The tragedy of illegal immigration is that it did not have to be this way. Legal, measured, meritocratic, and diverse immigration leads to rapid assimilation and Americanization and enriches the country culturally and economically.
Its antithesis—illegal, mass, non-meritocratic, and non-diverse immigration—hinders the melting pot. It fuels tribalism, while incurring vast costs in social services to ensure some sort of parity for those from impoverished southern Mexico and Central America. The wages of our citizen working poor and their access to needed social services are not helped by thousands of new arrivals without legality and English.
Yet illegal immigration in such numbers certainly empowers a host of special interests. So it continues. Employers prefer cheap labor and often worry little about the social consequences of their workers once they age, have families, or become ill or injured.
Ethnic activists seem energized when their constituents assimilate slowly and require collective representation.
The Democratic Party has learned that the blue-ing of California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico is a paradigm of how to flip Arizona and Texas.
The Mexican government counts on billions in annual remittances from mostly illegal immigrants in the United States who serve as a safety valve for Mexico City to defer needed social and economic change. (In the first eleven months of 2017 Mexicans living abroad sent home $26.1 billion, most of it from north of the border.) The expatriate community in the United States seems to grow fonder of Mexico the farther it is distant.
A final note. Most who write of the positives of open borders and the supposed nativism and xenophobia of those who worry about illegal immigration choose not to experience firsthand the concrete consequences of their own advocacies. By that I mean that despite virtue-signaling, their children rarely attend impacted public schools. They do not socialize or live next to illegal immigrants. And to the degree that they interact with the undocumented, it is mostly as employers to landscapers, housekeepers, nannies, servers, and cooks who magically disappear after work.
In contrast, many of those who are worried most about illegal immigration are often now second- and third-generation Mexican Americans whose schools, neighborhoods, and social services are increasingly in crisis due to the sheer number of those who have arrived without legality, a high school diploma, and English but in sore need of government help.
Much of what we read about illegal immigration seems to have little to do with the reality of those most directly influenced by it.