I am a native born New Yorker, from the Bronx, and a second generation proud American. America is a country that is almost solely composed of immigrants and/or the offspring of immigrants. The only indigenous peoples are the American Indians and even they probably crossed over to this continent, albeit before the rest of us and our ancestors arrived in this wonderful country!
The rest of us “Americans” are, or descended from, people who came to this “promised land” by any means possible in order to make a better life for their families and descendants.
True, most of them came under quotas on steamships though many also illegally jumped ship after working their way across from the old world. They came mainly from Europe and that was the only way to gain access to this country.
Most of our immigrant ancestors did not just cross a border in the middle of the night, or float here on a raft, because that was not possible from Europe.
Our newest wave of immigrants also seek to come to the “promised land” by any means possible in order to make a better life for their families and descendants. The difference is that these generally impoverished but ambitious people are our neighbors, mostly to the south, and their proximity makes crossing our many unguarded borders a convenient possibility.
They want to be like us, live like us and have children who are born and educated like us. If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, we should be flattered and not incited to hatred of new immigrants, even if they are undocumented.
The United States must have guarded borders and enforceable immigration laws. Unfortunately that is not the case and so we must find some way to grant amnesty to those honest people who squeezed through the loopholes and are living here.
All criminals should be prosecuted and undocumented criminals must be imprisoned and deported.
The great majority of these undocumented immigrants are not criminals and we should provide a way for them to earn a legal status when their residency is already a status quo.
That is my opinion.