Higher education funding: legal residents first

May 11, 2011

I hope I am not the only reader to be shocked by The Sun's May 11 front page. Two articles really jumped out at me: "O'Malley signs tuition break" and "Seniors stunned by Md. scholarship cuts." Both clearly demonstrate where Annapolis is leading the state and whom they are courting.

The article about the tuition break stated that "Illegal immigrants cheer" and that dozens of illegal immigrants celebrated in Annapolis. Meanwhile, Lindsay Michocki and 350 other Maryland high school seniors have lost $3,000 each toward tuition at a Maryland university.

The article about the graduating seniors noted that by removing the scholarship grant for these hard working and successful students the state would save about $1 million in 2012. The article on the tuition break for illegal immigrants said its cost was conservatively estimated at $3.5 million by 2016.

Let's give a rousing cheer to our forward-thinking legislators who can take benefits from the best and brightest Maryland students and possibly drive them from the state, while at the same time providing benefits to people who are knowingly and admittedly in the country illegally.

I understand that immigration is an issue. I sympathize with the plight of immigrants, but I would prefer my tax dollars go to those residing legally in Maryland.

I am not sure why legislators feel they need to court the illegal immigrant population. How about working to ensure that every legal resident of Maryland gets the full weight and support of his or her tax dollars and efforts?

When will Governor O'Malley and the legislators decide that the legal residents of Maryland deserve their full attention?

At the very least, we should insist that a program for legal students not be cut as a way to offset a more costly program aimed solely at those who are in the country illegally.

Ryan Milhiser, Reisterstown

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