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What's Next for the Dreamers
What's Next for the Dreamers

AIR DATE: August 3, 2011

The Dreamers - the group of young people who came to the United States as children without documentation - are now in their teens and twenties. They cannot return back to their home countries but they cannot win citizenship here. What is the next step? What is Plan B for winning recognition for the Dreamers. Some of the new generation of Nevada activists tell us what they're planning.
Juan Ortega, DREAM activist
Blanca Gamez, DREAM activist
Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder, Define American
Daniel Altschuler, journalist
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    Outweighing Immigration One of the most prominent problems the U.S. is facing today is the issue of immigration. Undoubtedly, such an issue is a continuum polarizing factor of the whole U.S. society, and seemingly without any solution end in sight, which leaves open one fundamental question: is this an issue bound to be an arbitrary predicament that will never be resolved? Is it possible to find a way out of such a divisive issue? First and foremost, in order to dig into the very soul of this problematic national immigration issue, the writer of this paper will divide the whole issue in two: legal immigration and illegal immigration. It is also necessary to establish here that based on the daily mass media production, it is not the legal immigration issue that is separating the country in two; it is, on the other hand, the illegal immigration issue, the one issue that continues to be the main focal point of bitter controversy to the current American social conflict. This, of course, has been a sore issue for over a decade now. In short, it is fundamentally necessary to have a closer look at these two aspects of U.S. immigration. In other words, it is important to find in a broader scope the similarities, differences and contrasts of these two active observable sociological factors. However, it is because of the tremendous politicization of the issue by the U.S. mass media corporations that the author will focus more on the simplistic, even human or natural side, of the topic rather than focus on what such mainstream media is saying. In my opinion, both of them, the legal-documented foreigner and the illegal-undocumented foreigner, have a very clear end point connection, which is, they both are here in the country because they both need a better life. They both are free people. They are neither angels of heaven nor angels of hell. They both have the desire to help their family members. They both are non-U.S. citizens. They both are for the most part not rich or lower or upper class wealthy people. In contrast, the former entered the country by obtaining a visa or by gaining legal status by U.S. authorities. The latter entered the country by crossing the unguarded border without legal permission. The former, (would be U.S. citizen) when it comes to political orientation, tend to be more supportive of the anti-illegal worker racist conservative parties. On the other hand, the latter tend to identify more with the pro-labor and human rights movements. These are perhaps some of the most notable fundamental similarities and contrasts for these two kinds of immigrants we presently have in the country. However, in order to fully connect all the dots in this analysis, the real differences between these two kinds of immigrants must be included in this essay. One of the most significant differences between these two kinds of immigrants is the education level. It is well known that most of the legal immigrants have more well paid job skills including English language proficiency; additionally, legal immigrants equipped with new and spotless social security number cards are more favored that their counterpart to establish a delightful credit history, which could in turn lead them to have better hiring opportunities and life benefits even more than not only the illegal undocumented worker but also and ironically, even more than native U.S. born citizens themselves. In comparison, the illegal cross border undocumented people are far less educated, to the point that most of them dont even manage their native languages. However, indisputably, these humble workers are the best workers any advanced capitalist system could desire to have in their wildest dreams. They are as well a quick learning and industrious people, especially when it comes to industrial rough jobs like (to name a very few) masonry, landscaping, gardening, and housekeeping. Another significant difference is that they had been neighbors of this country for over 200 hundreds years, which means that they have ancient natural roots on this side of the border, namely the U.S. In conclusion, it is my point of view that the number of people crossing the border has decreased dramatically. In addition to that, the Mexico/U.S. borders are militarized and virtually closed. Therefore, by the virtue of this reasoning, the illegal entry from the Mexican border does not constitute a national issue anymore. On the other hand, it is my point of view that legal immigration has never ceased to increase, and as the number of thousands of legal foreigners continue to reach the U.S. soil every day just to find out that there are no jobs here and given the fact that the country is suffering the worst economic recession since the great depression in 1936, this continual influx of legal immigrants represents not a solution but a real problem for the U.S. economy. Insofar as this is the case, this deep countrys economic crisis will only get worse with serious unimaginable tragic consequences. For that reason, I firmly believe that it is the uncontrolled and unregulated legal immigration influx that should really constitute the main national concern of all. Very obviously, the more new fully social security card documented immigrants get in here, the more the unemployment crisis will increase, and consequently the nations social security fund would be considerably affected in the long run. Hence, it is the legal immigration debacle, not the illegal immigration issue that mass media should be addressing and it is the out of control legal immigration the real loud and present danger this country is facing. Hence, such issue should be one of great priority and without any doubt should be on full scale debate in the U.S. congress. Rolan Carrillo 08.05.2011 Las Vegas, Nevada
    rolanAug 5, 2011 14:04:42 PM
    Im black, I live in Las Vegas, and in fact Blanca Gamez is one of my friends. I think the plight of undocumented immigrants and the measures one must take to fulfill his or her needs and live is very much like the underground railroad. In which you need to take unconventional and complex measures separate from the rest of society to obtain what others have. Keep fighting the good fight! Go Blanca!
    Chris CoonrodAug 3, 2011 20:26:46 PM
    **Let me correct myself on my last comment; not just the 'Latin' experience but all immigrants experiences.
    Ligeia WillAug 3, 2011 13:49:53 PM
    I support the Dream Act and any comprehensive immigration reform bill. I DO NOT support the speakers on yesterday that spoke about it like the "Underground Railroad". I listened to the re-broadcast of the show and wanted so badly to call in but I knew I couldn't. The Latin experience and the Black experience are NEVER to be intertwined for they are so completley different and should always be looked at and studied and respected that way. I would have thought Dave that you would have said something about it. Please do in the future!!!!!
    Ligeia WillAug 3, 2011 13:37:02 PM
    Need more infor. on Dreambigvegas. Please send to me how to get in touch. Thank You.
    Carlos RodriguezAug 2, 2011 12:06:52 PM
    It is the RIGHT THING to do to pass The Dream Act federally! I know many of these young people. They ARE Americans. If citizens of the USA want Immigration Reform, do it starting now and enforce it. Undocumented people who came here seeking a better life should not be punished since the companies & individuals who knowingly hire them do not get punished! I believe those who have lived in the US productively should be given an easy, inexpensive way to become citizens or permanent aliens--if they want. This is the USA. we ARE immigrants.
    Sandra EddyAug 2, 2011 10:56:23 AM
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