How would you handle the illegal immigrants already in this country?
We cannot give amnesty. We tried that and it didn't work. In fact, I think it encouraged more illegal immigration with people counting on us just doing it again.
That being said, we are a country built by immigrants, and we still need them because our population is ageing and we need young people to do the jobs we are getting too old to do. Many of the illegal aliens already here are employed productive members of our society.
Here's my common sense solution: Simplify the immigration system and use the Internet so people with jobs can get in quickly and legally after a background check. Once here legally, they can get into the system to become productive tax paying members of our society instead of a burden on our health, education, and welfare system. As for people already here, they need to apply and get in line with everyone else. They'll have to leave the country voluntarily and re-enter legally. Some people may say that's almost the same as amnesty, but I don't think so. Last time I drove to Brownsville, I may have exceeded the posted speed limit. The fact that I did not get a ticket doesn't mean I got amnesty, it means I got lucky. I also think there are other common sense solutions that I'd support instead of or in addition to my plan. For example charging illegal alians already in this country with a misdemeanor and fining them or requiring community service might be an alternate solution.
Coupled with any sort of immigration reform, we must get serious about closing the boarder. With simplified legal immigration, we take the "economic refugee" argument off the table and know people crossing illegally are bag guys- drug runners trying to poison our children or terrorists wanting to blow things up. We have the technology to close the border without huge fences. Finally, we have to get serious about prosecuting employers who hire illegal immigrants off the books, exploit them (and us by not paying their fair share of taxes).