Facts on the Maryland Dream Act
Facts on the Maryland Dream Act:
America is unique in that we are a land of immigrants. As Americans, we want America to be the leader of social justice and dignified treatment for all. The MARYLAND DREAM ACT does both.
CASA de Maryland has long advocated successfully for the inclusion of all immigrants into our society. It led the advocacy for legislation which passed the Maryland General Assembly in 2011 that provides in-state tuition rates to Maryland’s immigrant children, regardless of their immigration status, who have:
- Spent three years of high school in Maryland, and graduated;
- Paid or whose parent/guardian has paid MD state income taxes for years in high school, in college, and any years in between;
- Applied first to Community College;
- Commit to seek citizenship;
- Register to Selective Service;
- Will not displace any Maryland resident applying to college.
This new law has been celebrated by many as a just, practical, and humane way to allow young, promising men and women to continue their education, and to join their Maryland classmates in maximizing their skills and productivity.
1. What is the MARYLAND DREAM Act?
The Maryland Dream Act provides in-state tuition for all students who have been residing in Maryland for at least three years while attending high school and who meets all other requirements. This law enables immigrant students to afford a college education, fulfill their dreams, and contribute to their community. For many, Maryland is the only home they know. These are talented young people living in our neighborhoods, are our children’s friends and classmates, play in our teams, and attend church with us.
2. Does this law only help undocumented students?
No. It also benefits those who are awaiting some form of immigration relief, such as asylum, TPS, etc. These usually are long processes.
In addition, it benefits a small group of military families and veterans.
3. Is Maryland the only State offering this benefit?
No. Maryland is the twelfth state to pass an in-state tuition law, including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Rhode Island, and Washington. Compared to other State Dream Acts, Maryland’s Dream Act is the most rigorous. In addition, many more States are considering State Dream Acts of their own.
4. Why give them a break when they don’t pay taxes?
Undocumented people pay taxes; filingtheir taxes through ITIN to IRS. In 2010, they paid $275.2 million in state and local taxes (Unauthorized Immigrants Pay Taxes, Too.; Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy).
To be eligible for the in-state tuition rate, students will have to prove that they or their parents/guardians have paid and are paying taxes. Additionally, undocumented students are not eligible to receive any federal or state scholarships or financial assistance.
5. Why is it urgent for me to get involved?
Currently, the Maryland Dream Act is in a statewide referendum. You will be able to show your support for Maryland’s youth and send a clear message to the nation that we are a State that values immigrants contributions by VOTING YES for the Maryland Dream Act in the election polls November 6, 2012.
The whole nation will have their eyes set on us. This is our opportunity as a State to set the nation on the right path concerning immigration, secure the vitality of other States Dream Acts, and allow the dreams of promising students to become an achievable reality.