America is, always has been -- and always will be -- a land of immigrants. That is one of the true strengths of the greatest country in the world, and the reason millions of people worldwide want to come here.

Digest these stats, from the Migration Policy Institute: "The U.S. immigrant population stood at more than 43.3 million, or 13.5 percent, of the total U.S. population of 321.4 million in 2015, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data. Between 2014 and 2015, the foreign-born population increased by 899,000, or 2.1 percent, a slower growth rate compared to 2.5 percent between 2013 and 2014.

"According to the 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS), immigrants and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 84.3 million people, or 27 percent of the overall U.S. population."

Don't forget that when the nation was born, nearly everyone in America was an immigrant. And we've continued to embrace that ideology: Nearly 1.4 million people came to the U.S. in 2015 -- legally. They filled out the papers, waited for approval from the federal government, then moved here, got jobs, paid taxes.

But hundreds of thousands more come to the U.S. illegally each year. Estimates range from 11 million to 16 million illegal aliens in America right now. And while some of them pay taxes, most don't, while demanding free services like health care and education that costs U.S. citizens billions each year.

For some reason, Democrats conflate these two groups. Liberals say Republicans oppose immigration -- they don't, just illegal immigration. The bizarre reasoning from the left flies hard in the face of common sense. And for the record, some of the fiercest critics to illegals sneaking into the country are the very immigrants who worked so hard to get here legally.

So along comes Thomas Homan, the acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, with a big ol' dose of common sense. Homan raised ire among liberals in Congress last week when he said illegal aliens "should be concerned" about being deported.

"I have zero regrets. It needed to be said," Homan said ABC News, according to The Hill. "If you choose to enter this country illegally, which is a crime, you should be concerned. You violated a law in this country, and I’ll tell you, you can’t have it both ways."

Weird. Being held accountable for committing a crime.

But Homan cut to the very nub of the silly debate with just 12 words.

"You can’t be part of this country and not respect its laws."

And there it is. You cannot break the law and be a U.S. citizen in good standing. Those two are mutually exclusive. "You can’t be a part of this country unless you have respect for the laws of this country and the people that protect you — the people that enforce the laws," Homan said.

As for President Trump's new edicts on illegal aliens, Homan again put it succinctly: "The executive orders could have been written in one sentence. ‘We will now enforce the laws on the books,'" he explained.

Now, surely that is simple enough for liberals to understand, right?