Recommended reading: A very long and detailed essay by an interpreter brought in to help when the feds made a massive arrest of unauthorized immigrant workers, the majority Guatemalans, at an Iowa meat packing plant. The interpreter's personal dilemma began with his understanding that these workers were not merely to be deported, but criminally prosecuted. Read about the no-win plea agreements offered the likes of a 10-year worker with two children born in the U.S. The one-size-fits-all immigrant hater's sneer -- what is it you don't understand about the world "illegal?" -- just doesn't seem to apply in such cases. The law is not so clear-cut, as the essay explains about the charges those arrested face, but they were fast-tracked into bad choices because of difficult family situations.
It was a system, as the New York Times wrote, "rigged for guilt." Proud to be an American? Not when you read this.