Catholic clergy urge passage of Dream Act

April 05, 2011

Two and a half years ago Archbishop Edwin O'Brien initiated the Archdiocesan Immigration Coalition. Bishop Mitch Rozanski is the chairman of the coalition. The coalition is made up of priests, deacons, sisters and lay leaders from across the State of Maryland. At our monthly meeting at St. Gabriel's Church in Woodlawn in March, we expressed our support for the Maryland Dream Act.

We support in-state tuition rates for the immigrant students who meet the requirements of residency, tax-paying parents and attendance at a community college. We see that the education of these students provides future opportunities for them and their families and will help them become contributing members to American society.

We know that there are some who think that the Dream Act will add a financial burden to an already cash-strapped state. However, we believe that the burden of uneducated youth is a greater risk. The recent census figures show that the immigrant population exceeded estimates. It is obvious that this situation is not going to go away. It will have to be addressed eventually. So, if not now, when?

We are asking our delegates to support this bill.

Father Joe Muth, Baltimore

The writer is coordinator of the Archdiocesan Immigration Coalition.

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