There is a great difference between these two categories of immigrants, legal and illegal. They are virtually uncomparable. Legal immigrants are not just simply law abiding, good guys. Legal immigrants are first of all those who can afford to be legal immigrants: spouses of US citizens, employees of big corporations, artists, scientists and etc. These are, in most case, well established, connected people for whom it wouldn't ever make a sense to break the law or stay in US beyond the period authorized by the Attorney General (in case if they were non-immigrant visitors). The story of illegal immigrants is entirely different. Most of illegal immigrants are from Mexico, where they can't find a job and where their families are simply starving. So, for them it is a matter of survival whether they will make to US where they can find any job to feed themselves and their families. Another, significant bulk of illegal immigrants are the spouses of Permanent Residents and parents of minor US Citizens. US Security concerns are viable and understandable and must be defended, but please explain to me how US interests are being defended by separating a child from the parent? And how is it expected that faced with the worst perspectives and ruin of family some parents won't risk crossing the border or staying in the US illegally? Illegal immigrant have no right to work and usually can't even study. That makes him/her vulnerable and exposes him to all kinds of exploitation without any chance of getting a fair treatment.
I could tell much more about hardships of illegal immigrants. If these issues are raised there is a much better chance of gaining a public support for legalization and other programs that would help undocumented workers to emerge from the shadows. After all, the real question is: who benefits from unsolved problem of illegal immigration?
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