In voting this week to extend tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, the Maryland legislature went against a national tide that has been moving in the other direction.
The legislation that Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign will offer in-state tuition to undocumented students as long as they have graduated from a secondary school within the state and lived within the state for at least three years, and a parent or guardian has paid income tax each of those years. The passage of the Maryland Dream Act would make the state the 11th to pass such legislation.
Not all members of the legislature are excited about the act. State Rep. Patrick McDonough (R), who is currently suing Montgomery College for offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants, told the Washington Times he is considering a lawsuit to block the legislation.
A federal Dream Act failed in Congress last year, and a majority of states are opposed to extending tuition breaks to illegal immigrants. According to the Washington Post, Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia have denied reduced tuition to illegal immigrants. South Carolina has barred undocumented immigrants from attending state colleges. In some states that have offered in-state fees for illegal immigrants, repeal efforts have begun.