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.