Although a comprehensive immigration plan won't be finalized until later this year, it is important that those involved in crafting or influencing the legislation take into consideration the following: There must be a path to citizenship. There is no need for the U.S. to create a second tier of residents.
Any fines must be fair. Most undocumented residents interviewed through the years by this newspaper have said they have no objection to paying fine ranging from $500 to $1,500. But, if the fine is upwards of $5,000 (meaning $20,000 or more for a family of four), it would be a major obstacle for people who typically work at or below the minimum wage.
Remember that undocumented residents pay taxes. There is nothing wrong with legislation that mandates they pay back taxes, but many undocumented residents are paying federal income taxes, in addition to local and state taxes.
If learning English is to be requirement for legal residency, make sure there are enough classes/instructors to take care of the demand.
Be quick to reprimand anyone who resorts to ugly rhetoric. We've had too much of it already.
Keep politics out of the equation. Remember, it is the country -- not Democrats, not Republicans, not President Obama, not Sen. Marco Rubio -- that will reap the rewards.