Here's what I see in the immigration debate. I will label them so that you can get a clear picture of each.
First, lets start with the Red Apple. I'll call this, the Non-Immigrant Status Violator, or Illegal Border Crosser, (IBC) for short.
Second, the Green Apple. I'll call this, the Violators of Conditions of Entry, or Visa Overstays, (VO) for short.
Third, the Yellow Apples. I'll call this, the immigrants that came here legally and are Legal Permanent Residents, (LPR) for short.
Now, when one discusses the topic of illegal immigration, one person is discussing the cause and effect of say the Red Apple, yet the counter to the argument brought up by the other person is always towards that of the Green Apple, and vise-versa. Why can't we have an intellectual discussion of only one apple at a time? Why is there always this dishonest comparison between the two apples? What complicates things even further is when someone tries to bring in the Yellow Apples and tries to mix the Red and the Green in with those. Then, if something is said to the fact that only the red apples are the ones that are being discussed by you, then you get labeled a racist, xenophobe, nativist, and other ignorant terms for not seeing an apple.
Only when the discussion can be about the specific color of the apple will this immigration dialogue continue with intellectual discourse. Only when people can see beyond the apple itself, realize that each color, Red, Green, and Yellow, all have different uses and flavors, will they be able to objectively discuss a solution to the apples themselves.