Why do you guys conflate legal and illegal immigration as though they are the same thing?
I think in many cases people are reacting to humanitarian issues. From what I understand, legal immigration can take years so for economic migrants who just want to work it's easier to slip across the border. It's really too bad that GWB's immigration reforms got stonewalled by the Neanderthal wing of his party, the guest worker program would have been a big help for workers and employers. (Might've helped the GOP with hispanic demographics as well.)
It's so easy to find immigrants and prospective immigrants with tragic stories of split families, abuse by smugglers, broken promises and these stories make immigration reform much more complicated than a simple matter of numbers.
Refugees pose another problem. I worry about the situation in Europe now and how it will play out over the years. As with gun controls in the USA, the barn doors have been open too long, the horses fled long ago — collective return and resettlement seems pretty unrealistic. Does it bother anyone else that by accepting refugees and skilled immigrants we are essentially promoting a brain drain from underdeveloped societies who need those people more than we do?