As the political year progresses, you will undoubtedly hear candidates state two key phrases on the immigration issue: that the "immigration system is broken", and their desire for "comprehensive immigration reform". All politicians, regardless of party affiliation talk about warmly welcoming those who enter the country through legal means while also (in the same breath) advocate devoting additional resources to prevent those who attempt to enter the country using illegal methods. Unfortunately, this sentiment seems to be the only topic on this issue upon which all candidates agree.
What those "comprehensive immigration reforms" will be will largely depend on the candidate's party platform, but the vast political divide between the Old Parties will continue to prevent any bipartisan legislation proposed to "fix" the system. In highly generalized terms, Democrats view immigration reform as rooted in compassion, in upholding American values rather than in a Draconian legal view. Republicans tend to view immigration reform as an important aspect of national security, and seek to limit immigration based on an arbitrary priority list of needed skills.
Libertarians like me believe that most American families came to the United States from somewhere else, whether long ago or relatively recently, and as long as they have no credible plan for, a history of, or perform acts of violence within our country, they should be welcome to immigrate to the United States. To quote an old movie, "Most of them are decent enough. They're just trying to make a living."
If Americans want immigrants to enter the United States through legal channels then the immigration laws and their reforms should address making those legal channels fair, reasonable, and more accessible to potential immigrants. One idea to accomplish this would be to split the current Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into two separate agencies; one to focus on service, and the other to focus on enforcement. It is thought that by doing this simple split, both processes would flow more smoothly, and get more of the attention that they need as national issues.