie also asserted that Trump’s ideas were “blocking the American dream” in reference to what he has said about illegal immigrants throughout his campaign.

In response, Ing said, “I will not argue with the fact that the process needs to be reformed to some degree, but much like every one of you in this room, by family came to this nation as immigrants and went through the process legally.”

Ing went on to say it is unfair to ignore the laws and allow people to cross the southern border without consequence.

The Baker Center will be holding more events on politics and government throughout the fall and spring semesters including lectures, discussions, film screenings, and debate watch parties.

Edited by Ben Webb

Featured image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr, obtained using

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