Calling Danny an "illegal" is offensive and inaccurate. Here are some pieces of media to help you digest this: (1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmz9cCF0KNE (2) http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/opinion/garcia-illegal-immigrants (3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/usa-today-illegal-immigrant_n_3062479.html (4) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/ap-drops-term-illegal-immigrant_n_3001432.html (5) http://politic365.com/2012/10/04/why-the-media-needs-to-drop-the-i-word/
Your quote "if this mom really wanted to help her young son, then why doesn't she have some paper showing he is in the process of getting his citizenship," proves that your arguments are based on what you believe to be true about the system currently in place, as opposed to what the laws governing it actually dictate is possible. As was referenced in the article, Danny's mom was more than happy to produce her identification. She has status, but she doesn't have the ability to petition for her son's status because she is not yet a Permanent Resident or US Citizen. Danny has no way of applying for citizenship. If he were to attempt to initiate the process of securing a visa now, he would have to leave the USA, despite the fact that he has lived here since he was 7 years old. Danny does not have a fake ID. He never stole anyone's Social Security number. He doesn't sell drugs, or belong to a gang. He works for cash diligently following IRS guidelines stating that he cannot earn more than $600 from any one employer. He knows this law and follows it to the letter because he hopes that immigration reform will pass one day, and he wants to be in good standing. As is mentioned in the article, Danny applied for deferred action so he could receive prosecutorial discretion and protection from deportation. This meant that he had to spend his own money on a background check -- a background check that came up clean.
Your statement "follow the law and continue to work at improving the immigration laws to help make the process less cumbersome," once again offers an impression of the system in place that does not mesh with reality. There is not one process that everyone follows. There is no such thing as one line, or one set of rules that apply to everyone. If Danny had been born in a country that qualifies for the visa lottery, say Belgium, he could sign himself up for a drawing and automatically win a Green Card. It wouldn't matter if he were an unemployed high school dropout. He could simply luck himself into Permanent Residency. But Danny was born in Mexico, and therefore Danny doesn't qualify for the visa lottery. If Danny's mother were from anywhere in Europe, she would have received her Permanent Residency already, and it would have taken around 3 to 5 years for her to secure status for her son. But since she is from Latin America, there is no scenario that would allow her to secure her son's status in anything less than 17 to 23 years. Danny's mom could get a PhD, and an MD, and discover the cure to cancer, or become a multimillionaire through her genius and initiative. She would still have a longer path to citizenship, and would find herself unable to sponsor her son in the same amount of time as the average French, English, or German immigrant. It makes no sense to ignore the merit of an individual simply because of his or her country of origin. The system in place creates huge backlogs, and fails to apply/enforce one set of rules and burdens. This is one of the reasons reform is so urgently needed. Read more: http://www.scpr.org/blogs/multiamerican/2013/02/01/12336/immigrant-visa-backlogs-how-do-both-reform-plans-p/
Last, but most certainly not least, this argument that undocumented Americans are reaping a series of benefits is wholly, completely, utterly 100% false. There are zero, zilch, zip, no means for undocumented folks to collect Social Security, or get subsidized healthcare, or receive temporary assistance for needy families, (TANF a.k.a. welfare) or access unemployment benefits. Yes, Danny attended public schools. But the Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe stated that public education should not and cannot be denied to minors residing in the US, regardless of whether or not they have Social Security numbers. So according to the Supreme Court, neither Danny, nor his family, are guilty of stealing anything from you, me, or any other taxpayer. And once again, it bears repeating that Danny's mom has a work visa so she is paying into Social Security, etc., as well as filing federal and state taxes annually, despite the fact that is is not eligible to get any of this money back, or able to make use of any of the public benefits her tax dollars help to subsidize. Immigrants both documented and undocumented are making far greater financial contributions to this country than most people are aware of, or are willing to acknowledge. In fact, undocumented Americans are contributing $11.2 billion annually in tax revenue to the states and municipalities in which they reside. Read more: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/unauthorized-immigrants-pay-taxes-too
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the Senate's immigration reform bill and stated quite clearly that immigration reform would contribute an additional $1 trillion in GDP growth over the next decade, an additional $1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades. If you don't want 159,000 additional new jobs each and every year, Social Security to be restored, etc., you are free to do so. But there is no empirical (quantitative) evidence, or even peer-reviewed qualitative research, to justify the notion you've advanced that immigrants are a burden, and those who are currently undocumented -- 40% of whom entered the US and established residency here with documentation -- deserve to be eternally labeled as criminals and treated thusly.