ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Children of undocumented immigrants would pay in-state tuition rates for college under a bill state lawmakers weighed Wednesday.
Freshman Sen. Victor Ramirez, D-Prince George’s, testified in favor his proposal to allow the children of undocumented immigrants attend Maryland universities at the same rate paid by residents.
“If your parents have been paying income taxes in the state of Maryland it would allow the benefit of receiving in-state tuition, not free tuition,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez, who immigrated as a child from El Salvador, told lawmakers that children should not be kept from attending college because of the choices of their parents.
But opponents said the bill would create a break for people in the country illegally.
“Senator Ramirez’s bill is a scam to get another subsidized taxpayer service for illegal aliens,” said Brad Botwin, executive director of Help Save Maryland, anti-illegal immigration group.
To be eligible, students must attend two years of high school in Maryland, and their parents pay one year of income taxes before the student graduates from a Maryland high school. It mirrors the so-called DREAM Act which was considered by the Democratic-controlled Congress late last year but failed to win approval before Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives.