Tim, I hate to bear bad news, but if you cling to the central idea that illegal immigrants are automatically felons you will be left behind in the discussion. Not saying you're wrong.
Also, an asset of this policy is that Repubs get to say that their plan is not amnesty because it sets requirements for a work permit and even more requirements for citizenship.
Again, the idea is that Repubs are on record for helping productive would-be citizens, despite the fact that they entered the country illegally. The liberals are left defending their position - we can call it the poisionous term, amnesty - for unproductive freeloaders.