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May 31, 2011

In-state tuition opponents: We have the signatures

Sun colleague Andrea Siegel reports:

Opponents of the new law to extend in-state tuition breaks to illegal immigrants say they are confident they have cleared their first hurdle in stopping the measure by collecting many more than the 18,500 valid signatures they needed by Tuesday to keep their repeal effort alive.

“We have over 40,000,” said Del. Neil C. Parrott, the Washington County Republican who is leading the petition drive to get the controversial law onto the 2012 ballot.

The opponents will need to submit about 56,000 valid signatures to the State Board of Elections by the end of June to suspend the legislation and give the voters the final say. They plan to collect many more, on the assumption that some will get thrown out.

They were required to gather a third of the total by Tuesday. Elections officials now will vet the first batch of signatures.

Organizers of credited their success so far to public opposition to the measure and an easy-to-use website. They said the volume of telephone calls from people asking for a petition to sign or circulate continues to grow.

“The reason this is resonating with voters is because they know this is a bad bill,” Parrott said.

Advocates for immigrants said they will step up efforts to counteract that message while they wait to see how many of the signatures filed Tuesday are accepted as valid. Statewide petition drives must meet minimums within each jurisdiction and statewide.

“The number is very impressive,” said Kim Propeack of the immigrant advocacy group CASA de Maryland. “It underscores that we need to do a better job during the month of June explaining about the benefits” of the law.

Propeack, CASA’s director of community organizing and political action, spoke of “replicating some of” the opponents’ methodology.

“We will be putting up a web site,” she said. “I also think that we will be engaging people at the places where they are signing people up.”

Propeack said opponents of the legislation are not describing it fairly. She said they tell people that illegal immigrants who earn degrees wouldn’t be able to work legally; the law requires that participants work to legalize their status.

She said opponents omit mention of the benefits to military families. The side also disagree on the cost to taxpayers.

“This is an education issue,” she said. “It is the best solution for the imperfect situation.”

The Democratic General Assembly approved the measure at the close of the 2011 legislative session in April, and Gov. Martin O’Malley signed it in May. A spokeswoman for O’Malley reiterated his support on Tuesday.

The governor supports people who are “willing to work hard for a better future in Maryland,” spokeswoman Takirra Winfield said.

Sen. Victor Ramirez, the Prince George’s County Democrat who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, echoed Propeack’s concern that opponents are not describing it accurately.

“Why are you taking it out on these kids?” he said. “At the end of the day it is very hard for them to fight back because they are in this situation.”

But Del. Patrick L. McDonough, a vocal critic of illegal immigration, said supporters of the legislation had “miscalculated.”

“For some reason believed they were on the side of the angels,” the Baltimore County Republican said.

While most of the early signers of the petition online were Republicans, he said, now about half are Democrats. He said organizers had gathered a significant number from African-Americans in Baltimore.

“The black community is exploding on this issue,” he said. He said there is a fear that youths will lose out on opportunities as a result of the bill.

To qualify for the break, an illegal immigrant would have to attend high school in Maryland for three years and show that his or her family had paid taxes to the state.

The student then could attend a community college at the in-state rate. After completing 60 credits, he or she could transfer to a four-year college, again at the residential discount.

The legislation would save eligible students from $4,000 to $6,000 per year at community college, according to a legislative analysis. At a four-year institution, the savings would increase: In-state tuition at the University of Maryland, College Park this year is $8,655; nonresidents pay $25,795.

Legislative analysts estimate the measure would cost the state about $800,000 in the first year, rising to $3.5 million annually by 2016. Opponents say the cost could be far higher.

Once opponents finish collecting signatures, McDonough said, they will turn their attention to filing a lawsuit to stop the law.

Opponents acknowledged the difficulty of getting the measure on the November 2012 ballot. Rules for petition drives are strict: To be counted, each signature must match or nearly match the exact name as it appears on the signer's voter registration card. The rejection rate is so high that the elections board advises petitioners to submit at least 30 percent more signatures than the required number.

Consequently, successful statewide petition efforts are relatively rare. A drive to repeal legislation enabling speed cameras two years ago fell short of the required signatures. Opponents of early voting gathered enough signatures in 2006 to get the question on the ballot, but the courts overturned the legislation, rendering the referendum moot.

A recent decision by the state’s highest court has been interpreted as easing the requirements for valid signatures. Under the interpretation, if the components of the voter’s full name as given on the registration card can be pieced together from the voter’s signature and printed name, it counts.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:06 PM | | Comments (72)


Well hopefully those signatures account for all the racists in Maryland, and the rest of us can go out and vote in November and show that not all Maryland believes immigrants should be left uneducated and poor. Unbelievable.

This isn't about "racist". No one is telling any race they cannot attend college or that they randomly have to pay more. If someone is here Illegally they cannot get the benefit of taxpayer subsidized tuition. Period. If anything this law is racist against Asians and others who attend school here from forein countries who pay the fullk tuition rate while abiding by all laws.

The bill doesn't mention race, Balto4930, why do you?

Balto4930- There are more signatures to come, and those signatures will be from citizens who believe in democracy. The voters of Maryland will determine the fate of the bill at hand -- there is nothing purer than direct democracy. How can you be opposed to direct democracy, Balto4930? I hope you signed the petition so the people can vote directly on this issue.

Read the law. Their parents have to have paid state income taxes for them to be eligible.

These students are not legal residents, and therefore are not legally able to have any job, let alone that requires advanced education. Also, why is it that when people want the law to be obeyed (and MD's DREAM Act violates a 1996 federal law that bans illegal immigrants from in-state tuition based on residency) they are accused of racism? If anyone deserves citizenship and the benefits thereof, it's people who have followed the rules, not those who have broken them. This act does not require the parents to had paid state taxes, only filed state taxes, so for all we know they could be paying nothing and getting an earned income credit. As far as the success of this petition, I am fairly confident it will prevail and that the law will be overturned by referendum. I'm a liberal Democrat, and am by far not the only such one to support this effort.

If you want in state tuition in Maryland, become a citizen. Race doesn't play in any part of the bill.

Sorry POPPO and Jose, welcome to Republican Territory..

Is the petition available online to sign?

True democracy at work!
If only they could come up with a bill that would go to refferendum that would send ALL the illegals, undocumented workers or new Americans back to where they came from with their brat anchor babies!

I knew today I was going to get some good news. The vote will go to the people, and we will decide what is best for us! Illegal immigrants feel free to show up and vote...oh wait, yeah you can't.

PS playing the race card when an overwhelming majority wants the laws of our country to be obeyed is not only ignorant, but ridiculous.

I full-heartedly oppose this petition! I'm illegal and don't care about your stupid american laws, but I get to suck your taxpayer money in order to gain an advantage over those that blindly follows those stupid things called "laws". I'm special, none of you all are, as soon as you realize that, the better! By the way, thanks for the college degree! I'm going to get a good job and send all of my money back home and not invest it in the american economy! Viva la raza! DEMOCRATS 2012!!!

This is all about race. Those terrible 17-18 year old Hispanic kids are here illegally! They didn't make that choice. Gonna save you a nickel, of course not. Think they can afford to pay out of state tuition. Let them learn bigots.

I hope the state of Maryland grows a backbone and votes against letting illegals get in-state tuition. Why should they be given breaks when they are here illegally? Even if they get an education, they are here illegally, so how are they even going to get a job? The citizens of Maryland had better start standing up for themselves...let those millions go to educate our OWN kids!

The post by illegal immigrant is EXACTLY why the law should be repealed: "I'm illegal and don't care about your stupid american laws." Mimi sums it up in one sentence: IF YOU WANT STATE TUITION IN MARYLAND, BECOME A CITIZEN. How hard can that be. Since the illegals have already benefited from a free education then they should have no problem passing the exam to become leaglized. All the law is doing is showing that it's okay to BREAK the law.

If you haven't already signed the petition, you can find it here:

You can sign the petition here

Those that paint this in terms of race really don't understand the issue. The state repeals the Distinguished Scholars Program that tries to attract our best students to state schools and, at the same time, provides illegal in-state tuition breaks to illegal immigrants.

Sorry race-baiters, this democrat is part of a bi-racial marriage. My wife's parents entered this country legally from Asia and became citizens. Following the law of the land shouldn't be a difficult concept.


Read the law. It says they only have to have FILED for taxes. No requirement that they pay a cent. AND they legislature added a clause that allows even that minimal requirement to be waived.

I don't think anyone believes immigrants should remain uneducated and poor. They have already received enough free education from us to get them to college level. When I was in college and recently for my own kids, children have to prove independence to get in state tuition. My daughter paid double in AA county because we had recently moved here and 4 x instate when she moved to Denver. They can get an education, just pay for the privilege...

Sign the petition here:
Stop the Democrats from buying more votes by importing illegals who will vote for them. Illegals are one of two core constituencies for Liberals, the other being blacks. It's time the rest of us stood up to the Dems in the People's Republic of Mayland.

The law states only the filing of a tax return. Illegals simply file returns, pay no taxes, receive thousands back by filing for an earned income credit. Yep thats right, file, pay zero tax then get payed by tax payers.

Let people vote on the law. It's clearly polarizing and just as clearly, what the state legislature and governor did is not what many Marylanders wanted done. This is why we have the referendum process.

I strongly oppose creating incentives to bring illegals here. I'll vote against the tuition law.

The post by illegal immigrant is EXACTLY why the law should be repealed: "I'm illegal and don't care about your stupid american laws." Mimi sums it up in one sentence: IF YOU WANT STATE TUITION IN MARYLAND, BECOME A CITIZEN. How hard can that be. Since the illegals have already benefited from a free education then they should have no problem passing the exam to become leaglized. All the law is doing is showing that it's okay to BREAK the law.

Sign the petition here:

Stop the Democrats from buying more votes by importing illegals who will vote for them. Illegals are one of two core constituencies for Dems, Liberals, Socialists, CommunistProgressivesves; the other being blacks. It's time the rest of us stood up to the Dems in the People's Republic Marylandand.

I hope the person above who said illegals can't vote is not that naive. Illegals, blacks, prisoners, and dead people make a sizable enough bloc of votes to swing the election to Democrats in Maryland and cities like Baltimore, Philly and Chicago.

"She said they tell people that illegal immigrants who earn degrees wouldn’t be able to work legally; the law requires that participants work to legalize their status.". Are you serious with this double speak? You just contradicted yourself Propeack. A BA from a UMD school does *not* give the students a legal right to work in the US. The fact that they must "work" for legal status just proves our point - namely...that they don't have a legal right to work in the US. All of you calling us racists - stop insulting our intelligence. To me, this issue is pure and simple - give us voters a chance to have our voices heard. (p.s. I'm a lifelong liberal Democrat).

So this is a race issue eh? What about all the African Americans, Asian Americans, and even Hispanic Americans who have signed this? This is about taxes and our tax dollars being spent on illegal lawbreakers. Balto4930 is either an illegal, a liberal nutjob or a racist himself.

You have illegal immigrants saying they have a right to our property and that citizens of the state have no right to collect petition signatures. Well, isn't that priceless.

Well, under the MD Constitution, Article 16, the people reserve the power to petition to referendum and law or part of a law (with minor exceptions). Those are the rights of the citizens. Clearly, those that interfere with collecting petition signatures do not respect nor care about other citizen's rights.

The more breaks we give illegal immigrants the more will flock here.
We just cannot affod this financial burden. Our taxes in this state are already sky high and as a resident of NE Baltimore I am already both taxed to the hilt and getting no bang for my tax dollars(except for the nightly gunfire). What Annapolis does not understand is the average taxpayer in this state is tapped out!
Parents are responsible for their actions and it is just plain wrong to illegally sneak into America through the back door and criminal to boot.
Why reward illegal behaivour?Be responsible, immigrate legally to America and you will be welcomed with open arms.The 3 Stooges-MOM/Busch/Miller see this issue as a way to solidfy the Demopcrats stranglehold on power in Annapolis which means even higher taxes and fees. After all MOM grew the budget this year by 10 percent. No wonder so many small businesses flee this state. I have already advised my children to relocate to another state when they are ready to buy homes-it is just too dam expensive to reside in this state, and too dam dangerous and expensive in Baltimore.

"We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works." -
Alfredo Gutierrez, political consultant, as quoted by Richard de Uriarte, The Phoenix Gazette, March 14, 1992 (quoted in The ProEnglish Advocate, 1st quarter, 2002)

This is a good first step. The next hurdle for the voting public in Maryland to come to grips with is that you have a Governor and a State Legislature that doesn't think the people of Maryland who are legal citizens of the US are who they represent. They think YOU are THEIR SUBJECTS.

So, maybe it is well past time you tried to establish a TWO PARTY system so that the Democrats actually have to compete for your votes, not just for the union backings. Maybe then they won't be giving your freedom and your tax dollars away quite as easily.

Some of us have no problem with illegal immigrants getting an education. You will have to pay for it like the rest of us. Getting it for FREE while the rest of us pay $6000-25000 per year? Are you f___ nuts??

Racist? Bigot?
I'm sorry, I am not buying the race bait. LEGAL immigrants pay out of state tuition. We should not reward those who come to our country illegally with cheap education. Let them get in line like my husband did.
And why is the "immigrant advocacy group" called CASA de Maryland? Isn't that bigoted against immigrants that don't speak Spanish? And don't they mean, "ILLEGAL Alien advocacy group?"

Eric, you are mistaken. They do not necessarily have to have paid taxes. They only have to have FILED tax returns for 3 years. Big difference, especially for low income families. The can file taxes just for the purpose of receiving a tax CREDIT. And the law only requires that the student file a tax return for 3 years, who could be a 16-18 year old paying nothing. They even can file back taxes, meaning they may never have filed a return and then file for 3 back years in order to qualify. YOU read the law and get your facts straight.

Illegal is illegal. They shouldn't even be given K-12 education. As soon as an address is given to the K-12 school ICE should be called and the family should be deported immediately. This would discourage them from being in our country to begin with. It isn't that hard a concept. If their kids aren't getting ANY education and they had to be home all day there would be a hardship placed on them here in this country and they wouldn't flock here. It has to start with K-12 and getting them out of those schools too. We the taxpayer shouldn't be paying for that too!!!

“Why are you taking it out on these kids?” Ramirez, said. “At the end of the day it is very hard for them to fight back because they are in this situation.”

Huh? Why are they taking it out on the taxpaying citizens of Maryland? They can't "fight back" because they aren't citizens and can't vote. It isn't OUR fault they are in this situation either, don't make us pay for it.

Quit flipping logic to suit your agenda Ramirez. We already pay for them to get a K-12 education, to the tune of an estimated $1.215 BILLION per year in Maryland.

i say get illegals out of this country. they dont belong here what seems to be the problem w e cant go to mexico and do wha t ever we want.

Those who question the illegals being criminals tell them this:

The act of crossing the border is not criminal, but not reporting to immigration/customs is. But one can be technical about the issue using the correct terminology and be right but knowingly misleading. A typical politician's trick and those with ideology designs with an issue.

Under Title 8 Sect 1325 of US Code, "Entry by Illegal Alien" any citizen of any country other than the US who:

-Attempts/obtains entry to the US @ any time/place other than designated by immig. officers; or

-Eludes examination/inspection by immig. officers; or

-Attempts/Obtains entry by willfully false/misleading representation or willful concealment of a material fact;

has committed a FEDERAL CRIME & fined / imprisoned to no more than 6 months. Subsequent violations incur harsher penalties.

Tuition should be what it is. There should be no differentiation between in-state and out-of-state.

"the law requires that participants work to legalize their status."

Why should they respect that law when they don't respect their status of being here illegally? Typical liberal thinking; let's create an unenforceable law clause and not lose any sleep.

Why is it only Republicans are against this? I have not heard or seen one Democrat say they are against this logical reasonable way to better the society we live in. Isn't an educated society a better society? There is not a decifit and what we the taxpayers should be demanding is shared sacrifice by taxing the rich, you know the ones that have money, because if we demanded that all of our kids could go to college perhaps for free. Why aren't we willing to pay higher taxes so our children can go to college for less money. The amount of money I have paid out of my own pocket to send my three sons to college will not even come close to paying higher taxes say for the next twenty years. I would have made out better in the pocket book if that was the case..So yes I want the society I live to be an educated society because guess what all three of my sons are now contributing members of society...that will be giving back instead of taking away...

"Why is it only Republicans are against this?"

Your not so Smart Woman!

Half the signers are registered Democrats!


I'm a democrat and I'm opposed to my tax dollars going to subsidize illegal aliens. And it isn't only Republicans. "The vote in the House was 74-65, with more than 20 Democrats voting against the legislation."

The legislature eliminates the Distinguished Scholars Program yet finds the money to fund illegal aliens in our state schools? We already spend over $1.2 billion per year in Maryland to educate illegal aliens. That is enough of a burden on the taxpayers. It's hard enough for us to pay for OUR children to attend college, don't ask me to subsidize illegals.

However, feel free to adopt one of these 18 year olds to subsidize their education.

As I struggle to figure out how i am going to put my two daughters through college, this law infuriates me. How can one even contemplate subsidizing NON MD residents for college, regardless of the citizenship status. Residents pay in-state, otherwise, out-of-state. And if you are an illegal, you should not be afforded the opportunity to attend any school.

Once a citizen, then one can go the same route most of the rest of us go (financial aid)- abide and get benefit, don't abide, and get no benefit. Lets create incentive to do the right thing, not otherwise.

This law is nothing more than political agenda for our wonderful state government.

Wake up citizens!

Listen to the Pat McDonough show Saturday night on WCBM 680 AM or

Kris Kobach is going to be on discussing both the in-state tuition bill AND the E-verify bill just passed by the Supreme Court.

Any information you need on the petition drive will be discussed on the show this Saturday night from 8-10 pm.

I hope this makes it to the 2012 ballot. The politicians in Annapolis don't have the citizens best interests at heart. Thet are only interested in furthering their political careers.

Smartwoman: You really sound kind of dumb sorry to say. Registered Republicans are a minority in this State. So for this question to get on the ballot a whole lot of Democrats must have signed it too. Logical reasonable way to better society? By flouting Federal Law? When the State ignores the law for political reasons, which is what is going on here, then society is on the way to Anarchy.

Illegal means Illegal that is the issue they are not here by proper channels so they do not deserve anything special. people born here or here through the proper channels deserve the things that are given by the colleges for those who live here.

Ah, there are so many things to say about all of this..

First, it's amazing that (some of) our elected officials are making such a massive effort to repeal this legislation, but they're not worried about finding us jobs, healing the Chesapeake Bay, or dealing with any other pressing issues in Maryland. Instead of taking the initiative to do something useful, we're essentially paying them to take away a bill that will help some, and hurt no one. Hmmm.

The reason for this is that McDonough and other politicians have used their little "pet projects" to garner votes, and these are really the only things that they care about. I, personally, can't think of a worse use for my tax money that having these people in the legislature.

"But Del. Patrick L. McDonough, a vocal critic of illegal immigration, said supporters of the legislation had “miscalculated.”

“For some reason believed they were on the side of the angels,” the Baltimore County Republican said."

What was that about angels?? Huh? Another nonsensical statement from this clown..

I also find it interesting that McDonough is always ranting about people speaking English. If McDonough went to a local high school, he probably received FREE, TAXPAYER FUNDED instruction in a foreign language. Since McDonough thinks it’s so simple to "SPEAK ENGLISH!" (one of the hardest languages to learn), I'd love to know what language skills McDonough picked up if he did receive FREE language classes throughout high school. He did, after all, have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a FREE, TAXPAYER FUNDED high quality public education from Kindergarten to Twelfth grade. He also enjoyed the ability to apply for financial aid and take out student loans.

Oh, and it's true that "ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL". So anyone who's ever had a parking ticket, had a speeding ticket, jay-walked across the street, or been convicted of a crime should fess up now.

I guess I am confused.

When I hear that illegal immigrants are getting in-statue tuition benefits I think it's crazy.

But then when I hear that these same recipients have lived in the state for three years and have paid Maryland taxes, it makes me wonder, then how are they considered illegal?

What more would be required of them to become legal citizens?

I assume we can all agree that if a person goes through everything that is required to become naturalized and a State resident, then they should be entitled to the same benefits as other citizens, right?

So what's left for these "illegals" to do in oder to become legal? Clearly I am not up to speed on this question, but can't the State simply require that these remaining few steps be completed before the benefits kick in?

Honestly confused.

You all as usual missed my point entirely..And I have yet see any Democratic politians on the news publicly saying they are against this only Republicans, but hey I do not spend 24 hours a day watching the news either..You would not have to struggle ever to send your children to college if we all payed a litte higher taxes and we ALL actually paid taxes...which we do not...I want actual proof that the state pays 1.2 billion to educate undocumented children actual facts and figures..because I cannot find any that say that..You want to talk about states flouting federal laws..don't get me started..and I doubt you even know what anarchy really is....stop spreading fear because that will not work with me..


You should think, or do some research, before you call other people stupid.

57% of Maryland voters (about 2 million in last year's Gubenatorial election) are registered Democrats.

The number of signatures required by the May 31 deadline for moving this toward a ballot issue (a third of 55,000) represents just 3% of total MD voters. In actuality, just 40,000 people have signed their names to it so far.

Based on these facts it's absurd to draw ANY conclusions about the number of Democrats who signed the petition.


To Smartwoman: If you are so concerned about educating our society why don`t you adopt 10-15 of the illegals and pay for their college out of your own pocket. Perhaps you could charter a plane once a year and send about 300 illegals back to wherever they came from and they can get a discounted college tuition in their own country. Can you really be that stupid? Our state politicians don`t care about educating illegals. The democratic politicians just want the illegals votes. It`s a scare tactic when a politician says we have to do this for the kids. Worry about our own kids first.

So we're punishing these children for crimes their parents may have committed?


Illegals can vote now, too?

STILL not sounding any smarter lady!

And to the "Based on these facts it's absurd to draw ANY conclusions about the number of Democrats who signed the petition."

The people running it have said that about half are registered democrats.

Anonymous is confused! Can't understand HOW they are illegal! That's an easy one. They came into AMERICA, not just Maryland, through the back door and haven't made any attempt to become a legal citizen. Some haven't even learned to speak english so here's an additional burden on taxpayers - English as a second language which by law HAS to be offered to students who don't. I grew up in AZ where illegals have always been a problem. These days I'm beginnig to feel like I never left AZ. Oh and yeah I'm a Democrat.

@ Anonymous
I saw what the petition organizers claim in terms of who is signing (although I wondered how they are going about tracking party affiliations?!).

Regardless, my comments were directed at Ranger who tried to "prove" that dems were signing the petition based on his/her suggestion that there are not enough registered republicans in Maryland to fuel 40,000 signatures. That was an absurd bit of math on Ranger's part. There are nearly a million registered republicans in Maryland. Only 4% would have needed to sign to account for every signature gathered so far.

I may be confused, but at least I know who I am responding to. I am not "anonymous."

And yeah, I know they "came in the back door." But they also apparently can prove residence in Maryland for two years and have been paying Maryland taxes. That's the confusing part. Nothing you wrote clarified how an illegal pays taxes and establishes residency. That's what I was looking to have explained. And I also wanted to know how much more these illegals needed to do to establish legal status. Since you're such an expert on the topic, why don't you enlighten us on that rather than throwing out the same tired complaint about non-English speakers being a burden on (fellow) Maryland taxpayers.

Smart (?) Woman:

You don't want to read what doesn't fit your paradigm. There are volumes out there, but here are some bits for you.

AND INCARCERATION Outlays ($ millions)

English Instruction (ELL/LEP) 248.9
Uncompensated Medical Care 167.2
Incarceration 28.9
Total 1,411.4

Households Amount Total($ mill)

Sales Tax 220,000 $350 $77.0
Property Tax 220,000 $300 $66.0
Income Tax 110,000 $550 $60.5
Total $1,200 $203.5

2008 Outlays ($ millions)
Outlays $1,411.4
Receipts -$203.5
Net Fiscal Effect $1,207.9


The online petition uses actual voter registration data, so party affiliations are shown.

Illegal aliens can have tax ID numbers to have taxes withheld. However few of them actually pay any taxes, thus the bills requirement that the FILE income tax returns.

As for establishing legal status, I have no idea about the process. All I know is my wife's family came into the country legally and became citizens. There are laws and a process, all they need to do is follow it.


Why should the taxpayers and citizens be held responsible for footing the bill for the actions of these young adults' parents? Not our fault either, and they are now at least 18 years old.

All we the voters are asking is to have a voice on how our tax dollars are spent.

Casa-De Maryland is going to be enlisting the help of MS13 a latino gang known for its violent tatics to try a steer people away from signing the petitions. We need to stand up and fight back with our votes

Smart (?) Woman:

You said you haven't heard of any Democrat's statements against the bill:

"People's expectation was that we come here and get our finances in order and work to create jobs," said Del. John L. Bohanan Jr., a member of the House budget committee. The St. Mary's County Democrat voted against both measures."

Look up Senate Bill 167 and you can see the list of legislators that voted for and against the bill. For example:

Democrat, District 38, Somerset, Wicomico & Worcester Counties

I am a Democrat and I am signing this Petition. If illegals get in-state breaks, then all Americans from other states should get in-state tutiion breaks in Maryland.

@ Fed Up.

Thanks, that was very helpful information that helped me get closer to an informed decision, as opposed the the usual hate mongering I too often encounter here.

Based on what you describe, it does sound like those favoring the tuition payouts are obfuscating the issue of how solid these citizens are -- or aren't -- despite their illegal status.

Woody Allen once famously saidk, "eighty percent of success is showing up", and that would seem to apply here. Just because illegals got here and managed to hang around for three years would seem to make them successful candidates for tuition help, based on the logic the new laws sponsors.

While the idea of handouts for illegals is bothersome, I'd be more interested to hear about stopping illegal imigration in the first place -- what's worked and what's not.

Good to see progress on this issue, if for nothing else to remind our Legislators that a significant portion of voters DO NOT think they are running the State's business very well with initiatives like this one. Not one legislator explained the actual economic impact of this .. instead we hear about "fairness". After this one makes the ballot, its time to re-visit the Speed Camera issue for a re-call. This Legislature needs to learn how to reign in its spending instead of creating more indirect taxes.

Sorry if someone updates this before me, but I heard the official count as of 11PM last night was acually 62,000 signatures from someone involved.

Flaunting media video of illegal immigrants cheering the bill's passage in the house and senate backfired on CASA.

Perhaps a sleeping giant awakes in Maryland and finally runs the crooks and liars out of Annapolis.

Years ago, I seem to recall a boat full of illegal Haitians trying to escape the oppressive dictatorship in Haiti forcefully removed out of the ocean and returned to Haiti. Yet, illegal Hispanics who also come to America for a better life are able to enter into the country, live here for years, get jobs, drivers licenses, public assistance, education and support from powerful advocacy groups with no attempt to become American citizens or repercussion for their illegal status. Recently, a group of Haitians tried to enter America to escape after the earthquake destroyed their country. They were immediately returned to Haiti. Why aren't the Democrats and advocacy groups trying to help them?

Shas: Apologies for responding for mistaken identity. I find it confusing that the posters name is under a line after the post. BTW - I didn't claim to be an expert on the topic. Just offering up my opinion, as a LEGAL American citizen. Illegal Immigrant's post is thumbing his nose at us. "I'm illegal and don't care about your stupid american laws, but I get to suck your taxpayer money in order to gain an advantage over those that blindly follows those stupid things called "laws". I'm special, none of you all are, as soon as you realize that, the better! By the way, thanks for the college degree! I'm going to get a good job and send all of my money back home and not invest it in the american economy! Viva la raza! DEMOCRATS 2012!!!" After reading that, it's hard NOT to get angry. They want to get all the benefits of being in America but don't want to become a legal citizen. When they came into this country without proper documentation they broke an American law right off. What it boils down to is ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL.

Someone explain to me how signing this is racist? It's not.

By Godwining an argument you instantly lose. You may be able to convince a few fools to back down by implying that they're racist, but the rest of us know better. We will NOT back off because you think you're somehow better than us by spouting off your Politically Correct auto-response.

Keep standing Maryland.

Fight for your tax dollars and for YOUR OWN children. It's the educations of your kids and your neighbor's kids that are at stake as these illegals will force your own out of admissions slots.

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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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