The resistance to offering an easy path to citizenship is understandable. People fear that making citizenship too easy will encourage immigrants to come and take jobs from American citizens, or even worse to come and leech off our welfare system. This ignores the fact that for more than 200 years the country was built up by successive waves of immigrants coming to America with the dream of one day being citizens. Each of these waves experienced their own push backs. The Irish, the Italians, and others were considered to be intruders that were out to undercut the current labor force, but they are now considered an integral part of our national heritage.
The bureaucratic process for obtaining citizenship is very long and complicated. Many people are stuck in the system for years without any certainty about whether or not they will be able to obtain citizenship. This greatly affects their ability to establish families, obtain jobs, obtain educations, etc. Although the process shouldn't necessarily be easier, it should be less complicated and more brief.
I believe it should be easier for immigrant to gain full citizenship. I wish this was the case across countries because I would leave the United States if that were the case. I personally think we would be better off to allow people to move freely rather than restrict it based on our own non-existant lines.
I think if someone is willing to work and pay taxes in this country and stay out of legal trouble then there should be a pathway for them to obtain citizenship that is simple and easy. I think that just ignoring these people and making it very hard for them to gain legitimate standing is not helpful to anyone.
The steps to becoming a United States citizen are not so difficult that no one can become a citizen. Proof of residency, questions about their history, documents to prove identity, a test about some aspects of the United States and what it represents - these are some of the things an immigrant must deal with in order to become a citizen. Each year there are hundreds of thousands of immigrants who become citizens. It must be a reasonable process or there wouldn't be so many people making their way through it. If it is too easy to become a citizen - just sign your name and sing the Star Spangled Banner - it would not mean nearly as much. Things you have to work for are ultimately much more meaningful and prized.