What was also striking was how mean and selfish and small-minded people in the U. S. can be toward immigrants, and how this hurts all of us. Fear of being asked for papers, or even of others being asked to produce papers, can keep people from calling the police when their homes are burgled. One of the functions of immigrants in our bad economic times is to be scapegoats, someone to blame, someone to feel superior to--like poor whites in the antebellum south siding with the rich plantation owners, because that at least made them better than African-American slaves.
What was also striking was one of the speakers citing a study (or something) that found that people who didn't know any immigrants were the ones who had a poor opinion of them. People who knew immigrants thought well of them. Kind of like the gay thing. People knowing gay people has made society in general more tolerant of gays.
So we're left not so much with the dilemma of justifying amnesty and a path to citizenship, but with the challenge of changing people's minds about other people, about learning to open our hearts and being generous with what we have. If we started with those values, what could we accomplish?