This topic has become incredibly difficult for public discussion as both sides have been whipped into a frenzy and see the other side as either destroying the economy or wanting to tear their families apart. This is not a good environment to have a constructive debate. The debate has just become more and more destructive.
The fact of the matter is that it is solely the job of the federal government to deal with the issue, but the current administration had publicly denied that responsibility and will not do their job. I understand why many states are moving to enforce the federal laws themselves, because their enforcement is vital for the security of our country and the stability of our economy. The federal government also needs to deal with the demand for legal entry to the US. The majority of immigrants would much rather enter the US legally as it would reduce a lot of stress and complications they face. Our legal immigration process is completely broken and must be fixed FIRST before we start on other solutions. When the demand for immigration is met fairly and reasonably, we can then secure our borders with Mexico and Canada. We can then begin enforcing our current laws (which are more than adequate to handle the issue). Enforcing our laws before the legal immigration issue has been handled will only inspire a greater feeling of oppression among illegal immigrants who see no other option but to break our laws. This will make them even more mistrusting of our legitimate immigration policies and systems.
A hard line must be drawn in enforcing the immigration issue. However, to put enforcement in a preferential position to dealing with the problem that exists right now is to put an ideal before reality. We must deal with what is, not what we think should be. These people need to work and we need them here, but forcing them into an illegal underground system where they are unable to participate civilly is unreasonable. They should be able to pay a fine or receive a reasonable sentence for their crime and then be allowed to contribute to our society legitimately. The idea of busing them all back across the border, or forcing them all to go back home sounds good to many, but it is an absurd notion and will not work in reality. This problem is here to stay if we do not solve it with reason.