Many immigrant rights advocates have made the mistake of insisting on immigration benefits for unauthorized immigrants rather than just legal rights for them. This may be the reason why immigration reform can never happen. The two opposing sides on immigration reform are both having elections in their minds. One side think that they can get more votes with immigration reform while the other side think that there will be more voters who would vote against them. Legal rights for immigrants are thus rudely pushed aside by both sides.
It is a no brainer that people can not just come to a country and ask for benefits. But people should be allowed to travel around the world and stay where they can afford to stay as long as they abide by the laws of the country where they stay. Each country can make their own laws concerning what benefits a person from another country can receive. But forbidding certain people from coming and staying is not right. People have the right to freedom of movement.
Legalization of unauthorized immigrants means giving unauthorized immigrants legal rights, not immigration benefits.