Spanish Language Debate

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Spanish Debate Team
Legados 2023 - 2024

¿Qué podemos esperar de las visas H2-A?

What can we expect from H2-A visas?

Historia y Introducción a la visa H2-A 

 The H-2A visa program was initiated in 1986 by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), when temporary workers working in the agricultural sector (H-2A) were differentiated from non-agricultural workers (H-2B).  

 The H-2A visa program follows the tradition of agricultural guest worker programs in the United States such as the first Bracero Program (1917-1921) and the second Bracero Program (1942-1964).  (“H-2A worker visas”, US Gov) give temporary status to agricultural workers for up to 10 months.  

In order to be eligible for the H2-A visa program, US growers must demonstrate that their labor need is not being met by domestic workers, and that the employment of guest workers will not negatively affect the prevailing wage.  

 While the use of temporary guest workers may meet the most urgent of US agriculture’s needs, it opens conversations around the sustainability and ethics of US Agriculture reliance on guest workers.  In addition, the impacts of the H-2A program on guest workers is often overlooked. Guest workers who participate in the H-2A visa program describe systems of abuse that misrepresent the work, the hours, the pay and the housing.  H-2A recruiters often charge potential workers with fees, and employers rarely reimburse the cost of travel.  As such, it has been suggested that the H-2A visa program is government sanctioned debt bondage or human trafficking (“Ripe for ReformCentro de los Derechos del Migrante, 2020). 

 As such, we would like you to participate in a conversation with us about what the US and Mexico should respectively expect from the H-2A visa program. 


    Tournament Schedule 2024




    ¡Legados - Mexico¡ March 15 & 16 Mexicali, Mexico
    ¡Legados - USA! April 13th Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, USA


    Past events

    March 3-5, 2023– In Mexicali, Mx.  Hosted by CETYS University.   This Spanish-language event centers the question of “What should the US expect from the H-2A visa program?”.  It will be held in person and virtually on March 3-5, 2023 and will be preceded by a virtual symposium on the topic held on February 10th from 3-5 PM Pacific.

    April 28-30, 2023.  In San Luis Obispo, hosted by Cal Poly, SLO.  This English-language event centers the question of “What should Mexico expect from the H-2A visa program?  It will be held in person on the weekend of the 28th-30th, and will be preceded by a virtual symposium on the topic held on April 12th from 4-6PM Pacific.


    Formato del foro deliberativo 

    We will be hosting an event with a maximum of 8 teams.  The format that will be used is that which facilitates a deliberative forum where student teams are not in conflict.  

    Each team will be 2-3 people. 

    Time Schema for JoPat Format 7-5-7


    Introducción 7 minutes

    The Introduction is where one member of the team will present their case at large and their answer to “What Mexico/US should expect of the H-2A visa program”.

    Adjudicator Questions.

    Defensa 5 minutes

    The adjudicators (and in the finals the public) will ask questions to each team and one member of the team will have up to 5 minutes to respond.  

    5 minutes for each team to prepare their thoughts.


    Conclusión y Respuesta 7 minutes

    One member of the team will summarize and represent their case to the adjudication committee.  Each team must include (and acknowledge) one aspect from another team's case that would make their argument stronger.  

    How to Register

    • To register, please email the names of your two-person student teams and the institution they will be representing to Dr. Marion Hart
    • Please identify the name of any judge(s) that you can supply for either day of the tournament (please specify), as well as a paragraph biography.  All judges must be fluent in Spanish, and have either debate experience or familiarity/background in the field.
    • Please provide complete contact information for your institution’s representative including: name, contact number(s), and email address.  Your email should have the subject line: “LEGADOS Inscripción – [Name of your school]”

    About Cal Poly Spanish Language Debate

    Cal Poly Debate Team

    The Cal Poly Spanish Language Debate Team has been competing since 2017.  The goal of our program is to equip Spanish speaking students with training in critical thinking, reasoning and public speaking.  Evaluating arguments, students determine the legitimacy and morality of opposing values.  This process of debate empowers our students to confidently and accurately advocate for themselves and our community. 

    Cal Poly Debate has started the first Spanish-language civic debate in the United States. There are other debate programs across the country with Spanish-language debaters, but only a handful of universities have a dedicated Spanish-language program.

    We recognize that Spanish-language debate encourages:

    • Students clarify their personal ethical response to moral and real dilemmas as they ethically argue multiple points of view.  
    • Students engage multiple ideas, philosophies, histories and cultures to provide for an ethically and morally responsible future.
    • Students are charged to respond to debate motions in creative and inspiring ways that integrate the expanse of their knowledge base.
    • Students gain or maintain linguistic and cultural fluency with critical thinking, reasoning and speaking in multiple languages. 
    • Students develop and hone skills to refine their capacity as future business leaders. Students prepare to be leaders who are able to confidently advocate for themselves and their communities.


    Tradicionalmente, el estudio de la retórica prepara a los estudiantes para profesiones en el ámbito legal y las ciencias políticas.  El debate en español utiliza estas herramientas y conocimientos para preparar a profesionales políglotas para un futuro interdisciplinario.  Desde enero de 2017, el Sr. Christopher Skiles, Dr. John Patrick and Dra. Marion Hart han fomentado y dirigido el desarrollo de una exitosa división del equipo de debate de Cal Poly.  En marzo del mismo año, llevamos dos equipos de debatientes con poco más que 7 semanas de preparación en el debate en español a rozar las rondas finales en el Pan American Universities Debating Championship.  En julio, un equipo de debatientes de Cal Poly llegó a la Ciudad de Guatemala para debatir como finalistas en la división de ELE el Campeonato Mundial Universitario de Debate en Español (CMUDE).  

    Como el debate en español todavía se encuentra en su infancia en Estados Unidos, es esencial promoverlo entre otros organismos educativos.  Así, con la colaboración de las Dras. Ana Gómez y Claudia Plasciencia de Allan Hancock College, entre muchos vítores hemos estrenado el primer debate anual Equinos Chatos, el 28 de octubre de 2017.


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