I would think if they entered the country illegally than they did indeed break the law!
Its very easy to say "entered the country illegally", but how do you determine that? There are open and shut cases such as undocumented Mexicans who swim across, etc... but the cases of a Saudi flying school student is not quite that clear.
As I mentioned before, the key to US Immigration law is "intent". If you have "intent" to engage in activities outside the scope of your initial permission for entry, you are in violation of the law. Unfortunately, it is very hard to determine someone else's "intent". Business, Tourism, Education and Work often overlap creating grey areas. Under a zero tolerance policy, a college student on a class field trip to Washington DC could be deported because he is a "student" while the field trip is "tourism". A software programmer in Silicon Valley could be deported because he was reading a Java training manual and thus "studying" instead of "working". Heck, the INS has actually deported people in the past because they entered for "business" but went to "tourist" attractions during their trip.
Situations like this are why "due process", "prosecutorial discretion" and "judicial review" were created. It ensures that the innocent are not persecuted beyond reasonable inconvenience, but also ensures that the guilty are identified beyond reasonable doubt. A rigid system with no room for interpretation not only hurts the innocent, but also creates big gaping holes for the guilty to exploit.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada