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September 22, 2011

National group joins in-state tuition battle

The Washington group Judicial Watch filed papers Thursday to intervene in the lawsuit over legislation to extend in-state tuition discounts to illegal immigrants.

he conservative group, which bills itself as a watchdog on immigration, can bring money and national attention to the battle in Maryland, where the controversial measure was suspended after opponents successfully petitioned for a statewide vote.

“There is no question that the Maryland DREAM Act should be put to a referendum,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “The illegal immigration lobby simply wants to keep Maryland voters from having their say on the issue.”

The legislation was approved this year by the Democratic General Assembly and signed by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley.

But a Republican-led petition drive gathered enough signatures to put the Dream Act on the ballot in November 2012. The effort, which attracted Republicans, Democrats and independents, was the first successful petition drive campaign in ten years. That effort was overturned in a court challenge.

CASA de Maryland and other immigrant advocates are suing the State Board of Elections, which they say validated many of the signatures improperly.

Judicial Watch said Thursday it would represent the organizers of the petition drive.

CASA spokeswoman Kim Propeack said her group and other plaintiffs consented to Judicial Watch intervening in the case.

“They are representing the petitioners, and the petitioners clearly have a reasonable role in the dispute,” Propeack said.

A motions hearing is scheduled for the end of January.

Immigration advocates across the country have long argued that state universities should charge illegal immigrants the same in-state rates that apply to other residents. They've lobbied successfully for such breaks in about a dozen states, including Texas under Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who now faces heat from opponents in the GOP presidential primaries for supporting the law.

O'Malley has praised Perry for that support.

“I do like the fact that he recognizes that fair is fair and if a family’s paying in-state taxes, they should pay in-state tuition,” O'Malley said.

Posted by Annie Linskey at 5:43 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Immigration
        

Comments

The notion that a young military veteran (of any race, creed or gender) from York, PA must pay a higher rate of tuition at University of Baltimore, UMBC or College Park than an illegal alien residing in Maryland demonstrates that this state and nation have lost all common sense. Our days are over.

Think about it. Isn't it just a shame we have to go through all this trouble for people who have NO RIGHT to be in this country. What part of ILLEGAL don't people get? Oh, we know what ILLEGAL means, we just don't want it applied to ALIENS, is that it?

Who's fault is it that these students are in this country ILLEGALLY? Come on. Who's fault is it? The parents? OK. Then get the parents to take their illegal alien children back to their own country where they belong and this problem of in-state tuition will go away.

The lie from Owe Malley continues and is left unchallenged by our media elites. There is no requirement that illegal aliens "pay" income taxes, only that they file, or correct me if I'm wrong . . . I'm so tired of these belly crawlers.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Mr Fitton! Your JW is a much needed entity in this issue and in the US.

Keep up the great work you do and again, thank you for helping us in this local issue.

I'm upset to see so many people want to hate on children who want to go to college. I'm all for this proposition as written.

Well, since I'm a LEGAL IMMIGRANT - I say send the blood suckers home! For those who say it's not the child's fault: nope, it's not but every action has a reaction. Bad BEHAVIOUR SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED, PERIOD. Anything else is a SPIT in the eye of law abiding legal residents of this country!

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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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