The New York Times has reported that deporting illegal immigrants gives rise to the problem of separating families. When one member of a family is caught and deported, the rest of the family often remains behind, illegally. Sometimes, the children are born in the United States (3.1 million children in the US have at least one illegal parent) and are, arguably, citizens (although scholars differ as to whether or not an American birth triggers citizenship rights). The end result is that families are torn asunder and, really, this is a horrible thing to do to people who just want a better life.
The NY Times fails to consider the larger implications of the policy it advocates (i.e. business as usual). Of course, there is the issue that those families can return to their home countries and be reunited; they are simply prohibited from being here, together, because they are not supposed to be here in the first place.
More importantly, the logical conclusion of the idea that we should not enforce our laws because of the effects on families is to eradicate our laws, entirely. If people who are here illegally should not be deported because their families will be torn apart, then we should not send felons to jail, as such will tear their families apart, too. Is the drug dealer worse for his family than the illegal immigrant for his? What would justify not enforcing the laws for one (the illegal) and enforcing them for the other (the drug dealer)? Would we then only send people to jail if they were not parents or lacked close family ties?
When people come to America illegally and bring their children (or give birth here), they are aware that their activities could result in dire consequences – the destruction of their families, with children in America and the parents in Mexico. The fact that they took such a risk should not be a reason to mitigate that risk; it is much like a casino gambler who, upon losing a lot of money, asks to not pay his debt because it is too much for him to bear.