Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Blog

In the wake of President Obama’s recent immigration decision, Maryland voters will have their own chance to decide on their state’s DREAM Act. The Maryland version of the immigration bill would provide in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who could prove that they had attended Maryland high schools for at least three years and that their parents had filed taxes. The Maryland legislature passed the bill in April 2011, but opponents have been fighting it ever since.

Last July, the Maryland DREAM Act’s challengers achieved a key victory by gathering enough signatures to suspend the law until voters make a final decision on a November 2012 ballot measure. The court’s decision, officially placing the DREAM Act on the 2012 ballot, marked the first time in 20 years that any measure has gone to referendum through petition in Maryland.

On June 12, supporters of the law (including Governor Martin O’Malley) made a last-ditch appeal to keep the legislation off the ballot, arguing that financial matters are involved, exempting it from a public vote. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that the DREAM Act is a policy matter and ruling in favor of its opponents. Following their defeat, DREAM Act defenders say that they will now invest their resources in educating voters prior to November, in the hopes of gaining wide public support for the bill. 

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