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We need to end the twilight zone nightmare & open citizenship path for 2.3M DREAmers
California U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler.

Across this nation we like to call the land of the free, there are an estimated 3 million high school seniors graduating this year.

Among the young men and young women that we have collectively invested at least $120,000 a piece educating are DREAMers.

For those who are oblivious to injustices that can easily be corrected but our elected leaders turn a blind eye to while they get people caught up in scorched earth politics, DREAMers is an acronym the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.

They were brought to this country illegally as minors by their parents.

There are an estimated 2.3 million DREAMers, three quarters of which arrived in the United States before 2012.

California Senator Alex Padilla this week was one of three Democrats voting against the border  security act.

You know the one.

It’s the legislation to partially address concerns over national border policies that channel colanders.

Most of those who have been turning deep red talking so much about the need for such legislation voted against it.

While most of those who have been turning deep blue holding their breath for years bitter entertaining such legislation proposed it and voted for it.

It, of course, failed.

The proposed border security act was just another script in the ongoing high political theatrical production dubbed “Congress Version 2024.”

Padilla’s stance, that prompted Democratic colleagues Cory Booker of New Jersey and fellow California Senator Laphonza Butler to join him, was noted rooted in trying to secure a sound bite for a political campaign.

It was to right a systematic injustice against Americans.

The 2.3 million DREAMers are in a twilight zone that trumps anything Rod Sterling ever come up with.

They are non-citizens even though this the country where they were raised. They, like their parents that brought them to the United States as minors, are in this country “illegally” with an asterisk.

That asterisk is DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

It was a policy issues  by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2012 to give amnesty but not a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers.

Save for the “original sin” of being brought to the United States by parents, DREAMers as a whole have been law abiding and contributors to the economy.

This is important to note.


Because the children of other “illegal” immigrants born to their parents after they gained entry to the United States are citizens.

In both cases, they were children of parents in the United States illegally that were brought here (or into the world here) that — for want of a better description  — were not old enough to fend for themselves.

Three quarters of those that are classified as DREAMers were bought to the United States when they were younger than 12.

Of the 2.3 million DREAMers, 1.3 million work. The rest are primarily school-age.

There are 190,000 that work in construction, 190,000 that work in retail, 170,000 in accommodation and food services, 140,000 in manufacturing, 140,000 in professional and business services, 110,000 in healthcare and social assistance, and 80,000 in transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

It should be noted nearly half of employed DREAMers work in sectors of the economy experiencing job-opening rates of 5 percent or higher.

They contribute roughly $45 billion annually based on wages to the nation’s economy.

And they pay $13 billion annually in federal, payroll, state, and local taxes. It includes $2.1 billion into Social Security and Medicare.

If that doesn’t convince you not creating a path to citizenship for DREAMers is akin to Uncle Sam shooting himself in the foot, here’s a little tidbit you might appreciate if you are a taxpayer or an America first advocate.

Of the DREAMers, 1.6 million have already completed high school. Some 250,000 have competed a college degree.

There are also estimated 300,000 that met the DREAMer qualifying parameters that are kindergarten through 12th students and another 300,000 in college.

That means taxpayers to date has spent well over $100 billion during a span of almost three decades alone.

It is an investment that is paying off.

Without DACA, due to inaction that can be blamed equally on both political parties, the 2.3 million DREAMers could be deported.

That is because defining the framework of rules involved in the process of earning citizens is conferred to Congress and not the executive branch.

It would be sheer lunacy just in the health of our economy to pull the rug out from under DREAMers.

Worst yet, we would be sending an educated and skilled workforce to countries that are working mightily to take a large bite of the global economic pie which clearly has a negative impact on American pocketbooks.

Roughly a third of DREAMers are in California.

They are your neighbors, co-workers, those who serve you in stores and restaurants, build homes, serve in the military, play a role in your healthcare, and are even likely people you call friends.

They are people raised in America.

They are people feeding America.

They are people educated in America.

They are people who work in America.

They are people who pay taxes in America.

They are people building a future for America.

Sen. Padilla is right.

America needs “to do what’s right for DREAMers, farmworkers, and other long-term undocumented members of our communities.”

They are not a threat to America.

Their track record proves that.

They are part of America.


This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at