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Maryland immigrant tuition foes clear petition hurdle

Local elections boards have now counted 21,919 valid signatures on the petition drive to overturn the law granting resident tuition to illegal immigrants, 3,000 more than needed to meet the first goal, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website Tuesday.

“It’s really encouraging to see that the counties and Baltimore City are jumping right on this,” said Del. Neil Parrott, the Washington County Republican leading the petition drive effort.

Mary Wagner, head of the voter registration division at the state board, said Anne Arundel and other counties that had not reported any results as of Monday were doing pre-processing and training. Under the law, the local boards have until June 20 to process the petitions and validate the returns.

The opponents of the new law had to have 18,577 valid signatures by May 31, and a total of 55,736 by June 30.

All told, the petitioners submitted 58,596 signatures last Tuesday evening, and the 85 percent validation rate “was about what we expected it to be,” Parrott said. The number of signatures thrown out by local boards is often much higher, but the process has been aided by the number of people using online petition forms that fill in their voter registration data and by close review of the petitions before they were submitted to the secretary of state.

Parrott said they expected to have 40,000 to 45,000 valid signatures after this round of counting, and “people are still going to the website.”

“Everybody knows this is a sprint now to the end of June,” Parrott said. The goal is to get far more valid signatures than required by state law – 3 percent of the number of registered voters who voted for governor in the last election.

“We know there are going to be lawsuits” by the groups that support the law, he said, “and they’re going to throw out as many signatures as they can.”


  1. Good! I was one of those who signed. I’m so sick of these illegal immigrants getting more help and breaks than AMERICAN CITIZENS! Now it the rest of America will step in and take up the fight against these illegals (and the big businesses who get away with hiring them), we may have a chance of regaining our country for AMERICANS. And I’m so tired of the “your ancestors were immigrants” argument. The immigration laws and times were different. We are talking about NOW, with the CURRENT laws in place, not the past. So that argument was null and void. Back then, immigrants were not coming into this country illegally. The laws in place now were not in place back then in and before the early 1920’s. So get over it and become the citizen the RIGHT way!

  2. The title should read, “Maryland ILLEGAL immigrant tuition foes clear petition hurdle.”
    I signed this petition as well. American tax dollars for Americans first. Secure borders, college and jobs for OUR children, is the primary duty of our legislators.

  3. I’m not sure why there is this outrage. Have any of you actually read the Bill? Or are you just believing the partisan fear mongering?

    From this law no one is getting a free ride, no “illegal” is getting anything in lieu of an American, no one is getting preferential assistance over another.

    First and foremost, this law changes the length of time for honorably discharged veterans to register for in-state tuition rates from 1 year from their date of discharge to 4 years after their date of discharge.

    Second, the “illegal” or as the law considers them: “Undocumented Immigrant Individual,” must first graduate from a high school in the state, and have been a student in the state for at least two years. Additionally, they must provide proof that they or their parents have paid income taxes in the state for at least two years. Prior to enrolling in a State University and being granted in state tuition, they must attend a Community College in the state and attain either an AA degree or 60 transferring credits. Also, within 30 days of being eligible, they must file for permanent residency.

    I fail to see how someone who is already living here, who is working and paying taxes translates into some deadbeat freeloader taking jobs and seats away from us.

  4. Please, tell me, what is it that is not understood about ILLEGAL ALIEN? It means you are in this Country ILLEGALLY! If you are in this Country ILLEGALLY, you are entitled to nothing! It is amazing, states are passing laws to get rid of the illegal and there is good old Maryland, pandering and kissing the @ss of the illegal aliens who have NO RIGHT to be in this Country. I think Maryland needs a new Governor and a number if new Legislators, ones who don’t pander to illegal aliens.