I have been against any attempt to allow amnesty for illegal immigrants, still am. However, over Thanksgiving the common refrain from those FOR amnesty, "can't arrest them all" was again tossed my way. So, what are we to do? Because, in a general way, the argument is correct, we can't arrest them all. We can't even arrest all the citizens that do something wrong.
So, I gave it some thought. Here is my idea.
If you are here illegally you must report to the police station closest to where you live. You must provide positive identification - not false US IDs - and you must provide your address and where you work. If you are not wanted for any other illegal activity, you will be given a fine, a probation, and documentation to register as a resident alien. You will never be granted citizenship unless you leave the country and apply for citizenship from the country you were born in. As a resident alien, you may hold a job, pay taxes and enjoy life. You can not vote, nor receive welfare benefits. Every year, you must report to the police your address and work. Failure to do so is a violation of the probation and makes you subject to deportation. Yes, this is for the rest of your life in this country. If you commit another crime, you get deported. Failure to register results in deportation if you are arrested. No path to citizenship.
Your children born here become citizens, but you may not become on based on their advantage. As a resident alien, you can not sponsor another person into this country.
To the naysayers, yes, many, many people will not register. When and if they are arrested for other reasons, they can be deported. We don't have to round up people, the biggest problem people will make themselves available by being stupid sooner or later. Those that stay way under the radar will be marginalized. Employers can hire all the resident aliens they want, fine them heavy if found with illegals...and deport the employees and their families - minus any citizen children.