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Supporters of Question 4, led by students, took to the streets over the weekend with a march by young people that concluded with a rally at the University of Maryland:
Teenagers pounded drumsticks on plastic buckets, women waved banners and a crowd shouted, “Undocumented and unafraid! Undocumented and unafraid!” before marching from Langley Park toward the University of Maryland on Saturday in support of lower tuition for illegal immigrants at state universities.
Last year, Maryland legislators narrowly passed the controversial Dream Act, which would grant the much lower in-state tuition rates to students meeting certain requirements, such as graduating from a Maryland high school, earning a certain number of credits from a local community college, and being admitted to a public university in the state. Their parents must have filed income taxes for at least a few years.
Also, a new study identified $66 million in economic benefits that will accrue to Maryland if Question 4 passes:
Maryland’s Dream Act, if approved by voters on Nov. 6, would lure more illegal immigrants to public colleges and cost more than state analysts have predicted. But over decades the measure’s “net benefits” could far outweigh costs, returning tens of millions to the state for each class that earns advanced degrees, according to a new study.
The report, by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is one of the most ambitious attempts to fill in the blanks on Question 4, the Maryland ballot measure whose costs and effects are among the least well understood. It concludes that some 435 students in each graduating class would take advantage of the Dream Act to attend college. About 185 of those would be induced to graduate from Maryland high schools because of the law.
A summary of the DREAM report by UMBC can be seen here.
So, four more weeks to go. If you live in Maryland, vote FOR Question 4. Make sure your friends and family who live in the state are registered — and are voting FOR Question 4.
In Maryland, residents have until October 16th to register. More info on how to do it here.