I don't know for sure but I imagine that some alcohol was permitted during Prohibition, at least for religious ritual use. Not sure if it was permitted to alleviate pain and suffering of the sick.
The immigration issue I raised wasn't really an analogy but I raised it because some of the same issues are present. With Prohibition, many people ignored the law and eventually the law was repealed, in part because so many people ignored it. With immigration, many people ignore the law, but these are not citizens to begin with, and it's not as if entirely "open borders" is an option.
I don't think I agree with the idea that illegals "have no choice but to resort to lawlessness to make a living" unless someone has held their families hostage and tells them to enter into the U.S. I think for the most part, it's simply a desire to better themselves economically. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead in life, there are multiple ways of doing this which do not involve illegal action; entering the U.S. is only one such option, and doing so is a choice.
Back to the alcohol issue - no one was forcing people to drink it during Prohibition, but people were doing it anyway. So was repealing the law an accommodation to criminals? Indirectly perhaps, but I think the larger issue must have been that there was some recognition that the underlying reason for the law was not entirely solid to begin with. In other words, most people recognized that alcohol was not the enemy it was portrayed to be by the people in the Temperance movement.