The battle over language is an important piece of any policy debate. Everybody tries to frame their side of the debate in positive terms. Thus, people are not anti-abortion. They are pro-life. They are not pro-death, but pro-choice.
The clever term in the immigration debate is "undocumented immigrant" or "undocumented worker." I dislike these terms because, while technically true, they are not the most accurate terms because they have the wrong connotation. (I realize changing the connotation is the whole reason that people use it.)
If I have a shirt in my possession that I stole from K-Mart, I could called it an "undocumented credit card purchase."
But the honest term is "stolen."
An immigrant who has snuck into the country is not merely "undocumented." A closer term would be trespassing.
This debate is made all the more difficult because the illegal immigrants I've known (or at least that I suspected of being such given their comments and behavior) have been deeply good people and very hard workers. But even good people can make bad choices, especially when they are trying to help their family.
It is immoral for us to continue to use illegal immigrants in our workforce. They are being denied the protections of laws that our country wants to be able to grant. The current system allows the workers and their families to be abused. It shouldn't be like that.
We need much more generous immigration quotas. The people are coming, and there is demand for their services. We need to bring them in and make them fully part of our society, with full access to our legal system and our legal protections.
But I do not favor amnesty. Too many people have worked too hard to do it the right way. We slap them in the face when we reward the people that have done it the wrong way. We need to make a path to citizenship for those that have come illegally, but it needs to be difficult and it ought to be at least as expensive as what we've made every legal immigrant go through.