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April 11, 2011

Senate rejects House plan on tuition for immigrants

As key Democrats appeared to withdraw support for a plan to provide in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, the upper chamber voted to reject the House's version of the bill. The move, which followed the beginning of a filibuster attempt, means the two chambers have hours to work out their differences.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, who supports the tuition bills, told senators "it's not fair" that the House took so long to develop a plan. He noted that the Senate initially passed the legislation March 14, and it took the House until today -- Sine Die -- to send it back with revisions. (It actually could have come up during Saturday's Senate session but did not.)

In-state tuition could be the nail-biter of the day, though as colleague Annie Linskey writes, much work also remains to be done on a politically freighted issue of whether to raise the sales tax on alcohol.

Republicans appear ready for a fight on both issues. On tuition, Sen. David Brinkley (pictured right) rose to begin a filibuster when he saw that some Democrats who had voted "yes" on the Senate proposal voted "no" on agreeing to the House version. The Senate first adopted the House version by a vote of 24-23.

Brinkley, a Frederick County Republican, read from Born to Run as Democrats scurried to develop a new plan of action. Miller said his party could not reach the 29 votes necessary to end the filibuster. Instead, Democrats rallied to reconsider the concurrence to the House measure -- a move that incensed education committee Chairwoman Joan Carter Conway, who said the Senate should keep the House proposal as her committee had suggested.

Senators differed greatly on whether the House plan makes it tougher or easier for illegal immigrants to access the tuition breaks. Some senators complained that the chamber's carefully crafted plan on how immigrant families must show they've paid state taxes appears to have been scuttled by a long, technical amendment attached to the bill last week by Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons.

The Simmons amendment seems to toughen the tax proof requirement by calling for 90 days of withholdings to be shown -- but it simultaneously provides an out for family members who have a disability or other reason they can't work. Some senators also objected to a House plan to count undocumented students as out-of-state pupils even though they'll be paying the in-state rates.

In March, the Senate voted 27-20 to approve on the tuition bill. On the original motion today to concur with the House version, Democratic Sens. John Astle of Anne Arundel County, Ed Kasemeyer of Baltimore County and Jim Robey of Howard County voted no.

Check out this blog to see how all 141 delegates and 47 senators voted on the in-state tuition bills.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 2:55 PM | | Comments (32)
Categories: 2011 legislative session, Immigration


There are FAR more important things to do than give away hard earned taxpayers money to the criminal illegal aliens.

Miller has the gall to say it wasn't fair for the House to take so long?? How about telling Senator Miller that what isn't fair is the whole concept of allowing in-state tuition rates for ILLEGAL immigrants. It's obvious, since this argument about immigration has been going on for a good while, that Mr. Miller hasn't got a CLUE what "illegal" means.

This state is totally out of control. Giving law breakers special favors! Lets just give the illegal aliens cars and houses too! It is illegal for illegal aliens to work here and it is illegal for them to pay taxes! It is ILEGAL for them to be here. They are foreign national invaders, and at 18 they are adults and must deal with what their parents have done to them. If you want to be a US citizen go about it the right way.Then you are welcome. I, and many other people are SICK OF THE WHINING and sense of entitlement! You can thank groups like CASA de Maryland for this! These skummy politicians are the laughing stock of our nation- the MAJORITY of the population of this state do NOT support illegal alien sanctuary! Why don't these pandering politicans just come out and say they are doing for it votes! We all KNOW IT ANYWAY! Just how STUPID do they think we are? Had enough? Stand up and
take your state back:

How in good conscious can you vote YES on this bill? They are illegal’s?? They have broken the LAW!! So if you break the law you are rewarded? Democrats will give illegal’s anything they want for a vote? Democrats will stoop that low? Maryland does NOT recognize American Indians that were BORN here, like me. If you vote YES for this bill would be a slap in the face to every Marylander.

Ok - so say they got this benefit they should not get from Maryland taxpayers. Now you ILLEGALS have a college education - who is going to hire you? No one - its illegal to hire you. Maryland lawmakers are idiots....

If the State of Maryland has so much cash to toss around (yeah right) why don't they consider lowering in state tuition for legal residents? Why take money we don't have and give it to families who cheated our immigration laws.

Every parent makes a choice - yes these kids wanting the in state tuition are here because of their parent's actions but why should the overburdened taxpayers resolve the parents here from having to pay the price for their own kids education? Of maybe the Universidad of Mexico can take care of their own and give free scholarships.

Score one for the taxpayer. Hopefully some of these legislators who wanted this will be up for election before this is debated again so I can vote them out!

Robey, a former police chief(!) of HoCo and Kasemeyer, a real estate, insurance tool who has represented West Columbia for years, are flipping and flopping. As ultra-libs and partisan Dems, they can smell the sweat of thousands of Joses and Marias dumbly pulling the Dem ballot lever. On the other hand, they may have realized, to their shock, that the citizens who live in HoCo are pissed that their college grad kids can't get jobs,and indeed, can't even get into state colleges because of illegals and affirm action darlings taking up space(which is what they do since they rarely graduate).. These morality challenged senators just may have to do the right thing, but not because they believe in the US constitution or the rule of law. They run for office. That is what they do. Someone should tell these political call boys that Lainos in MD at least vote in small numbers, and that if the next swindle by the Dems is to give illegals the vote, there will be a revolution by their working class and black constituents tired of joblesslness, underemployment and lack of space at public colleges because the PC thing is to roll over for illegal aliens and their confused compatriots who are legal.

What? What democrat came up with this brainless bill? Are you kidding me - tuition breaks for ILLEGAL aliens? Let's just give them homes and eventually pensions too??

How in the world can illegal immigrants get in state tuition if they are here ILLEGALLY? This legislature that we currently have will go down as the worst in Maryland history!We are facing a severe budget shortfall, yet they reward people who are here illegally with taxpayer dollars. Another example of buying votes with other peoples money.

After reading the amendment linked above, this bill is even WORSE!

It REMOVES any requirement to WORK AND PAY TAXES to receive in-state tuition.
It also will allow illegal aliens to be anonymous when applying for this taxpayer funded benefit.

The point is that these students are paying taxes, the same as everybody else. To say it's giving away hard earned taxpayer money is sort of the point, meaning they pay but don't receive the same tuition rate. They should only have to pay the same as every other person who pays taxes and lives in MD.

oh, i totally don't get this issue or even why it's an issue. if we know people are illegal aliens, why aren't we either deporting them or fast-tracking their citizenship. how can we be thinking of giving in-state tuition to people who aren't residents of this country?

You mean common sense and the will of the people might actually prevail?

These “criminal illegal aliens” are also, just like you, a taxpayer. Students cannot qualify for this bill unless he/she or guardians pay Maryland state taxes. If they are paying taxes to the state, they deserve a chance to pursue higher education and ultimately better themselves and their community.


Mike Miller I look at my taxes and I think the same thing ITS NOT FAIR!

Stop this nonsense. NO reduced tuition for illegals!!! My Heavens, we have so many problems in this state and you want to ad to them with this unnecssary item. There is going to be a bombardment of aliens coming here to get not only this but free health care and others things. NO MORE!!!!

In addition to my last statement, we must remember all members who are voting YES to this. Election time will always does.

The United States is 14 trillion dollars in debt. Can we at least stop the benefits and subsidies, especially for foreign nationals? Is this too hard to ask

Ummm hello liberal Democrats of Montgomery County and Baltimore City: Maybe if yall won't fund the ILLEGAL ALIEN SCUMBAGS with in-state tuition, there wouldn't be a need to raise the alcohol tax to balance the budget shortfalls?!?!?!?! Why don't you preserve state funds by kicking out the illegals and not giving them undeserved benefits instead?

CRIMINAL aliens need to pay for their crime. Not benefit from their crime.

Mexico has invaded the United States.

Aiding and abetting the enemy is??


For God's sake quit with the "they are taxpayers" crap. Read the bills. They aren't required to pay a penny in taxes, only file or have taxes withheld, which they will get back anyway. The House version even waives that requirement with some crap that they can claim extenuating circumstances.

As a voter I contacted Robey. Maybe he wants to be re-elected and realizes there is nothing to gain by giving handouts to people who aren't eligible to vote.

By your logic every tourist coming into the US should get in-state tuition since they pay taxes on things they buy!! The net cost to Maryland for supporting illegal aliens is in excess of $1.2 BILLION per year.

I cant wait to get enough money to get out of this sh*t hole state ive has enough!

How ugly some Maryland residents can be as young people, in the USA involuntarily, are attacked simply as an "illegal." We want these young people to be better educated for two reasons: First, they may someday be granted the right to be in the USA, and second, if they return to their "home," they will be a supporter of our country. Fellow Marylanders: don't think or write ugly!


We already provide these illegals with a free public education, at our expense. Also medical care and incarceration. Tell it to their parents who brought them here, not us, who are saddled with the outcome to the tune of $1.2 billion per year.

We, as citizens and taxpayers, also have children and it is difficult enough to pay for OUR kids education without having to also pay for illegals. The USM will have a $4 million shortfall this year and tuition is rising 3%. Let the illegals become legal, then they can have in-state tuition. Not a difficult concept to understand.

This made my day!!!!!!!

Ugly? No we're just sick and tired of paying for free loaders, who have no desire to be American citizens.

Every illegal immigrant has the same option that ALL legal immigrants took to become citizens. If we keep giving handouts, why on earth would they follow the pre-existing system of immigration? If at 18 you feel limited because your parents came here illegally...THEN PROPERLY IMMIGRATE! Don't stick your hand out and ask for more assistance, after getting a FREE education, paid for by the Maryland taxpayers.

I think a bill needs to be passed that ends the rights of illegal immigrants to use our public school systems. If you want an education, properly immigrate.

We can't afford handouts any longer!

The headline for this article is flat out incorrect. Immigrants are entitled to in-state tuition. In fact, Maryland state universities do not distinguish between immigrants and those who were born in the USA.

A more accurate headline would be "Senate rejects House plan on tuition for illegal aliens".

To the person that said illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition rate because they pay taxes. If an illegal is paying taxes, he/she is paying taxes illegally. An illegal immigrant does not have a social security number or tax id number to legally pay taxes and they do not have the residency status to legally do anything else for that matter. Every step an illegal immigrant takes in any part of this country is illegal. Therefore, they are breaking the law! As a side note, I am friends with quite a few LEGAL immigrants and not one of them supports any form of this bill, they find it insulting.

Let me first start off by saying that I'm not racist nor am i xenophobic. With that said, This bill is absolute garbage. Every person who thinks that it is alright to give people who are not even in this country legally is a complete MORON!! I am a teacher who lives in PA and i commute to Eastern Tech High in Baltimore, Maryland every day. DO YOU PEOPLE REALIZE I'D HAVE TO PAY MORE THAN DOUBLE THAN SOMEONE WHO ISN'T EVEN A U.S. RESIDENT!?!?!?! I mean instead of turning a person who writes illegal on their application in to the authorities, you give them a discount? does that mean you would let a person who writes 'just escaped from jail' get a discount too? might as well... MORONS!!!!!!!!!!!

You know, I'm not actually in favor of this bill.... but there MUST be some good argument for passing it- but I have never heard what that might be?

They should pay double to make up for all the money we spend on them across the board. Has anyone called the INS to the State Capital to arrest the illegals when they protest in AMERICA?

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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