However, I also don't believe we should overly criminalize illegal entry. At this time, being in the country without permission is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. I don't support making it a felony, although I can see some usefulness in making it a criminal misdeameaner punishable by fine or deportation, just so police can enforce the law more readily.
And I certainly don't think we should make it a crime to help people simply because they are not legally in the country. A good samaritan should not have to check a person's green card before providing assistance. A church should not have it's members subjected to imprisonment because they run a soup kitchen.
Therefore, I support this action by the U.S. Senate. According to the referenced AP Article on MSNBC:
Senators writing an immigration bill broke from the House’s get-tough approach by refusing Monday to make criminals of humanitarian groups or individuals who help illegal immigrants as more than a thousand immigration rights activists rallied outside the Capitol.
The Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would protect church and charitable groups, as well as individuals, from criminal prosecution for providing food, shelter, medical care and counseling to undocumented immigrants.
The article also says the committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Cornyn (R-Tex) which would require groups to register before providing aid to illegals. I suppose if it was easy to tell who was illegal, you might think it a good idea to register help. But I don't, because first you CAN'T tell who is illegal in many cases, and second the idea of registration with the government just makes my skin crawl.
We need to get illegal immigration under control, but we shouldn't punish our own citizens simply because the government can't do it's job and keep the illegals out.
BTW, 500,000 protestors showing up in Los Angelos alone this weekend will NOT help the cause of common-sense immigration policy. It just scares people. It scared me. I don't want my country taken over by an invading army.