Maryland has extended in-state tuition rates at colleges and universities to illegal immigrants. Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the controversial measure into law Tuesday in a move that flies in the face of national trends and has already sparked efforts to repeal the law, The Washington Post
Supporters of the law praised the state’s courage. “We’ve got guts,” the Post quoted Democratic Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez as saying. “We were willing to go against the tide and stand up for something that is the right thing to do.”
Proponents of the measure had worked for years for its passage. In 2003, Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich vetoed an earlier version. Under the law, students must have attended a Maryland high school for three years, prove their parents paid taxes and profess their intent to become citizens, the Post reported.
At least 10 states now allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition. In-state tuition in Maryland is $8,400 a year, compared with $24,800 for out-state residents. Opponents argue that the measure amounts to the state subsidizing illegal immigrants. Opponents have until June 30 to collect 55,000 signatures to force a statewide referendum on the law, the Post reported.
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