There are several different issues which keep getting confused and joined in these discussions, and maybe if we learned to separate the issues we could get rational---instead of hoping for a return to barbarity.
1) Being here undocumented presently is (depending on who answers the question) either not a crime at all or it is a Federal misdemeanor.
There was a panel discussion about these issues on C-Span the other
day and one lawyer asserted being here undocumented was strictly
a civil not criminal issue. Homeland Security Head Napolitano
corrected him, and stated it was a Federal misdemeanor.
Either way, hardly something you get disemboweled for. And CONGRESS is perfectly free at any time it wishes to raise the level of the crime to that of a felony. They have chosen to not do that.
2) A distinction needs to be drawn between the drug gang involved undocumented aliens who are committing felonies, and the folks who are just trying to survive. The old saying, different strokes for different folks applies to how harshly these two different groups of people should be treated.
3) None of us know who to believe regarding the severity of all of these
problems. Maybe this is the biggest real issue. Fox exaggerates. DEA and Homeland Security spin, if not exaggerate. Politicians spin and exaggerate and lie. The sad result is that the public forms opinions which may have no basis in reality. Congress forms opinions and law which may have no basis in reality.
4) None of this garbage would be happening if two conditions didn't exist--- and both are our own dang fault. 1) Employers find it beneficial to hire undocumented individuals 2) Drug users need the supply from across the border.
Deal with these two issues and most of the illegal migration problem will disappear.
5) Mexico has to be put on notice that it must stop encouraging illegal migration. Their attitude seems to be that the way to prosperity is to encourage their poorest and their worst to move across the border. I've no idea how we might pressure them to think differently, or reward them for acting differently, but then neither did Colin Powell when he was George's Secretary of State. In other words, it is a tough issue.