Idaho State University Rupp Debate Society to host public debate about immigration reform

POCATELLO — The Idaho State University James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society will host a public debate on Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. about immigration reform. The audience will be given time to question the debaters as part of the debate and asked to vote for the winner.

The debate will be in the North Fork of the Salmon River Suites on the third floor of the Pond Student Union on the ISU campus. Members of the ISU debate team will engage the topic: “The United States should deport nearly all illegal immigrants.”

“Public debate is essential to a functioning democratic society,” said Sarah Partlow Lefevre, director of debate and professor of communication, media, and persuasion at ISU. “We hope to air both sides of the issue and to encourage audience members to think deeply about immigration policy.”

Following the debate, the audience can ask the debaters questions about their arguments and strategies.

Immigration reform has been a controversial topic for several decades. While representatives on both sides of the political aisle agree that reform is long overdue, federal legislation remains stalled in Congress.

At the center of the debate is what the government should do about the 12 million Mexicans currently living in the United States after illegally crossing the United States’ southern border. During the current presidential election, the topic has become a flashpoint, with leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling for all illegal immigrants to be deported.

The debate is an outreach event for the James E. and Sharron M. Rupp Debate Society, which is housed in the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion in the College of Arts and Letters at Idaho State University.

The Bengal debaters are sponsored by KISU radio. The debate is free to the public, and refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Assistant Debate Coach Casey Santee at