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Petition Drive for "The Dream Act" Bill

Residents of Severna Park will be approached in the next several weeks by friends and neighbors collecting signatures for a petition drive.

Our Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 167, otherwise known as "The Dream Act" at the very end of the session this year.  Because this is a controversial, and in my opinion a bad bill, there is a petition drive going on as we speak. 

If you are a registered voter in Maryland you may sign this petition, which is your constitutional right.  The petition drive is to collect enough signatures to put a referendum on the 2012 ballot that could overturn SB 167, that will give in-state tuition in Maryland state colleges and universities - including Anne Arundel Community College - to illegal aliens. 

The reasons this is a bad bill are pretty clear.  First, illegal aliens are the same thing as undocumented workers and as such, they do not pay income tax to either the feds or the state.  

So why should they get a tuition break that is intended for residents who pay into the system?   Citizens who are struggling to make ends meet and worry about their economic futures should be insulted that our elected officials have chosen to give a benefit to a population that is here illegally.  Additionally, once they graduate with college degrees they still cannot get a job since they are still undocumented. 

Second, there are a limited number of admission slots available in our institutions, and our home grown students are already having a hard time getting in due to lack of space.   And my last point I'd like to bring out is that this law will seal  Maryland's fate as a sanctuary state. 

We saw what happened before the General Assembly was forced to strengthen the requirements for new driver's licenses.  Imagine how many illegals we will have moving here just to take advantage of this opportunity - cheaper college education?

No matter which political party you belong to, this bad bill will affect each and every one of us who have kids and grandkids.  It's their future we need to protect.   Sign the petition even if it will not affect you personally. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Amy Leahy May 06, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Oops. I left out an important piece of information. You can go to http://mdpetitions.com to download the petition.
David Zwald May 06, 2011 at 01:56 PM
At a meeting earlier this week organized by Delegate Nic Kipke, District 31, he pointed out that this bill will add to taxpayer cost and tuition cost. There is no way around it. The undocumented immigrant who would receive this benefit would cost taxpayers approximately $17,000, which is the difference between in-state and out-of-state costs. AND in our community colleges, there is no such distinction between in-state and out-of-state student. Thus, in community colleges, undocumented immigrants truly would be taking a spot for a Maryland student. In the case of Anne Arundel Community College, for example, the highly desirable nursing school would become a magnet, and some Maryland students could be denied admission. Isn't it amazing that our Governor and legislators would pass a bill which could cost taxpayers more at a fiscal crisis such as this? In the legislative session just ended, a budget was passed, but it is not a balanced budget. Leaders are already talking about a special session and more tax increases to meet the deficit before the year ends. That's why it is important for the voters of Maryland to decide this matter. If anyone would like to assist with this effort to gain signatures for the referendum, please contact Delegate Nic Kipke, District 31 or contact me @ dmzwald@verizon.net. The deadlines are 18,000 by end of May, 55,000 for end of June, and 100,000 total for the state of Maryland.
The House debate was very difficult. The issue was framed as if illegals are not allowed to get a college education which is completely untrue. The issue is this "Should an illegal immigrant be given the same advantage as instate, tax paying, legal citizens?" The issue is not the education, it is whether or not they should be required to pay full price for their education instead of getting an in-state break. I voted against this legislation. Regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree, the Petition puts the issue on the ballot and gives Marylanders the right to have a say on this issue. As the previous writer correctly pointed out, the financial cost to taxpayers is huge. The federal government requires that we provide K-12 education regardless of immigration status. That amounts to about 200K a student. Now add the cost of needing additional teachers, classrooms, infrastructure at the college level and the cost to the tax payer increases significantly. Many of us believe that you should have a say in how your taxdollars are spent and this is one area where you can make a difference. Every vote counts (or in this case, signature). If you have questions or need assistance getting petitions, please contact your senators &delegates. Delegate Cathy Vitale, 410-841-3510, my home 410-544-4937 or email me at cathy.vitale@house.state.md.us. Time is short for getting signatures. Please, I encourage you to participate in this all important process.

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