Illegal immigration is the current scapegoat for all kinds of problems. The stealth unemployment rate no one is talking about, for one thing. People are mentioning that jobs are really being taken away from Americans, but not the 'it seems we do have unemployment after all' kicker that is its logical underpinning.
The U.S. gets a lot of advantages from illegal immigrants. Cheap labor. Cheaper restaurant meals. Lower building costs. Which is why Congress doesn't really do anything except squack about it. Structurally speaking, paying people higher wages would have an impact on our quality of life. Who wants that?
Mention has been made about cutting all government services to illegal residents. The Supreme Court has ruled that illegal, and so it should. The people are here illegally because we need them to be. And education is not something they are getting much of at home, so none in the U.S. for them wouldn't stop them from coming here. And is it really right to let someone die because of their immigrant status? Econo-Girl doesn't think so. Remember, diseases don't stop and start at the sight of a green card. If a disease is not treated among one group of people here, then it will inevitably spread to other people living here. So it is good for all concerned to keep the overall population healthy, legal and illegal.
Molly Ivins has a great idea on how to attack illegal immigration: arrest and jail a corporate president. See http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/30/ivins.immigration/index.html. Of course, that would bring up all kinds of class issues. And there would be hordes of people who would actually defend the idea that the nice man in a nice suit shouldn't be dragged through the street in handcuffs. That's only for real criminals. Personally, Econo-Girl couldn't get enough of such comeuppance. She suspects she is not alone.