Affirming the decision of Judge Ronald Silkworth of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland’s highest Court ordered yesterday that the Maryland Dream Act should proceed to referendum in November.
Passed by the General Assembly and signed into law on May 10, 2011, the Maryland Dream Act allows certain undocumented immigrants as well as veterans and active-duty members of the armed services to receive in-state tuition rates at Maryland colleges. Qualifying students initially attend community college. After two years, students can then transfer to a four year school.
Before the seven members of the State’s highest Court, referendum opponents argued that the Act was an appropriations bill which is not subject to referendum under Maryland’s Constitution. The Court rejected the argument. As a result, the Act will proceed to referendum in November where Maryland voters will decide whether to retain or reject the recently passed legislation.
Maryland Dream Act opponents claim that the legislation promotes illegal immigration.
For Maryland Dream Act supporters, educating Maryland whose families pay Maryland taxes is simply a matter of fairness. The Act permits these families to pay the same in-state tuition rates at Maryland colleges paid by other Maryland tax-paying families.
Maryland voters will have the last word on the debate at the polls on November 6.