Is there any real reason why we shouldn't deport illegal immigrants? All I've heard is moral arguments, most of which aren't very convincing.
I mean there are several reasons, both moral, ethical, legal and economic.
Moral: these are people who have come into our country seeking a better life.
Ethical: these are people who have been exploited.
Legal: there is no actual law in the criminal code that says being here without proper documentation is a crime. There are laws on the books saying that you may not enter the country without the proper paperwork, a misdemeanor charge for Illegal Entry, which is punishable by $250 fine and up to 6 months in prison.
While it is not criminal is to be here in the US without proper documentation it is against the immigration law. These are not criminal statutes, all punishments are civil with a maximum penalty of deportation.
Additionally, there are already visa statuses for those that are victims of crimes. U Visas allow those that are victims of specific crimes to be allowed to stay in the country. T Visas are for those that are victims of human trafficking. While the U visas are for those that have been through physical or mental abuse, a simple expansion could include abuse by employers, including monetary. Additionally, many migrant communities have already been physically and/or mentally abused by employers.
Economic: Undocumented Workers provided almost $12 billion in tax revenues in 2015. They have paid approximately 10% of the social security trust fund, to which they will not be eligible for benefits from. Due to Undocumented Immigrants, the average American has seen an improvement in their personal wealth by about 1%. Even the state of Texas, not exactly a bastion of progressive politics, has said that their economy would shrink 2.1% without the work of Undocumented Workers.