So what are my thoughts?
I'll admit, it's been difficult to shake a lifetime of programming regarding "we're a nation of immigrants." - you can see it everywhere, down to repeated lines in the music for Hamilton about how he's "an immigrant" and so is Lafayette, and "they get the job done."
Having overheard a chunk of the third-party remix, I can assure you that those references are not only deliberate (and distortions of what is meant by "immigrant"), but that the crowd that loves that play is far, far more activist about it.
So what do I consider acceptable? Well - while I would now consider mass deportations - which have happened before - it still isn't my first choice. Below is what I'd consider an absolute minimum. It also has the advantage of giving us time and breathing room to mobilize for more proactive efforts, if needed. I'm also dashing this off so if you have any questions, etc., or anything is unclear or seems it's ill thought out, ask. It's likely my fault for how I wrote it.
- Enforce the borders - these laws are already on the books. Will we get everyone? No. So? If we consistently send back the ones we catch, and stop looking the other way, we'll improve things. This may still require a ramp up but cutting down the flow of people coming in is a must, because any other step we take to push people back out will otherwise be undercut.
- Make the work environment less welcoming to illegals. Sucks for the otherwise "law abiding" ones that work hard, etc., and I'm will not easily be convinced to expand the "proof of citizenship" requirements for most jobs, but anyone lying on such paperwork - including the employer and/or their HR staff - should be held accountable. Everyone also knows where the illegals hang out for under the table work. Make it harder to get those jobs and the illegals will be less inclined to come over. Again, nothing new is required here except the will power to enforce existing law.
- Make the welfare environment less hospitable to non-citizens. I'm willing to entertain some leeway for people who've gone through the hoops, have their papers, and hit on hard times. If they're actually the kind of people who're willing to work hard and advance themselves they'll get back out of it. "Undocumented"? - hell no.
- Enforce assimilation as a standard. While we're at it - make English the official language, or take similar measures to stop this "press two for spanish" bullshit. They want to be part of our culture? Assimilate.
- For illegals already in country: If you're caught committing a felony or other significant crime (DUI, rape, robbery, murder, mugging, etc.), you get shipped out. I'd even accept "goes to trial, goes to prison first if committed" as long as, either way, he gets shipped out. Period.
- If convicted, they never get a chance to come back in legally. I can at least consider arguments for the rest, especially if cleared at trial, but no-one convicted should be allowed back in. They're at that point double lawbreakers and proven destructive ones at that.
- If, and only if you wish to give illegals in country a "path to citizenship" they should go to the back of the line, be free of a criminal record, and do something above and beyond given they already broke the law once. The Men of the West article provides some food for thought, but if they weren't willing to take the legal path, they need to prove themselves somehow.
- While I actually fully endorse cutting down on stupid paperwork and bureaucratic bullshit for immigrants, more skin in the game is needed in either case. I have no policy suggestions here, but de facto not even requiring immigrants to learn english anymore or otherwise prove themselves is not acceptable. Does it suck that someone born to a citizen doesn't have to pass tests? Sure. So? They're born into the club, and have absorbed its assumptions with mother's milk. Someone who's an outsider has to prove their dedication. I can speak from personal experience that even invested, a large number of second, third, etc. generation European immigrants revert to their ancestor's cultural assumptions.
- Shift immigration preferences away from south and central America, and the third world.. If we're going to take immigrants, take more that come from a similar culture. Even so, see #7. I know some brits who make our left look sane, though generally they're the wives of much saner, and fairly conservative husbands.
- While we're at it, start basing immigration acceptance on "will they be productive citizens who can help the USA?" I'm not a college degree snob, so I'd even accept blue-collar and tradesman skills, but we have the right to choose who we take in, and not take those who can't or won't work, or be able to help us as literate members of a modern western society.
- Cut down on overall immigration. Why should we brain-drain countries? These very same stable, law-abiding, competent people would be invaluable in maintaining or building the cultures they came from.
This may not be enough, and if so, we can look at stronger measures, but they are the absolute minimum. There's no need to take on floods of illiterate "refugees" - even ignoring that most aren't actually women and children but fighting age men. Enforcing these will get the parasites out, minimize the number entering, and better invest those we do allow in. Given that, the number of issues we have with illegals undercutting jobs, committing crime, and diluting the culture will drop like a rock without having to gather people up by the trainload.
Also, most of this stuff is already on the books, or was (countries we accept immigrants from, for example), until the last few decades. Most of what really is needed is something the west, or it's political "leaders" have lacked.
We can do it the relatively humane and low-friction way, getting rid of obvious troublemakers, not taking people in, expecting assimilation, and encouraging the rest to leave, or we can do it the really ugly, violent, high friction way. Or we can avoid rocking the boat, and in the end, go away, little but a memory. That said, if we don't choose a), low friction, then I believe we won't go away, and things will get very, very nasty indeed.