Immigration was an issue during the Reagan administration. Out of control borders concerned U.S. citizens even then- they make a mockery of political self-determination and make congressional controls over immigration irrelevant. Therefore the U.S. congress attempted without much luck to fix the problem in 1986 with legislation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986
I was concerned myself with the illegal immigration problem because I repainted home exteriors and illegal aliens were direct competition. U.S. winters put an end to painting seasonally in the north so I rode a bicycle across the southern states look for homes to paint.
I would see hundreds of illegal migrants on street corners in Phoenix and couldn’t get any work myself even at labor ready where I could sit around all day if I wanted. In South Carolina I repainted a home that had a new paint job on it the year before with the best Sherwin-WIlliams exterior paint (Duration I believe it was) that had failed and the paint peeled off in sheets. The problem was that a contractor had hired five illegal aliens to prep and pressure wash the structure that didn’t know what they were doing and worked cheap. They washed the building and it was smooth yet the heavily sub-oxidized dusty paint remained on the house and the contractor sprayed over that so it came off. I did all the work myself in fixing the mess, and used emulsa-bond paint additive to soak through the dusty paint and let new self-priming paint from Lowes that I used adhere well.
Illegal aliens were a problem going back at least to the 1980s when I worked for a while in Oregon and was a member of the national guard for a time. Down the highway in central America there was a civil war or two going on and the threat of communists travelling north was present. Of course President Reagan probably sought to balance the issue of allowing in communist guerillas to the U.S.A. through lax border security with the tradition wish of capitalists to make a profit exploiting cheap labor- and what is better than illegal labor that can’t agitate much for pay increases or unionizing.
Oregon was saturated with illegal aliens and ICE would make some large scale arrests now and then such as one underground mushroom growing factory that had 30 illegals arrested. There were sensational crimes such as when one illegal alien strangled to death a pair of nuns with their crucifixes that brought some public notice of the presence of illegal non-citizens free to wander across the border, commit crimes and disappear into the shadows and jungles of who knows where.
My concern today isn’t much about direct competition with illegal workers so much as the overpopulation of the nation (320 million). I remember when it had 160 million citizens and I liked it better. I had Mexican friends growing up in school and it really isn’t about racism with me at least- it is about too many people, too much cheap labor and the failure of the government to adapt to the declining ecosphere and limited natural resources and work for an ecological economic transformation to sustainability. There needs to be coordination with repairing the social structure of the nation so there are no people forever oppressed to live in poverty structurally without medical, dental or cheap patenting prospects.
I should stipulate that at this point in history I think that the U.S. democracy is largely dead. What seems to have replace it and made it into an economic platform without nationhood is the Chinese Communist Party and Corporate Plutocrat Collusion. Those CPCs pursue materialism in an inhuman sort of way with repression of civil rights and individualism useful tools for their empowerment.