Three of my grandparents were kicked out of Russia (for being Jews) around the beginning of the 20th century, the fourth was born soon after the boat docked in NYC. Their parents had gone through a lot of crap to get them here legally. There was a quota on how many Jews the US allowed in. All my grandparents learned to speak English with only a hint of an accent, three of them through night school. My parents sounded like the native New Yorkers they were. I had to fix my accent when we moved to Seattle, but that's another story. My father was saved from having a foreign accent by the fact that his Russian father married a Hungarian, and the only language they had in common was English. My mother's first language was Yiddish, but you couldn't tell from her unaccented English.
I was born on Manhattan Island, which was purchased legally from the local Native tribes. One man's trinket is another man's treasure. None of my family was even remotely involved with stealing land from the natives. So don't be playing that card on me.
Ever since living in Thailand, I have wanted to return there to work, but the process for getting a work visa is pretty similar to the one for the USA - you need a company to sponsor you. Unlike the USA, only a child of a Thai citizen can obtain citizenship, just being born there doesn't hack it. Only a citizen can get a free education. Christian mission schools tend to fill that gap. Most of the illegals I know from the US/Europe/Australia either have no family, or have left them home.
Giving a pathway to citizenship to people who come here illegally rewards them for breaking the law. I think those who came here illegally should be told to go back to their homelands, and be given the opportunity to apply for visas. If they have children under 18 who are citizens, those children should go with them.
For those who say there is no way to enforce this - it's pretty much the same way you would offer a path to citizenship. If you believe the government can process 12 million applications for amnesty/citizenship, then you also must believe the government can process 12 million exit visas.
Which, of course, they can't.