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August 1, 2011

CASA wants to overturn in-state tuition petition

** Updated to includes grounds for lawsuit

CASA de Maryland wants a court to overturn the petition drive that suspended the Maryland Dream Act, and plans to sue the Maryland State Board of Elections, a spokeswoman said. Their hope is to reinstate the controversial law and prevent it from going to referendum in 2012.

Joe Sandler, an attorney hired by Casa, said at a news conference this morning that the petitions generated by the website should not count because the computer fills out some voter information. He also says that the Maryland Dream Act should be viewed as an appropriation, a type of law that can not be petitioned to ballot.

More than 132,000 Marylanders signed a petition this summer to reject a state law allowing illegal immigrants tuition discounts at state colleges and universities -- nearly double the number needed to trigger a referendum. But CASA funded lawyers have spent the past few weeks poring over the petitions looking for flaws.

There's been no public polling on the issue, but my Sun colleague Julie Bykowicz wrote in Sunday's paper about Maryland's split personality on immigration issues. The state funds flow to CASA, a group that welcome immigrants regardless of status; but some counties have used their tax money to aggressively deport undocumented workers.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:00 AM | | Comments (56)
Categories: Immigration


I don't feel strongly about the immigration tuition issue, but CASA's position really irritates me. God forbid the actual people vote on a law. That would be too... what's the word? oh, Democratic. And to try to challenge it by scrutinizing signatures for technical flaws? screw you CASA. You were a good organization that I generally supported, but no longer.

Referendums are an important way to keep politicians from ramming legislation through that the majority of people strongly oppose. Focus on pleading your case to the people, not circumventing the democratic process.

Shocker - exactly what is their problem with the letting the people vote on the issue. Too close to actually democracy?

CASA (which accepts tax-payer money) wants to overturn a petition that was lawfully handled and shows that the will of the tax-paying population?? I think their funding needs to be cut 100%. On what grounds will they sue? If you want to help illegal immigrants go ahead, but don't take my tax-payer money to do it, and don't try to take away my rights as a Marylander or as an American!

Interesting. While rule by majority often leads to tyranny, it is hard to see where allowing Maryland voters to decide this issue can be a bad thing. Perhaps instead of spending money on suits and such, CASA ought to focus their efforts on convincing Marylanders that the Dream Act is a positive thing for all citizens of the state. If the Dream Act is such a wonderful idea, CASA should easily be able to show the voters of Maryland how it (the Dream Act) will make life better for all Maryland residents. Methinks CASA is a bit nervous about actually allowing legal residents of Maryland a say in the fate of illegal residents of Maryland.

And 'undcoumented workers?' What does that mean? If my son chooses to drive an automobile without bothering with the pesky legalities of obtaining a driver's license, can he claim to be an 'undocumented driver?'

Why would our tax dollars go to CASA?!? This seems criminal to me. O'Malley was a crook when he was Mayor of Baltimore and he's STILL A CROOK. I hate this state and can't wait to move. It's a cesspool filled with crooked politicians and sheeple that keep re-electing them.

Keep going Casa, keep forcing this issue and see what happens to your TAX EXEMPT STATUS!

Complaint has already been filled and this new information will be sent to the IRS as well.

Casa has nerve to sue to stop this peoples petition.

To use TAXPAYER funding to SUe THE TAXPAYERS is the height of insult!

Casa de Maryland must never again receive a dime of taxpayer funding.

The STATE and the Governor should be sued to stop this theft of taxpayer money to support a law breaking ongoing criminal enterprise.

Go figure! Leave, learn english, form a line.

Maybe I should start a class-action lawsuit against CASA for interfering with my voting rights and the process of legislating? CASA if you want a fight, I promise you'll get one!

I think Marylanders have spoken on this when more than double the amount of signatures are gathered in a short span of time. We want to vote on this. We don't want our "head of their rears", out of touch with the will of the citizens of Maryland bureaucrats to decide this for us. The citizens of Maryland are sick of the bs and will undoubtedly respond accordingly when it is reelection time (the politician better start remembering WHOM they work for and represent.

Heh. Illegal is Illegal.
All these 'CASA' lawyers should stop wasting time and effort to overturn what was an Illegal act anyway and start looking for ways to make all sure the Illegals ARE Legal ... Legally.

The new Maryland motto should be changed from "Give us your tired, your poor .. your Illegal Mexicans" .. to GET MD LEGAL and GET MD TUITION !!

How 'bout taxpayers cut off all $2billion a year to illegal aliens in md who steal our $$ through welfare, to raise their children through grade 12 and beyond with the nightmare to taxpayers act and report all their employers to workmens comp, irs fraud dept, ice and the 13 other agencies that will make their life a living hell.. How bout that?

Are they that afraid a democrat state will vote it down?

Sad commentary on Casa de Maryland. Maybe they should actually read the Constitution of the United States that does not force citizen tax-payers to pay for the education of non-citizens. This is an issue that should be decided by actual citizens of the United States and the citizens of Maryland. Why are they afraid of the ballot box? This is America not some junta in Mexico.

Go get an education in your own country - let them subsidize - not the LEGAL citizens of Maryland

The elected officals should cut off all funding to this group.
We are giving them our tax payers money and they are inturn skirting the laws. The Catholic church should also stop funding this group. And people who give money to the church need to know that is is being used to help crimminals

I think CASA should be considered a terrorist organization. They actively promote illegal activity, going against our national laws.

Illegal immigrants have "standing" in court to overturn a petition by Lawful Citizens of Maryland???

If so, Start the Revolution!

My grandparents landed in Ellis Island; had sponsors, jobs, health was Killed in Action in WWI. My father served in WWII, I served in Vietnam.

How did the Land of Opportunity become The Land of Entitlement?

Why can't we e-mail copies of The Sun articles?

I'm actually opposed to tax dollars for all tuition. Why should I pay for other people's adult children to get a worthless degree from a government school? I don't even have kids. But yeah, paying tuition to law breakers is even worse.

CASA is just a bottom feeding organization who wants to encourage illegal activities such as illegals living in the USA and illegals using ID theft. NO illegal or undocumented person should be allowed to attend school or get credits here in the USA. at taxpayers expense and certainly not be given a diploma or credit for attending as that only serves as a form of ID. Illegals need to be treated like the criminals they are and that is arrested and deported. Stop draining our economy, go home and come back legally.

Honestly, if this Law, this proposal, has any real esoteric merit, it should stand on that merit and not fear to face the referendum vote.
CASA is running scared because they know the law does not represent the will, nor sentiment of the people of MD.

The people are ready to defend their rights to petition at every turn. Will Attorney General Gansler protect the will of the citizens of Maryland? Any reporters ready to hound Mr. Gansler on this issue to make sure he is sincere in his effort to protect the petition process? After all he gave legal council to the Board of Elections as to acceptance of the petition. I say don't trust him. Donate to to assure competent legal council can be obtained to fight the deep pockets of Casa De Maryland.

The people are ready to defend their rights to petition at every turn. Will Attorney General Gansler protect the will of the citizens of Maryland? Any reporters ready to hound Mr. Gansler on this issue to make sure he is sincere in his effort to protect the petition process? After all he gave legal council to the Board of Elections as to acceptance of the petition. I say don't trust him. Donate to to assure competent legal council can be obtained to fight the deep pockets of Casa De Maryland.

Is it possible to sue the state of MD for contributing to an organization that actively participates in breaking federal law?

Anyone who has a good lawyer and wishes to start a class action lawsuit, spread the word i'll contribute to the cause.

Perhaps CASA de Maryland should lobby for establishing English as the primary language at the State and Federal levels in order to save consumers and government agencies the expense for Spanish and all other translators in these economic hard times. People would not feel such bias towards in state tuitions and further immigration laws if that simple assimilation was attempted. The recent article concerning the divide across MD did not raise the issue of commpanies subcontracting and the loss of revenue that represents to the state. Issuing checks for labor using a 1099, does not gaurantee taxes are paid. What steps has CASA de Maryland taken to reduce teen pregnacy among the community? Who assumes the cost of prenatal, hospital and further care in this epedemic? My children have made a decision not to have a child until they are in their 30's due to not being in the position to financially provide for them.

What does Casa de Maryland have against democracry?

They remind of my sister growing up, having a temper tantrum when things do not go their way.

Everyone who has 10 minutes should file a complaint with the IRS urging an investigation into Casa's tax exempt status.
Here is the web page.

Print out a form and a few pages of Casa's commentary on this issue and send it in.

To allow any organization to use taxpayer funds to fight the taxpayer should be investigated and their tax exemption denied.,,id=131651,00.html,,id=178241,00.html

I have read the piece of legislation and think that the law is very broad. I think there should be an addendum to make it more concise. I think that the language is not clear and correct because it states that undocumented immigrants are to file income tax returns in order to be able to receive the in-state tuition rate. If the worry of opponents are that the evil illegals are going to steal tax paying money, it is a fallacy. Immigrants, illegal or legal, typically do not milk the system. Often the people that milk the system are typically US citizens, many of the larger represented groups in America.

I think that no one is thinking about the children of immigrants who had no choice in coming to this country, grew up here from small ages (grade school age in most cases), participated in American society and wanted to better themselves in America, not become a burden to society.

They should not be penalized for the transgressions of the parents, just like we do not punish entire families for the crime of one person in a family.

I think that many times the opposition that is levied is racially motivated or greatly exaggerated in order to support party agendas.

Sometimes we need to think of the common good rather than ourselves.

Which is their right. Just as it is the right of the people to collect enough signatures to push the cause to referendum. This is simple legal maneuvering, nothing more.

I humbly wish The Baltimore Sun would DROP THE "I" WORD.
Only because I am human too. But then again, who cares right? If my parents decided to come to the U.S. to give me a better life, I might as well just be executed.

Tuition discounts? Please re-read the bill.

Will some member of our state political body Please submit a bill to unfund CASA in the next special session ? Please ,then let us know ,who votes against it or tables it . I think this is more important than redistricting ,because I have a feeling no matter how you gerrymand it ,people will hold your feet to the fire on this issue.

The name of the attorney in the AG's office who is tasked with representing the Board of Elections is Jeff Darsie.
Here is his contact info.

Given the support AG Gansler has given to Casa over the years, can his office represent the BoE and the Maryland people without any conflicts of interest?

Contact Mr Darsie and see what his plans are.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!! CASA is state funded and they are going against what the LEGAL citizens want? First, cut their State funding! Secondly, we, the LEGAL citizens have spoken...doesn't that count anymore? Political correctness is squashing DEMOCRACY! Thirdly, if you want a better life then get it the legal way! My mother is an immigrant too, but she is a LEGAL IMMIGRANT! This country is stuggling and billions of dollars are wasted on illegals!!!!

With the success of the petition drive, one could expect CASA, ACLU & other groups to work hard to declare it null & void. But are they prepared to deal with the blow back?
Not every county in MD is MoCo where the illegals are now a majority.
Not every taxpaying legal immigrant or American citizen is prepared to continue to pay for the education of those who are here illegally. We are forced by law to educate illegals K-12. Forcing us to subsidize their higher educational goals is ludicrous.
Not every voter in MD agrees with the law passed by MD legislators nor the continued funding of an organization whose focus is aiding those who knowingly break our laws on a daily basis.
We have the right to seek a referendum on this law giving every MD voter an opportunity to make their voices heard in the polling booth without being called a racist or a bigot. We also have the right to vote those legislators who voted for this bill out of office.

BTW, if there's any doubt that this is a partisan Democratic bill (not saying all Democrats support taxpayer subsidies to illegals, just that all supporters of taxpayer subsidies to illegals are Democrats / liberals), look at the bio for Joe Sandler, the attorney supporting these taxpayer supported criminals - I guess CASA thinks it is ok to thwart the will of the people because that how it works in their loser, third world hell hole home countries.

@ Undocumented UMD Student

You should be very upset with your parents. They have started your life here illegally and have created conflict for you. Your parents have placed a great burden on you.

Where is casa de Illegal getting the money to sue. If it's our Tax money we should run them out of this state for good.

"but my Sun colleague Julie Bykowicz wrote in Sunday's paper about Maryland's split personality on immigration issues."

The only split is where immigrant is used to describe criminal.

Immigrants are welcome when they play by the rules and bring something to the table aside from economic need. Do you really not see the difference?

I'm confused to why illegals would even be granted out of state rates honestly. Your here illegally, I'd be afriad to even apply for fear of deportation.

All countries have laws governing immigration. Your family may have come here for the right reasons but they did it the wrong way. There is nothing wrong with legal immigration into this country and their are plently of jobs here that most Americans want nothing to do with that immigrants gladly take. More power to them. But you have to do it legally. Follow the process.

To our politicians. We wouldn't be having this issue had we not encouraged the process by passing legislation that makes it attractive and worth the risk to these families. Every dollar we spend supporting illegal activities is a dollar we steal from those that played by the rules. It's just not right to reward and encourage the practice.

Wake up America!!!

@Undocumented, Unafraid...if you are "unafraid", please post your name. And address please. I'd like to pass that information along to ICE.

There's nothing unconstitutional about it, so I don't really see where CASA is going to be able to fight it. Get over it losers, citizens are tired of paying for illegal immigrants to get a free pass in this state. We will show our full force by voting this garbage legislation out, and all CASA will be able to do is complain.

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 video 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.
I encourage you to watch this show.

"I might as well just be executed." - UndocumentUMDStudent

Typical liberal jibberish. No one is threatening to execute you or anyone else. Just send you back to the country from which you ILLEGALLY immigrated. Your anger is misplaced. How about blaming the corrupt government of Mexico and it's crime ridden society. Heck, it's almost as bad as Baltimore. And most people have left there, too!

KM-I pretty much agree with you on this one. I don't oppose the bill either, but CASA is really going too far. This is a stupid strategy. It's alienating the public, even the supportive public. By pushing the envelope it's really bringing the xenophobes out, and irritating the average Marylander. The Dream Act is not comprehensive immigration reform, which we so desperately need, and CASA is infuriating people so much over this that anything it says after this will be met with fury. I am disappointed with CASA. I don't know why it even brought the MD Dream Act up now. It should have pushed for FEDERAL immigration reform, not some stop-gap measure that promised to infuriate people and do little to help the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.

CASA-I'm a green party member who really couldn't be much more liberal. I still think this is a bad idea. Cut your losses, let it go to referendum and focus on COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform. And next time, we can use the same online petition process to block bills that we oppose.

And "KM" referred to the first post on the page, not "Kevin M." ; )


This petition was not at all illegal in anyway. The Citizens of Maryland have spoken and they said: "Oh no you don't, you don't get a free ride on my dime!"

Apparently Casa de Maryland is hell-bent on making themselves as unpopular as possible among those who might even think they have a point.

If they spent even one-tenth of the energy and money they have spent on this cause instead attempting to persuade citizens and voters why they should support illegal aliens in this fashion, they might actually get somewhere.

Funny how groups like Casa, NAACP AARP, the AFLCIO, etc. claim they represent specific groups but when interacting with Blacks, Hispanics, senior citizens, and hard working americans I find that very few embrace the policies of those organizations. They're all phony and the only doofuses who listen to them are journalists, politicians and socialists.

CASA de MARYLAND really has CHUTZPA that I will give them! CASA or Central American Solidarity Association is even worse than ACORN, CASAs SLEEAZE is finally bubbling out. Gustavo Torres- it's founder was run out of El Salvadore in the 80's So he decides he is going to bring MARXISM from his third world hell hole of a country to the USA! Gustavo goes on junkets around the world learning how to destroy the USA as we know it PLEASE google The Milititant, Gustavo attends a commie conference in Venezuela with dirt bags like Ward Churchill. Shortly after this HUGO CHAVEZ grants 1.5 million to CASA! CASA is also heavily funded by George Soros. LOOK IT UP PEOPLE YOU ARE LOSING YOUR COUNTRY! CASA de MD needs to be investigated under RICO LAWS!Did you know that your tax dollars also go to fund this far left group Did you know that CASA de MD buses in hundreds of illegal aliens into the halls of the legislature to testify for their 'rights' Well they do! NOT ONLY THAT- CASA is allowed to bully the legal American citizens who take off of work to come and testify. CASA takes over Annapolis 24/7 and it has the manpower. These people are paid- they have a lot of money including YOUR Tax DOLLARS! This dirty little secret has been brewing in MD for over 25 years. You never knew about this before - did you The reason you didn't know is becuase THE MD MACHINE IS CORRUPT and doesn't want you to know. They don't want WE THE PEOPLE TO HAVE ANY POWER.
That's why they do all kinds of back door deals with CASA under the radar! Trust me I KNOW. I go to Annapolis to testify for YOU! You are just finding out what Help Save Maryland and many other Maryland activists have known for a LONG time. The media is totally complicit. O'MALLEY is using the illegal aliens to redistrict in the special session. O'MALLEY has his heart set on becoming your next president. Did you know that illegal aliens are also voting NOW YOU KNOW A LOT OF THINGS since this was forced to be in the news. I personally am glad. BRING IT ALL TO LIGHT CASA! Want to get educated ladies and gentlemen go to HELP SAVE MARYLAND

As predicted, here come the crazies...

What is it that casa DE Maryland doesn't understand about ILLEGAL ALIENS? They should be sued for aiding illegal aliens. If case DE Maryland really wants to help these illegal aliens, buy them a one way ticket back to their home country. Oh, get one for the illegal alien parents, also. We don't need or want illegal aliens! There will be no amnesty, so go back home. The American people are fed up with illegal aliens.

Because of this, more people are learning about CASA de Maryland. Now we see, it isn't for new legal immigrants, it is for illegals here unlawfully. It is a travesty our tax dollars have funded them in the past. We will end that in the future.

that was very fine for the students ..

Time to go after Casa de Maryland's tax exempt status... I am game for this they would be a huge source of "revenue". If they are looking to alter things politically, then they need to give up their perks...Thanks for the idea:

Everyone who has 10 minutes should file a complaint with the IRS urging an investigation into Casa's tax exempt status.
Here is the web page.

Print out a form and a few pages of Casa's commentary on this issue and send it in.

To allow any organization to use taxpayer funds to fight the taxpayer should be investigated and their tax exemption denied.,,id=131651,00.html,,id=178241,00.html

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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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