It was an uncomfortable return to the scene of last year’s debacle: A huge room packed with people eating, drinking, amiably chatting, waiting for the program, the latest in the University of Alaska’s “Arguing Alaska” debate series, to get under way.
This debate, at the Beartooth Theatrepub (and co-sponsored by Alaska Dispatch News), was to center on the prickly question of immigration. The teams, made up of UAA debate team members, were to argue for and against the motion: “Only the most qualified should be permitted to immigrate to the US.”
It is a topic that stirs the best and the worst and was chosen after GOP Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., introduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, or RAISE Act. The legislation, supported by President Donald Trump, would drastically change the criteria for immigration and slash the number of new green cards by half.