Most conservatives seem to agree that we need to secure the border and fix our legal immigration system. The point of contention arises when it comes to dealing with illegals already residing in the U.S.
There seem to be three opinions on what to do with those already here…
Deport them all. This is the ideal scenario in my view. The problem is that it is the least likely to happen, because of the political opposition to doing it as well as the severe political backlash that would result if it was implemented. There would be social consequences (ripping apart families because of “anchor babies”) and economic consequences to this. The methods by which this would be carried out effectively would also be questionable-how do you just round up millions of Mexicans without violating the rights of legitimate citizens? In reality, this just isn’t going to happen, even if it should. It should have been done years ago when the problem wasn’t so large.
Make them citizens. Unfortunately, this is a very likely scenario. And with it comes many problems. First of all, with citizenship comes the right to vote. Second, it entitles you to be eligible for government programs and welfare. Considering the demographics of the illegals, those two factors combined would be absolutely devastating to the country.
Let them stay under a legal status. Newt Gingrich caught a lot of heat for proposing this during his presidential campaign. It’s the position Rand Paul has taken ahead of his. This is not the ideal scenario, but it does sidestep the consequences of mass deportation as well as the problems arising from giving illegals citizenship. This option may be gaining support, but its proponents are having a hard time selling it to those who won’t accept any form of “amnesty.” This is the route I would take going forward; it just needs some branding improvement.
I’m going to set up a poll gauging whether people here support options 1, 2, or 3. Of course, feel free to advocate and dissect the options I presented. Perhaps there is another option I left out.