Congress averted a national nightmare when it defeated the Dream Act last month. But now, the issue threatens to reemerge here in Maryland, where Sen. Victor Ramirez is proposing a state version of the Dream Act that would offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, potentially costing state taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at the University of Maryland is about $13,000. If 1,000 illegal aliens were to take advantage of this benefit, that would cost the state $14 million. With Maryland's deficit at $1.6 billion during difficult economic times, we cannot afford another budget-busting mandate.
Dream Act supporters seem intent on destroying our country while mandating that its citizens fund their own destruction. The premise that someone illegally present within our borders is entitled to the benefits of citizenship because he or she was brought here "through no fault of their own" as a child is false. My constituents contend that these people, now adults, be held accountable for their illegal status. We must end the lunacy of bestowing the benefits of citizenship on those who have proven — through their continued illegal presence in the country — that they are neither worthy of nor eligible for such consideration, regardless of where they attended high school.
I have pre-filed 16 bills for this legislative session that are designed to protect the rights of citizens and enforce the rule of law in Maryland. In addition, I am working with Judicial Watch to file a lawsuit against Montgomery College, which has willfully violated both state and federal laws concerning tuition rates for illegal aliens. By even the most modest estimates, this practice has cost nearly $10 million in tax dollars. The Dream Act would create a tax burden that would help collapse the state under its own weight if extended to all higher education institutions.
There are only so many places available in the Maryland higher education system. Every time an illegal alien secures a place, a Maryland citizen is denied and displaced. That young Marylander's dream is crushed.
Dream Act supporters promote the idea that eligibility is based on the applicants' parents paying federal or state taxes. It is unlawful under federal law for illegal aliens to pay federal income taxes. The only way this can be accomplished is through fraud. Subsequently, taxpayers are compelled to subsidize an individual who is here illegally and has parents who have not only violated the Federal Immigration Act but also have engaged in fraud. Can anyone explain to me the morality of this situation?
Finally, it is important to note that illegal aliens now have the right to attend college and, through special programs, to enter the military. In a recent editorial, The Sun expressed doubt about the possibility that illegal immigrants could be prevailed upon to leave the country, even leaping to the extreme conclusion that internment camps would be needed. It seems that advocates for amnesty never concede that providing increasing benefits and sanctuary policies will always result in escalating numbers of illegal aliens.
A clear example is Maryland, where the numbers of illegal aliens have increased drastically, along with burdens on taxpayers. Those of us who support the rule of law and advocate for protecting the value of American citizenship are subject to name calling and very little tolerance by the opposition. However, an overwhelming majority of the people understand the importance of the illegal alien issue and its impact on their everyday lives.
Del. Pat McDonough represents Baltimore and Harford counties. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.