When we talk about border security, it seems to me that the unspoken assumption is that an emphasis on border security stems somehow from a desire to stop immigration. But what if robust border security were simply a part of making sure that immigrants who arrive and do so legally are not subject to harassment? What if border security were so trusted, that the presumption shifted from immigrants present within our borders being presumed illegal to being presumed legal?
My desire for border security comes from a desire to protect legal immigrants from the kind of harassment that is now, embarrassingly, legal. Imagine if we could stop wasting money accidentally deporting US citizens, for example. Imagine if state legislatures didn't have to pass "papers-please" laws. Imagine if the police could focus on crime rather than policing the immigration laws.
This is what I'm talking about when I talk about border security -- it's an integral part of immigration reform because it will bolster the legitimacy of all those who come here, and remove the suggestion of illegality that our own shoddy security created in the first place.