I should say that in my view a “better” immigration bill than the one that just died, from my point of view, might also be a “better” one from a restrictionist point of view. No guest workers seems like an obvious point of overlap, and I’d be happy to endorse whatever kind of draconian employer sanctions you like. It also seems to me that on the core amnesty point, what the negotiators came up with was simultaneously unduly cumbersome from a humanitarian point of view while also not in any way appeasing restrictionist concerns. Why not do away with all the pointless hoops the compromise contained, but make the core background check process tougher?
A well-designed amnesty could go hand-in-hand with a well-designed enforcement agenda. By bringing the vast majority of illegals who just want to live and work in peace “out of the shadows” (to use the cliché), you make it dramatically easier to isolate the rest — people who wouldn’t be comfortable presenting themselves at a government office to begin a rigorous background check process — and get them out of the country.