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July 11, 2011

Tuition petition: Signature count climbs past 87,000

* Updated throughout the day with Monday counts. 

The number of valid signatures on a petition to stop in-state tuition breaks for illegal immigrants climbed rapidly Monday, topping reached 87,000 by about 4 p.m., according to the most recent report posted by the Board of Elections.

Counting is to continue this week; several thousand signatures are left to be validated.

The tutition petition has already crossed the threshhold needed to put it on the November 2012 ballot. The controversial new law, called the Maryland Dream Act, will be suspended until voters have their say, though supporters have vowed court action over the referendumeffort.

The latest elections board report shows that 17,938 signatures have been tossed for various reasons, including signing with a name that did not closely match the person's voter registration information. Baltimore County, where Republican Del. Patrick McDonough is an outspoken opponent of illegal immigrants, has so far supplied more than 17,000 valid signatures.

Petitioners submitted 74,980 signatures on June 30. Round One, which was due at the end of May, yielded 47,288 valid signatures.

It takes just over 55,000 valid signatures -- an amount equal to 3 percent of voters in the most recent gubernatorial election -- to trigger a referendum.

Such petition efforts have rarely been successful. Perhaps the best-known, concerning abortion laws, was on the ballot about 20 years ago. Voters upheld the bill in question. 

In this case, Maryland lawmakers approved giving in-state higher education tuition rates to undocumented students who have attended at least three years of Maryland high schools and whose families have filed tax documents.

Qualified students would pay in-state tuition at community colleges and would be eligible to transfer to four-year Maryland colleges and univerisities, again at the lower tuition rates, after completing 60 credit hours.

The law passed largely on a party-line vote, though many Democrats in conservative areas voted no. The Senate approved it by a vote of 27-19. The House voted 74-65 in favor of it.

The repeal drive is spearheaded by Del. Neil Parrott, a Washington County Republican who won his seat last fall on a tea party platform. 

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 5:15 PM | | Comments (39)
Categories: Immigration


"Starting this fall, the fee for senior citizens taking non-credit courses at Anne Arundel Community College will double as part of a larger effort to absorb a $5 million cut in county funding. The increase, which is projected to raise some $300,000, could be the first of multiple steps to generate more money being discussed by college officials."

Just remember these petitions were signed by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. This had nothing to do with racism, but everything to do with fairness. These illegals have just received up to 12 years of free primiary educations at tax-payers expense. Many times adding to the expense because of their lack of English skills. Most countries would not even allow them to attend college; all we are saying is that they need to pay the out of state rate. Most people would consider that a bargain.


I can't believe illegal aliens AND democratic politicians don't know the meaning of ILLEGAL. This, if signed into law, would cause MD Colleges to set aside however many admission positions, thus shutting out that number of legal Maryland residents to pay more. All we are asking is every one pay their "fair share". Democrats new buzzword is fair share, but these parents are entitled to a "fair shake" when it comes to kids tuiton and not be edged out by citizens of another country. Also, I don't believe three years of high school English is enough to get students through the courses needed to graduate.

Now what we can hope for is that CASE De Maryland spend alot of it's money and resources on the fight and they loose in the election 2012. maybe then they will go away.

So, the State of Maryland, in it's loving support of Obama, will let illegals vote in our elections, but wants to thoroughly check the signatures of people signing a petition. That makes perfect sense.

This still just slays me - why doesn't INS use these supposed tax documents to trace these illegals and boot them back to where they belong. Even if they get an education it is still ILLEGAL for them to work here? So we are going to give them a benefit American citizens don't receive. Remeber to vote when this hits the ballot - also remember to oust any idiot lawmaker stupid enough to vote for it in the first palce

Most of you seemed to missed the line in the article about the requirement of the parents to have filed tax documents. This is not a free ride any more than it is for other families in Maryland who have also filed tax documents.

Lonnie - Loved your comment. It's harder to sign a petition in MD than the vote in MD!

The so-called requirement of their parents to have filed tax returns is nothing but a paperwork scam. Who is going to oversee this operation? Is there any criteria involved? Will anyone check for forged documents, fake W-4s, fake SSN? Did they actually PAY taxes, or simply file some bogus form and get a refund? Will there be any penalty for the illegal parent when they find the tax documents to be false? Will the student be removed from college? And finally, and most important, do we actually believe the State Government can process all of this fairly and honestly?

If they want to be treated as Americans, Get a job , pay for school , and apply for F-Aid, apply for grants,loans, Scholarships Etc. If their is a balance , get a job and pay the rest. Now do that every year and stop taking our money for free rides. We need to Vote these ppl out the office.

Um, their parents do not have to show proof they PAID taxes, they only have to show they FILED. And there is no guarantee this will even be enforced.

It seems to me that if the student has reached the age of college, then he/she has also reached the age of requesting to become a United States citizen. Once legal status and eventual citizenship is obtained, then by all means, go to college!

Perhaps the legal citizens in Maryland can now pick and choose what laws to obey? It looks like the Maryland Lame-islature is doing just that. It's time to remove them.

Send the illegals back to their country of
origin and let them get an education there not at the expense of our tax dollars

Its bad enough half of them are working
under the table taking our jobs away

I believe its past time for a change in our state government. Anyone stupid enough to pass this bill and not look after the LEGAL taxpayers in this state do not deserve to be in office

I will not pay one tax dollar if this passes

The American Dream act should be for the LEGAL tax payers not illegals forging
fake returns to get a discount on their

We need to stop promoting benefits for illegals and send them back where they came from

Count as of Monday morning is 77,920

Anonymous.... How does an illegal alien file a legitimate tax return if they are not legal to work in the first place? Does paying taxes on illegal income now make a person "legal" in the eyes of the government... I think not!

Sparky: I just updated the blog post to reflect the Monday morning numbers.

This petition was signed by citizens who are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I am a Democrat and I am disgusted to know it was mostly Democratic legislators who supported this bill. They are desperately doing what they can to obtain the Hispanic vote. Friends, I am urging all of you to do some research as to which legislators voted for this bill and vote them out of office. I know that means voting across party lines. I just sent in my voter ID card to make a change request from Democrat to Republican. Our Democratic legislators no longer serve "we the people", they serve illegal aliens. Time to vote them all out of office, as much as that breaks my heart. But they are breaking my wallet, and it's time I take the personal stand I feel might make a difference. God Bless Maryland.

Ric - It's called an ITIN (Individual Tax ID Number) and, according to the government, people are supposed to pay taxes on all income - even if it's illegal income. Even if you don't have a SSN, you can pay taxes with an ITIN. You don't need to be a citizen to get one.

Which, if you recall, is what they ultimately busted Al Capone for way back in the 1920s. His income was coming from illegal sources, but it was his failure to pay taxes on his illegal income that landed him jail.

PBS's veteran broadcaster Bonnie Erbe
has produced an award-winning two-part TV series on immigrations impact on health care reform and the poverty rate.

Many of you are already aware of some of staggering effects of mass immigration on health care and poverty. For instance:

71 percent of the increase in American uninsured since 1989 is the result of immigrants and their children.
57 percent of immigrant households (both legal and illegal) with children use at least one welfare program.

The PBS DVD provides an opportunity to educate friends, family and all kinds of civic and political groups about the ways in which immigration impacts these critical public policy issues.

We encourage you to contact PBS and request one of the free DVDs.

77,000 racists....and counting.

"The law passed largely on a party-line vote, though many Democrats in conservative areas voted no. "

Mkay ... so did the law pass on a party-line vote or not?

Judge how your state legislators vote on issues. Following a party line only helps the party, not the constituents. CASA, ACLU & state Dems will do anything possible to counteract the will of those signing the referendum petition. Making a difference I think is why so many MD voters signed. Instead of cutting the budget & worrying about getting more private industry into the state, we have this MD Dream Law. Why? Don't we all know? More votes for their side to stay in power. Believe me, it isn't about educating students.

These are NOT immigrants, they are REFUGEES from the war torn nation to our south where more people have been killed in 6 years than Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan COMBINED!

these refugees should be put into refugee camps just like all the others around the world are.

Will similar consideration be given to foreign students here legall? Of course not. Just another typical Maryland law to disadvantage those who play by the rules and reward those who break them.

Wow Eduardo, I never knew that, nor my first generation wife or our bi-racial daughter. Racists against who? Hopefully you aren't one of those bigots that only sees this issue in one colour.

When this bill is overturned in next year's election I suppose you will consider the majority of Marylanders to be racist? If so you might want to consider moving somewhere that is more welcoming. Might I suggest Arizona or Georgia?

Where is this "Illegal" we are all referring to? For the life of me I can't seem to find this country on a map.

Eduardo, maybe you should go back to the Third World Country you came from.

I do not understand how people can be against these tuition breaks. It's truly sad to see how many people are truly uninformed. First point - for all of you non-Native Americans, your families immigrated here at some point, and when they did, it was a lot easier to gain citizenship. Before you stop this bill, refresh yourself on the actual process of becoming a naturalized citizen. Second point - these families need to be paying state taxes to qualify. If you didn't know, state taxes pay for, among other things, for the University system of Maryland. So I guess everyone expects for their sons and daughters to have their tuition breaks funded in part by immigrants but don't want the children of illegal immigrants to gain the same education. Lastly, these children need to graduate from a MD high school before they can qualify, which is funded guessed it! State taxes! So everyone is fine with them attending high school on the state coin but not the in-state rate? That makes no sense.

"I do not understand how people can be against these tuition breaks. It's truly sad to see how many people are truly uninformed." Posted by: Will

Then Will goes on to show us all his total ignorance of what the law ACTUALLY states. With that Will, your comment is worthless and just more garbage from the supporters of lawlessness.

Here ya go, Senate and House voting record on SB170/HB470.

Let's send them and that law packing!

Will - Because it may have been easier in the past (Which I doubt, but that's a different discussion) to gain citizenship, that makes it OK now for people to break our federal laws? In what other nation would this be remotely acceptable??? And filing a tax return is NOT the same as paying taxes - YOU are the one who should brush up on the rules...

How many signatures and people voting against this kind of bull is it going to take to wake them up?

Visit NumbersUSA and fight illegal immigration.

Call yr U.S. Congressman and ask that E-Verify become federal law.

22 million Americans who can't find a full-time job are desperate for Chairman Smith's mandatory E-Verify bill, which would start opening up the 7 million jobs now held by illegal aliens in construction and service and manufacturing.

If Congress doesn't start moving an E-Verify bill next week, They will run out of time to pass it before the August recess. Jobless Americans deserve better.

Please folks calling illegals immigrants is an insult to legal immigrants. I suggest illegal migrants fits better or as defined by immigration law unauthorized aliens. Let's keep an eye on leftist social justice type religious leaders who do not know the definition of sanctuary and commit felonious acts by aiding known illegals in the name of religion and compassion. While some are well meaning others that are affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation are based on political leftist political ideals seeking political power. Media should not shy away from reporting fully on some of theses so called religious organizations and their leaders. Bishop Douglas Miles from Baltimore comes to mind. I fail to understand why an African American religious leader like Bishop Miles, and black politicians for that matter, would support any bill that took precious tax dollars away from black Americans and give it to illegal migrants.

The great majority of unauthorized alien workers do not file tax returns, or contribute to workers comp funds, for obvious reasons. Those who do are counseled by radical subversives like CASA in techniques to game the system.

For example, many illegals are counseled to claim high numbers of exemptions, so that their payroll tax withholding is minimal at best. Most outrageous of all, tax exempt alien "support" groups often teach their "clients" to apply for earned income tax credits (EITC). Because they will work for exploitative wages undercut legal US workers, unauthroized aliens working under fake SSNs can and do qualify for large EITC cash SUBSIDIES.

And remember: instate college tuition is one of the most valuable welfare benefits any person can receive: More than $40,000 for a 4-year undergraduate course.

Connect the dots... blame our arrogant incumbent officials.

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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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