I suggest a four-point plan:
1) Instant and irrevocable deportation for all illegals that have committed any additional serious misdemeanors or felonies during their stay other than breaking the law by coming here in the first place.
2) Instant and irrevocable lifetime disqualification of welfare state benefits (including so-called “Dream Acts”) for all illegals except as it directly relates to emergency life-or-death situations.
3) The establishment of a real national guest-worker program complete with e-verify so that folks who are just working here and sending money home can be accounted for and regulated.
Furthermore, there should be punitive punishment for corporations caught hiring illegals once this program is implemented.
4) Any current illegals who wish to still become citizens after all these measures are taken, and who can speak English as well as prove they have a skill or trade to offer, are then put into the legal immigration system starting at the back of the line. Of course, given that all their welfare state benefits have evaporated, it’s highly unlikely this number will be nearly as high as it currently is. If they make it through the process and are naturalized they are then barred from ever voting in any election for as long as they live as restitution for breaking the law.
This is a better idea of restitution than having them pay fines that will just confiscate their productivity and make them more a drain on the system. I don’t believe mass deportations are either practical or moral.
I believe this plan is a mixture of both grace and law. There are both consequences for breaking the law and mercy for those whose intent wasn’t malevolent but only to escape the kind of squalor blessedly most Americans can’t even fathom. On the other hand, the rule of law must be upheld, and the productivity and prosperity of the American people must be protected.