Ok, let’s start with parts of speech.
Nouns – birthright citizenship, United States
Verbs – should be, abolished
Let’s continue with definitions.
Birthright citizenship – Birthright citizenship is the concept that those born in a particular country automatically receive citizenship of that country. In this case, we are concerned with the United States.
Should Be – This is the most central and important part of the debate. If something “should” happen, this indicates that there is a good reason for it to happen. Therefore, it is not enough for you to prove that birthright citizenship is bad, but that abolishing it would be better. After all, alcohol is bad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean prohibition is better.
Abolished – Abolished means ended, permanently.
Preliminary Position Analysis
The Pro must prove that there is a good reason to abolish birthright citizenship. This means they must prove either 1) a U.S. without birthright citizenship would be better than one with birthright citizenship or 2) there is a moral/legal justification to eliminate birthright citizenship regardless of the outcomes.
In order to argue the first position, international comparisons can be useful. Other countries have gotten rid of birthright citizenship. It would be useful to look into these countries and see if it worked out. If it did, then inferential reasoning would dictate that the U.S. ought to follow suit.
As far as the second position is concerned, the legal argument can be made that birthright citizenship allows for aliens to exploit our justice system or that it is not warranted by the 14th Amendment.
Like always, the Con does not have the burden of proving that the opposite of the resolution is true. Rather, the Con must prove that you cannot affirm. Therefore, they have more wiggle room in terms of arguing the topic.
The Con can contend that the cost of abolishing birthright citizenship would cause so much bureaucracy and enforcement costs that any benefits would be invalidated. Essentially, there would be so much spent on policing the new lack of birthright citizenship that we might as well just let immigrants have anchor babies.
The Con can also argue that the benefits don’t matter on moral and legal grounds. It is inappropriate to punish children for the mistakes of their parents, and this contradicts the essential ideals which the U.S. stands for. The child itself did not immigrate to this country, and removing birthright citizenship would force use to put the child through unnecessary turmoil which it does not deserve. Not to mention, the child’s ability to immigrate legally later becomes crippled because of its parents’ actions.
The standard positions exist as well. The Con can always contend that a world without birthright citizenship would be worse than the world with birthright citizenship. Consequently, it shouldn’t be abolished. International comparisons can also be used effectively here.
I hope this helps you get started. Good luck! 🙂