Like so many other things, too many issues are being clumped together as one big problem, when the reality is those issues are at best only partially related, and at worst an issue with no basis in reality.
It’s unfortunate that the actions of a group of people who circumvent a nation’s laws in order to enter or stay in that nation are somehow lumped into an immigration discussion. As I mentioned elsewhere, the best option to deal with these individuals is to politely give them the option to return to their country of origin and then attempt the correct way of entry; or if that option is declined, remind them that their presence here is in direct violation with the policies of this nation (policies that have helped in some part make this nation so very desirable to those around the world) and as such are not eligible for the services and benefits due to legal-standing citizens and residents, in essence just reiterating their own choice of having a “second-class” status within this nation.
There should be no special paths to citizenship established for this group of people, as one already exists (that being the legal immigration route). Any real or perceived hardships that may result are only the consequences of their own decisions to circumvent immigration policy, and should not be construed otherwise. There should also be no special consideration for this group of people in regards to temporary/guest worker permits, unless such a program is established across the board as a normal policy for anyone seeking as such, and then this group would be free to apply as anyone else would, provided they do so from the basis of their home country, as would anyone else.
If there are necessary changes to immigration policy that need to be addressed, then that is a different issue, and should be pursued within the typical channels of doing so, and not as some sort of kneejerk reaction to people circumventing that policy.
Potential Voting Issues
Forming any sort of policy or law based on the potential voting habits of a group of people who have, by their own choice, circumvented the legal means of immigration is wrong, and it certainly sets a terrible precedent for the future. This group of people should not receive any means of voting and be prosecuted to the full extent of the law should they partake in voting (along with any parties who directly participated or contributed to such voter fraud), without first having gone through the established procedures to obtain legal residency and become full-fledged citizens.
It’s just as bad to change policy in order to sway or bribe a group of people to a particular way of voting. The way of life here in the United States that is so desired around the world is due to in no small part the rule of law, and that is the sort of ideal that should be encouraged and spread to voters, no matter what arbitrary categories of which they may be part.
I don’t believe it’s necessary to actively deport anyone, except those who commit crimes (outside of their non-resident status), as long as our borders are actively patrolled and/or secured, our immigration laws are actively enforced, those who seek to employ this “black-market labor force” are penalized appropriately, and those that remain here outside of the legal channels are denied the benefits and rewards due to legal residents and citizens (again, of their own choice). We can simply show them the correct way (i.e., return to country of origin and immigrate legally), or they will need to live with the consequences of their actions and decisions. Such a policy would encourage people to leave of their own accord, and enter through the legally established channels.
I suppose I may have a unique perspective about this. I endeavor to treat others as I would expect to be treated, and I expect equal treatment under the law and policies of this nation. I would personally make sure a person didn’t starve, had some sort of shelter, and so forth. I would not, however, force someone else to do so, including any level of government (which is or represents, as a rule, a lot of other people and myself). I would hope that by living under the rule of law, and desiring that rule of law to continue, new policy would not be made specifically for those to take advantage of getting around that rule of law.