November 5, 2012
The Maryland Dream Act is not only good for those relatively few who will benefit directly from it (perhaps fewer than 300 college students in any given year) but for everyone who lives in the state. That's because making tuition more affordable for illegal immigrants is a kind of economic stimulus -- reducing social service costs and raising tax revenue.
A dozen states have passed similar measures to provide in-state college tuition rates for illegal immigrants, and Maryland's version may be the strictest in the nation. It requires parents to be taxpayers and students to first attend community college. Yet the payoff is still substantial, as those better-educated young adults take on higher-paying jobs in the workforce.
The Dream Act doesn't set immigration policy. That's the job of Congress and the White House. But whether comprehensive immigration reform happens or not, the Dream Act gives the state the tools to better deal with the reality of today.