I'm first generation American; my parents migrated here from Italy during the 1960s. Since their arrival they started and maintained two businesses, worked and retired from a major auto company, and produced five kids, three of which earn an average living multiple times the national average, and the other two kids make the national average or slightly below, none of us live in poverty. All of us pay taxes, all have partners or children, some still serve our country in the military, and all of us have lived the American dream only possible through immigration.
Right now our country is at a cross-road with our immigration policies, and how we as a country will recognize the illegal immigrants that are already here. Illegal immigrants are resourceful, they didn't get in to our country by not being resourceful, and we can harness this resourcefulness. The more producers and consumers we have, the better off our economy will be, and the better off our country will be with the added human ingenuity and tax revenues.
Right now those tax revenues are not being collected; those minds that yearn to be American are not being harnessed for use. Instead those minds are preoccupied with living the only life they will have in the shadows, while trying not to get noticed by the state (a non-human entity) looking to incarcerate them or return them to their native country. That means kids are being hidden, kids are not growing up with the resources required to produce quality Americans. That also means people are being exploited, human beings being exploited because of human laws, how much more absurd do we need to get until we realize we are creating a living hell for ourselves?
My parents immigrated legally, and obviously this is the ideal path to citizenship, but ignoring the 11 million people considered to be illegal immigrants already here is not going to fix the problem. We can sustain the current business model of enforcement minded policies that identify, track, capture, and remove these immigrants; or we can shine a light, reach out a hand, and hope the moral integrity which keeps our society unique, strong, and unstoppable, will shine through to all the illegal immigrants we can make legal citizens.
The details of such a process are pretty simple, and sure there will be a large portion of those 11 million that will resist, act out against the state and its citizens, and be undesirables. We have laws and enforcement to quell such undesirables.
There will also be unintended consequences, there always are in government planning, but the good outweighs the bad by providing a path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants that already call America home. Instead at this moment good people, good Americans are being turned away, made to live like criminals, and are being treated inhumanely in a country known for its respect and protection of human rights for all people.