As long as the disparity in economic opportunity is so great, illegal immigration to the USA is inevitable. There just is too many miles of borders to guard.
Thus, the sensible thing to do is provide a mechanism like temporary worker visas.
The people who want to work would be provided a means to be here legally and the employers who want to hire them won't have to break the law to have them on the payrolls.
That is the idea in this article which, in my opinion, is offering a pretty common sense approach to the issue.
In the early 1950s, Congress and President Eisenhower faced a similar challenge. The U.S. Border Patrol was making 1 million apprehensions a year. Congress and the president responded with more vigorous enforcement, but also a large increase in visas for temporary workers.
The result: Apprehensions at the border fell by 95%. Given the choice, low-skilled immigrants from Mexico chose by the millions to enter legally rather than illegally.
A temporary worker program would transform the debate about enforcement. If the large majority of people now entering illegally were to enter legally through normal ports of entry, U.S. border agents could focus their time and resources on apprehending real criminals and terrorists.
A sufficient inflow of legal workers would drive out illegal workers, reducing the rationale for workplace raids, national identification cards and employment verification systems. Companies that can hire legal workers would not be so tempted to hire illegal workers.
To overcome political opposition, Democratic leaders must face down labor-union opponents of a temporary worker program, just as Republican leaders seeking a new plan must face down the anti-immigration wing of the conservative movement.