Update (6:45 p.m.)! The goal has been met and 100,000 signatures are on their way to Annapolis at this very moment, here.
It’s only been the biggest political news in Maryland all spring!
A few weeks ago our friend Judy wrote to the Post and asked why they weren’t covering this important news story (other than a few mentions by their Maryland blogger—John Wagner—who focused only on bits of bad news for petitioners that came out). The Post ombudsman wrote back a squishy response. So now, on the day before the petition drive is over, we get a news story in the Metro section.
[You know folks, this is why many of us have stopped subscribing to the WaPo. My family subscribed to that paper for over 25 years and dropped our subscription finally in 2008 when the last straw was their personal attack on Sarah Palin in the style section—their screed wasn’t about the issues, it was about her personally and her family. But, I digress.]
The Post article yesterday, although late, is pretty good and certainly more useful and informative than anything Wagner wrote previously. Please read it all here.
Growing frustration with illegal immigration, rising public debt and an effective Internet campaign to gather voters’ signatures have put Maryland conservatives on the cusp of a victory to delay and possibly repeal a new law that would give undocumented immigrants in-state college tuition breaks.
Maryland’s version of the DREAM Act would more than halve tuition rates for undocumented immigrants at Maryland colleges and universities. For a four-year degree, the plan could cost the state $40,000 per student, and Maryland officials have estimated that hundreds of undocumented high school graduates would apply for the aid.
But a successful petition drive led by a handful of Maryland Republican lawmakers appears all but certain to stall the effort.
Opponents say they are on pace to turn in a combined 100,000 signatures by Thursday….,
Anger over immigration is bipartisan anger:
“People want to enforce immigration law, not skirt around it,” said Del. Neil C. Parrott (R-Washington). “This was a highly divisive bill with bipartisan opposition that barely passed. It’s important to allow the residents of Maryland to have the final say.”
But the law appears to also be the first in Maryland that voters will decide at the polls in 20 years. The last law petitioned to a statewide referendum, which ensured abortion rights in the state, was affirmed by voters in 1992.
The signature-gathering effort to repeal the tuition law is expected to draw court challenges. But the rare success that opponents appear to be having in easily crossing the threshold for a referendum has sparked debate in Annapolis about whether Maryland’s Democratic leadership overreached in approving the measure.
In addition to Republicans, thousands of Democrats have signed on to oppose the aid for immigrants in the party’s strongholds of Baltimore and Prince George’s County.
Washington big dog brought in! Can’t lose this in Maryland!
And, this (below) is why the Democrat National Committee (DNC) has brought in their Washington big dog lawyer—Joseph E. Sandler—they cannot afford to lose this in BLUE Maryland. (See my earlier posts on Sandler, here and here). Governor O’Malley (in the process of being groomed by the DNC) and Gustavo Torres (CASA de Maryland) weren’t getting the job done! (emphasis mine)
Michael Fix, an immigration expert at the Urban Institute in the District, said that if voters in a traditionally blue state such as Maryland repeal the law, it could affect debates in other states and possibly the debate in Congress about whether to move forward with a national DREAM Act.
And, Sandler knows that a successful referendum in Maryland could wreck the DNC plans (his plans?) to make sure the referendum process is killed wherever it’s tried!
LOL! How dare the country class rise up to confront his Washington, DC ruling class!