Say no to the Md. Dream Act

November 06, 2012

The burden on the citizen taxpayer will never stop if the so-called Dream Act is allowed to become law. Let us put aside emotional misinformation and whip out our calculators. One illegal alien student completing a four-year college program will cost the taxpayers $42,000. It breaks down to an $8,000 tuition discount for two years of community college and a $32,000 discount for two years at the University of Maryland.

The advocates for the Dream Act claim that only 1 percent of the student body statewide will be illegal aliens. That translates into 1,500 Dream Act students per year. When all four classes are established and in place, taxpayers will be compelled to pay $228 million a year.

All 16 community colleges in Maryland are currently underfunded. Most of them have increased their tuition rates at least twice during the past four years. Every time an illegal alien student assumes a slot, a reduced amount of funding is suffered by the community college. As the revenue in college decreases and the student burdens increase, the number of slots available is reduced.

"Open enrollment" is based only on revenue availability. The Dream Act will create "displacement" of Maryland student citizens. Last year, about 27,000 people applied for entrance into the University of Maryland. Only 7,000 were accepted.

Presently tens of thousands of American out of state students and foreign nationals pay hundreds of millions of dollars into our education system. They must pay out of tuition fees, which their contributions pay for about 25 percent of the operating costs of colleges, bringing relief to Maryland taxpayers.

The Dream Act student, not having to pay out-of-state tuition costs, will displace these out-of-state tuition students, causing a loss in revenue which must be replaced by the taxpayers, tuition increases or reduced spending.

The amazing fact is that taxpayers, at some point in time, will be paying more than $200 million a year to educate people who cannot legally work in this state or country. It is a federal felony for an employer to hire anyone who is an illegal alien. Even President Obama's temporary deferment does not provide them with lawful presence or permanent residence. "The Obama memo" of temporary deferment for work permits probably will not survive judicial review.

The Dream Act does not require the payment of taxes. It simply mandates the filing of tax returns. In many cases, illegal aliens send part of their income back to their homelands, depriving the American economy of that cash stimulus which the American economy needs. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that $32 billion dollars is funneled to Mexico alone.

The Dream Act claims that students will sign an affidavit promising to seek out a pathway to citizenship. Under current federal law, as illegal aliens they have no pathway to citizenship available. Therefore, the affidavit which is supposed to be a legal document is, in reality, a useless deception.

The "People's Petition" collected more than 130,000 signatures in less than 60 days. That effort was an historic achievement propelled by the people's passion regarding the unfairness of the Dream Act. That passion will continue until the Nov. 6 Election Day, when the voters will support the rule of law, citizenship, fairness and economic justice for taxpayers by voting NO on Question 4.

Pat McDonough

The writer, a Republican, represents Harford and Baltimore counties in the Maryland House of Delegates.

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