Illegal immigration is a different topic from immigration.
See the other topic under "Immigration".
Immigration is sort what the Mayflower stuff was since there was no one here (?) to meet them when they arrived.
Everything after that is technically "illegal immigration".
Everybody came here from somewhere. Even the Native Americans 13,000 years ago.
Imagine two Mastodons talking "Well, there go the property values."
Illegal immigration is likened to be akin to breaking and entering or trespass.
This can be parsed finer however.
Imagine someone dives through your unlocked window because there's a mountain lion hot on their heels.
Now, imagine someone dives through your unlocked window to grab your TV, jewelry, clean out the fridge etc.
So, if someone knows there are death squads awaiting them and they sneak across the border that's comparable to a mountain lion.
That's a bit different from someone who decides they're tired of picking cantelopes for $3 per day and up north can get $30 per day.
In any event, the question arises, did they exhaust normal channels and means of entry before "diving through the window"?
That said, there are illegal aliens among us.
(This author's from Tralfamador or is it Nabu?).
And it requires a solution.
Obviously some people's first choice is to round them up and shoot them or catapult them back over the border.
But who would do all the nasty work immigrants do? Ever asked a middle-class teen-ager to clean gutters? Ain't gonna happen.
So if someone has been here a number of years, paid taxes, raised decent children (likely born here and are citizens),
not on welfare and working too hard to go join ISIS, maybe they have become what is envisioned as a "good citizen".
Maybe they add to our culture. Maybe they add to our economy. Some of them end up being our friends (or in-laws).
What to do?
We are a nation of laws. We have to uniformly obey the laws (unless you are rich or a corporation).
If we don't obey the laws, they become vacuous and meaningless.
Here's what needs to happen.
A law was broken (illegal crossing of the borders).
The law-breaker needs to turn themselves in, NOT be incarcerated,
provide a clean bill of health (disregarding the heinous crime of improper lane usage), and THEN (and here is the cruel part),
take that same gawd-awful American Government class you took in high school to get your diploma.
And they have to pay a fine. Not a big fine, but something to cover the administrative costs, since they were uninvited.
("Give me your tired, your poor, yearning to be free...")
Then, after a grace period, they can have a green card.
Then, after another grace period, they can take the test and the oath to defend the Constitution and be citizens.
Can't get through that process? Asta la vista.
Criminal? Asta la vista.
Elderly, infirm etc. Americans are really old softies. Welcome.
Why is this necessary?
Rule of law.
Breaking the law has a cost.
Show that we forgive (after the fine is paid).
Satisfy that segment of the political establishment who would round them up and make catfood of them.
(Nothing will satisy them anyway, our conscience is clear for having tried.)