There have been amnesties before, I believe, and nothing changed. Legal immigration is one thing. It's difficult, and takes years for good reason.
A fast track for illegal immigrants would be absolutely wrong, and maybe the "anchor baby" law should be reviewed.
It is obviously a dangerous law, open to abuse, that encourages vulnerable women to behave illegally and in a manner that endangers their own life and that of their unborn child.
Maybe the emergency rooms of hospitals should be deemed neutral zones, like foreign embassies, for the purposes of establishing citizenship.
Those illegal immigrants who are considered for any kind of compassionate "amnesty" should meet some very strict criteria.
Illegal immigrants should not be permitted to vote until they have passed the same (or even more stringent) English language, American History and knowledge of the Constitution exams as new legal immigrants (with no credit whatsoever for their time already here), and they ought to have to live in America without breaking any laws for at least five MORE years from the time they turn themselves in.
Maybe, they should have to study and pass SATs in English and Economics. Maybe 16 years of probation would be appropriate, during which time they should pay all city, state, federal, sales etc taxes, and receive no welfare, and no tax refunds.
If probationary immigrants could not vote for 16 years, that would somewhat depoliticize the debate.
I'm worried about the "they must pay taxes" discussion. Illegal immigrants are likely to be in the lower 40% tax bracket. We're told that "taxpayers" in the lowest tax bracket don't pay taxes.
Legal immigrants and American citizens deserve the assurance that the "fines" being suggested will be substantial enough to deter illegal immigration in the future, and make a meaningful contribution to the coffers that have been depleted by welfare for illegal immigrants.
If we cannot incentivize people to pay their own mortgages, how as a practical matter, are illegal immigrants going to pay a substantial fine?
Maybe the fines should be like a posted bond, imposed by judges on persons not deemed a threat to society between the time of arraignment and trial.
Possibly, those employers who have employed illegal immigrants ought to be obliged to be the immigrants' legal and financial sponsors, and post bond, and be co-signers of their housing and car loans, etc. And, be legally responsible for the illegal immigrants' schooling and health insurance and drivers' ed.
That should deter employers in the future from importing and exploiting undocumented workers.
A final criteria for legal immigration (apart from having a sponsor, having an income, being law-abiding, paying taxes, learning the laws, history and language) is HEALTH. Legal immigrants have to prove that they don't have AIDS or lung disease, and won't be a burden on the health care system.
What's to be done about unhealthy illegal immigrants?
Lastly, is an insistence that immigrants study the Constitution a tad hypocritical?
Possibly, the lawmakers and members of the Administration who are framing any laws regarding illegal immigrants should also, publicly, be required to demonstrate a thorough comprehension of what is actually written in the Constitution (by verbal examination simultaneously broadcast on Fox News and CNN), and if they fail the exam, they should recuse themselves from voting on illegal immigration.