The real reason there is an illegal immigration problem is because the legal path to citizenship is so convoluted and contradictory that most people either can't navigate it or lose their status in the middle of the process. If you're an illegal immigrant that has managed to find a home and eke out a living coming forward to legitimize yourself means risking immediate deportation. You also risk that your legitimate claim might be overturned before you get a green card. Even if that doesn't happen you can be discriminated against by a border or immigration agent and get denied on their say-so. That's why most of the people that come here illegally have a "fake it till you make it" approach. They live their life and keep their head down hoping that a president or act of Congress will make it legal for them to exist in America before they get kicked out. The biggest way to fix this problem is employee enough immigration staff that a person applying for asylum or a family visa can have their case dealt with within weeks instead of years. The next step is to put a moratorium on immigration laws for 5 years. That way every immigrant and their lawyers know exactly what's required of them to get legal status. Finally, take decision power away from the immigration and border agents. the guy who searches suitcases for contraband cigarettes shouldn't be in a position to decide whether or not a work permit is valid. This procedure is much cheaper than a wall and way more effective.