Our immigration policy is a mess.  I know, I actually worked from time to time in this field issuing visas and promoting foreign tourism to the USA.   I am an expert in visas for foreign businessmen and investors coming to the USA.   I had to be in order to promote foreign investment in the USA.

The basic problem with our immigration policy is that, unlike every other country in the world, the USA considers every foreigner who enters the country to be an immigrant unless he/she can prove otherwise.  In other words, all of the non-immigrant visas we issue - tourists, businessmen, students, sportsmen, exceptional skills, and more - are exceptions to the basic rule that entrants are immigrants.  In other words you have to prove that you do not intend to immigrate to the USA.  All other countries consider foreigners coming into their country to be temporary visitors unless they take steps to be immigrants.

Because of our basic rule all those who enter the USA, even illegally, have full recourse to law regulating immigration.  Thus the costly process of deporting those who enter or stay illegally in the USA.

It would be far easier and more effective to simply consider all those who arrive at our border from other countries to be “temporary” visitors until they take steps to be immigrants.  This means that all foreign entrants know that their mere entry into the USA does not imply other than a temporary stay.  This would also allow us to send them home after that stay with no recourse to immigration law or procedures.

Under this procedure a Mexican field hand  who comes to harvest crops would come in for a limited stay and then be expected to leave with no recourse to immigration law.  His stay would be the same as coming under our existing visas for seasonal workers that is an exception to the basic law.  However, there would be no implication that he has an ability to stay forever.  He, as is the case for all other foreign entrants, is considered to be a temporary visitor.

No examination,  review, investigation or political discourse of immigration should be undertaken without this basic understanding of how the law works and how it differs from, as far as I know,   every other country in the world.  We could solve our immigration problems by simply changing the basic law to be the same as all the other countries.