When you hear a conservative say that we have to “secure our border” before we can have immigration reform, you should ask them a few questions.
What does “secure our border” even mean? Is it even possible? Has it ever been done, anywhere? What would it take to completely secure a land border? What problems are we trying to solve, and how are we going to solve them?
If they can answer those questions (and I doubt they can), and if they are really interested in reducing our deficit, you should point out a federal report that shows that billions of dollars have been wasted on trying to secure the border. Indeed, if politicians would actually enact real immigration reform, that would have a far greater effect on securing our borders against real threats, not imaginary ones.
After all, to solve the problem of illegal immigrants, we need solutions, not meaningless sound bites like “secure our borders”.