A Nation of immigrants... A Nation of Law Abiders

Wanting to take an opportunity to not only express my opinions but to to provide a respectful forum for you to respond, I bring up the topic of immigration reform.
As you may know The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would make entering this country illegally (without the required papers/documents) a federal crime rather than a state crime.
In response to this bill passing (and there are several versions of this bill up before the senate right now as well) hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants ('illegals') took to peaceful protests in the streets expressing their disapproval of such a bill. And kudos to them in their efforts to keep things peaceful too. Out of the 500,000 that marched in Los Angeles there were 0 (ZERO!) arrests. I mean, you put 500,000 Buddhist monks on the street in a peace rally you're going to have at least one arrest! Anyway...
Opponents' arguments against this bill are as follows:
That they are not criminals.
That they are here to work for a better life and contribute to society.
That this is a nation of immigrants from its very inception.
That our economy would collapse if there were no immigrants to do much of the physical labor in this country.
That they are taking jobs that no American wants anyway.
Each of these points is true... Except for the first one.
By not obtaining the proper documentation from their local U.S. embassy and by crossing into The United States in the dead of the night through a broken fence, underground tunnel or in the back of a cargo truck, that person has broken a law of the United States. Hence, that person by definition is a criminal in this country.
Now this is not at all a race issue for me. I love the South and Central American cultures. I spent two years in rural Honduras speaking the language and living in piss poor conditions doing what little I could to help bring about a bit of change for those not fortunate enough to be born into a land of abundance like I was.
But the point is not how many immigrants or who those immigrants are that come into this country. The issue is how they come into this country. Every morning at every U.S. embassy in every country there are hundreds of people lined up at the gate waiting for their shot at getting the proper papers so that they can enter into The U.S. legally. Right now the number of documents the U.S. signs and stamps each day are heavily restricted because we take into consideration how many are slipping into this country illegally.
Yes, we need immigrants in this country who are willing to work hard for low pay in order to keep society going as it has been.
Yes, most 'illegals' are only looking for work so that they can live a little better than they were in their home country.
Yes, this country is made up of immigrants and has been ever since the pilgrims landed here.
But the issue is not 'immigration', the issue is illegal immigration. For we are not only a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of law abiders. I have seen that one of the interesting things that makes this country the way it is is the respect its citizens have for the laws. Yes there is corruption everywhere on all levels in government and in the civilian ranks but it is nothing compared to the utter disregard for laws that is so common in nearly every third world country that contribute to that country not achieving its full potential.
I'm all for opening the gate and letting as many people into this country as we can sustain with our resources as long as they are willing to work to support themselves and obey the laws. Those people waiting patiently in front of the U.S. embassy in their home country need to be allowed entry into the U.S. before any of the 'line cutters' who are running through the desert are allowed to stay. The privilege of coming to this country should belong to those who are already following the rules by patiently seeking their documentation. And I know they would agree with me. I've spoken to them.
Let me add this though. If my health and well being of my family were on the line and it meant crossing into a country illegally to look for work to survive, you bet I would take it! And I don't blame or envy anyone who finds themselves in a position where they had to take those measures to survive. However, I also would not expect to have a voice in that country's democracy nor would I expect free health care or education while there. I would understand that those benefits and privileges are reserved for those who are citizens, documented immigrants, and tax payers of that country.

Where do you stand?