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May 13, 2011

The Immoral Education Subsidy

Joe Charlebois

On May 10th, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill that will allow the State of Maryland’s illegal immigrant population to attend Maryland community colleges and universities at an in-state tuition rate.


According to Undergraduate Admissions Office for The University of Maryland at College Park, current tuition and mandatory fees are $24,831 for non-resident students. The total tuition and mandatory fees for in-state residents is $8,416. Obviously the benefit for those who are residents of Maryland is substantial. That amounts to roughly a two-thirds savings for residents of Maryland.


At Frederick Community College the tuition per credit hour mirrors the university’s system with the exception of a third category.  According to the college’s admission office, a Frederick County resident would pay $103 per credit hour while out-of-county and out-of-state student would pay $223 and $303 respectively.


The legislation, passed during this year’s General Assembly session (Senate Bill 167/House Bill 1236), would allow illegal immigrants to take advantage of in-state tuition. Requirements for the potential student require them to: have spent three years in a Maryland high school and graduated or the equivalent; have parents who have paid the State of Maryland income taxes for those same three years; file an affidavit stating that the student will file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days of being able to do so; and register for the draft though Selective Service (males only).


These may be substantial hoops to jump through, but it is still estimated that the potential students who will take advantage of this opportunity will cost the state millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies on a yearly basis.


Even with all of the caveats added to each chamber’s bill, the measure in the House of Delegates barely passed with a 74 -66 margin; in the Senate the final vote was 27-19.


Amazingly there was little said by Governor O’Malley after the bill’s signing. He left most of the follow-up speeches to Alex Sanchez, his Secretary of Labor; Licensing and Regulation, and a spokesman for CASA de Maryland. In fact the governor hasn’t posted anything on his website except for the blog posting by Secretary Sanchez.


What the governor did say was emblematic of all that is wrong with the entire immigration problem in this state and the country as well. “This will allow us to have a more highly educated work force in our state," he said.


What the governor leaves out is that these newly well educated workers won’t be able to legally work in Maryland once they graduate, and that this will only serve to educate and graduate a “work force” with no place to use their degree. This is a great disservice to the potential illegal immigrant graduate who has spent their time and money to earn a degree but will be legally unable to pursue their dreams.


The biggest slap in the face just may be to the Maryland taxpayer. Each taxpayer will be asked to work and pay taxes so that those who are here illegally will receive a subsidized education that not even those in neighboring counties and/or states can receive.


Proponents of the open border, such as CASA de Maryland, state that it is immoral to allow these children of illegal immigrants to attend Maryland schools, graduate high school and not be the beneficiary of in-state tuition for further education.


To the contrary, it is immoral to penalize legal Maryland residents with potentially higher tuition fees. With the projected cost in subsidized tuition estimated to be approximately $3.5 million dollars per year, those funds will need to be made up some way.


In addition who will decide if an illegal immigrant – who is likely the age of majority – will receive an acceptance notice to the University of Maryland at College Park at the expense of an equally deserving Gov. Thomas Johnson High School graduate who has lived in Maryland their entire life?


In short there is a reason that the petition to take this issue to referendum is very likely to receive enough signatures to be put on the ballot in the General Election in 2012. This law is both illegal and immoral.


Senator J.B. Jennings (D) District 7 – Harford/Baltimore Counties opposition letter


Kathy Afzali (R) District 4-A – Frederick County Illegal Immigration Video – Fox5 News


Petition to overturn SB 167


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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