Update: Important news this evening and new target list from Help Save Maryland and NumbersUSA, here.
The Baltimore Sun reports that the House Ways and Means Committee voted largely along party lines to report out the extremely controversial SB167 that would give illegal alien students in Maryland in-state tuition rates.
From the Sun (very balanced reporting):
The House of Delegates is poised to take up legislation Wednesday to extend the in-state tuition discount to illegal immigrants — a divisive issue likely to produce one last lengthy and emotional debate in the waning days of the 2011 General Assembly session.
Under the proposal, an undocumented student who attended at least three years of high school in Maryland and whose parents have paid state taxes would qualify for in-state tuition rates at a community college. After completing two years, he or she could transfer to a four-year institution and again pay the in-state rate.
The Senate approved a similar measure last month, and Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he will sign a bill into law if one reaches his desk.
Not the land of entitlement! Right on!
Del. Andrew A. Serafini talked about his grandfather, an Italian immigrant coal miner who struggled with alcoholism. The Washington County Republican said his father had to work hard to put himself through school.
“This is the land of opportunity, not the land of entitlement,” Serafini said before voting against the bill.
CASA: “….core moment in their struggle for civil rights” (give us a break!)
Students from Baltimore City and Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties are planning to watch the debate Wednesday, said Kim Propeack, organizing director at the immigrant advocacy group Casa de Maryland.
“They want to be there for a core moment in their struggle for civil rights,” she said.
Del. Justin Ross, a member of the Ways and Means Committee and chief deputy majority whip, predicted that the tuition bill will gain final passage.
“We’re optimistic that we have the votes,” said the Prince George’s County Democrat, who supports the bill. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have voted it out of committee.”
Poor baby, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez needs time to heal?
What is it with these Leftists? I keep hearing this stuff about how constituents shouldn’t be too rough on them. Were they like this before the Tea Party came along? You know Mama’s old expression—if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen—it still applies! You run for public office, you take the heat!
A prolonged, intense debate on whether to legalize same-sex marriage — which ended with House leaders sending the bill backward to languish in a committee — sapped energy from other controversial bills, several delegates said.
Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, a chief proponent of the in-state tuition measure in the House, said soon after the marriage debate that delegates needed time to “regroup” and “heal.”
That is really code for—-Constituents go away, shut up and don’t bother me!
You go girl! One delegate who won’t be whining about needing to “heal.”
“We’re investing taxpayer dollars in people who may not ever legally be able to work in our state,” said Del. Kathy Afzali, a Frederick County Republican.
Democrats countered that there are many ways to gain citizenship, and that employers might sponsor a college-educated immigrant. Many said they were stepping in where because the federal government has failed to act.
On this last bit, I don’t know what they are talking about. If it was possible to now “sponsor” an illegal alien, we would have this happening across Maryland and the nation. Or, maybe it’s legal but NO one wants the personal financial and legal responsibility to do it!
Here is something no one is talking about!
I’m wagering that every public college in the state of Maryland right now gives in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens and this bill would just codify what they are already doing. Montgomery College is simply the only college caught so far!
Montgomery College, a two-year school, appears to be the only public institution in Maryland that allows undocumented students to pay in-state rates. Three Montgomery County residents sued this year to change the policy.
Contact your delegates today and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 167! Swing votes were identified by Progressive Maryland/CASA last week here.