Before answering that question, another one. What is the punishment for illegally crossing the US Border?
The answer to the second question:
federal misdemeanor with a first offense carrying maximum fines of $50 to $250 and/or a six-month prison sentence.
With the Fourth of July holiday looming, keep in mind that you can get more jail time for transporting fireworks than entering the U.S. illegally: one year in prison — or paying an unspecified fine, or both.
For the vast majority fo the undocumented, that is the only crime they have committed:
Now back to the first question:
The Nativist wing of the Republican Party (funded and aided by the Tanton Triumvirate), would argue that we should deport the 10.5 million undocumented for a minor misdemeanor committed 15 years ago–well beyond the statute of limitation. Let he (or she) who is without misdemeanor (or felony) enforce the first law.
If you want to see the divide between the Nativist Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce (Reagan) Republicans, ask if they think the US should deport all 10.5 million undocumented.
As we have written before, that would be an economic disaster for the US and the Reagan camp knows it–creating a fragile alliance among Republicans to talk tough on immigration, but actually deport fewer people.
A policy that supported the rule of law by demanding undocumented immigrants either touch base in their home country or pay a significant fine (no amnesty) would be acceptable to not only the Chamber of Commerce wing but also many Rule of Law Republicans.
As it stands, we make no distinction between the MS-13 gang member and the nanny with the broken tail light. Both are treated the same way in our current immigration framework, which is a terrible waste of time, money and resources.
In discussions with ICE agents, both current and past, they agree that a policy that allowed them to focus their efforts on criminal aliens would not only make the US safer, but it is a policy they wholeheartedly support. More on this to come.