Immigration is a subject I’d just as soon leave until there’s a Republican president, since Democrats have proven so untrustworthy in the enforcement of immigration law.

But, since Republican leadership insists on bringing it up again, the subject is unavoidable.

There are the obvious problems, such as laughable enforcement, the influx of low-wage workers, the inability to distinguish between eligible illegals, and the fact that the federal bureaucracy has never been able to handle even its current immigration tasks much better than Obamacare. And then there is one basic, underlying problem that would ensure immigration remains a problem in perpetuity:

It’s not fair.

Fair – the watchword of the modern political age.

There are about 4 million people waiting for green cards, waiting to be able to live and work in the United States. And there are millions more who have green cards and would like to become U.S. citizens.

How is it fair to grant amnesty (call it what you will) to 12 million illegals while these millions wait patiently, spending time and money, to get the same benefit.

This creates a perverse incentive. It feeds a dangerous and self-perpetuating cycle of human trafficking.

Why do illegals garner all the sympathy?

It’s too bad that aspiring legal immigrants aren’t a political constituency group. They have no political representation, few (if any) advocacy groups, no one to cry for them in front of committees and cameras every day about how they and their children don’t get to live in this country legally.

“Currently, it takes up to 25 years to obtain U.S. citizenship legally,” U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wrote in the Washington Times on July 1, 2013. It takes “countless hours and thousands of dollars to do it right.”

Illegals get to live here. They and their children benefit from our society every day, with education, health-care, work and play.

Meanwhile, the forgotten legal immigrants-in-waiting, abiding by the law, can only hope that they, too, will someday get the same consideration.

Let’s just remember then: whatever we do to satisfy illegal aliens will come at a cost to legal immigrants, and to legal immigration.

So I ask, why should we entitle illegal aliens to remain in this country ahead of people waiting to become legal immigrants? We should not. Why should compassion for the children of illegal aliens outweigh compassion for the children of others waiting to come here? It should not.

If this is not resolved correctly, we’ll be back resolving it again in twenty or thirty years, just as we are now.

Debating immigration today, one side wants open borders (c’mon, let’s be honest) and citizenship for illegal aliens, the other wants border security and immigration control. The latest compromises promise to give us the worst of both – inadequate border control, an impossibly high number of legal chain-immigrants, eventual citizenship for illegals, pork for supporters and buy-offs for opponents.

Millions of dollars are donated to political campaigns by special-interests to obtain this result. Politicians cash in…and why shouldn’t they? Those politicos won’t be around when the jig is up: they’re just trying to survive one more news or election cycle.

Yet, of all these “solutions,” there are only a few that the federal government is constitutionally required to implement.