The influx of illegal immigrants costs Americans their jobs and drives down their wages and salaries; the legalization of illegal immigrants will expand and institutionalize that trend. It’s that simple. The focus and discussion of every other aspect of the issue, to borrow a phrase from Lincoln, is just an intrigue.
The array of forces on each side of the immigration issue is not so simple. On the left there is a largely unspoken cleavage between the liberal elite and the people who work for a living. Union hierarchies see a potential expansion of dues collections. The Democratic Party leadership sees a potential expansion of votes. But the American working class, to the extent that they are conscious of the impact on their living standards, uncontaminated by racism and nationalism, see clearly the real negative prospects of the push for legalization.
On the right there’s a cleavage between the interests of employers enjoying cheap labor and a racist, nativist base. This is just another example of how the Grand Old Coalition doesn’t work so well outside morals legislation.
Hence the embarrassing assortment of bedfellows. Those with something to gain, left and right, against those with something to lose, left and right.
So what’s the solution, for progressives whose interests in living standards trump the collection of dues and votes? Advocate and enforce the existing laws against hiring illegals. Fine and/or jail the employers. Most illegals will go home and help solve the problems there that have driven them here.
All else is intrigue.