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Few think DREAM Act will draw influx from Va.

ANNAPOLIS — While many young undocumented immigrants in Maryland are optimistic they will soon get a chance to afford higher education if the DREAM Act passes, their counterparts just miles away in Northern Virginia have no tangible measure to hope for.

If their neighbors get a break on tuition, relocating across state lines may be an option for immigrant families in Northern Virginia, where undocumented immigrants must pay upwards of $30,000 a year in out-of-state tuition at public colleges.

A spokesman at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington said it’s difficult to generalize the effect the act’s passage will have on the immigrant population. But while it’s unlikely there would be a drastic population shift, some people on the margins could decide to relocate to take advantage of lower tuition costs.

“It’s possible since we’re only divided by a state line that someone would move to Maryland even if they worked in Virginia,” said Bryan Griffith, a spokesman for the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization. “It’s not going to have any more effect than it would a legal citizen or resident who’s offered a discount on college.”

Steven Camarota, the center’s director of research, estimated it would attract no more than a few thousand people from neighboring Virginia.

“I would be hard pressed to think it would be anything more than that,” he said. “It could be significant for Maryland taxpayers, but it’s not likely to add tens of thousands of people to Maryland’s illegal population.”

The Maryland DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities, provided they graduate from a state high school and complete 60 credits at a state community college. Their parents must have also paid state income tax for at least three years to be eligible.

Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the DREAM Act into law in May, but opponents gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum in November. A similar measure has been introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates but did not pass in the most recent legislative session.

According to Census data analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies, the estimated number of illegal immigrants is nearly equal in Maryland and Virginia: 246,000 and 238,000, respectively. In both states, illegal immigrants make up 27 percent of the total immigrant population.

Griffith said there are several factors at play complicating an undocumented immigrant family’s decision to pick up and move, such as property values, commute time and quality of school districts.

“It’s a question we are wondering: What’s going to happen?” said Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, chair of the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations. “But it’s very difficult for many people who have jobs here, and they don’t want to move to Maryland if they have jobs here.”

Founder and board member of the coalition Leni Gonzalez said the bill’s strict requirements will make it unlikely that undocumented students from Northern Virginia will move to Maryland solely because the act passed.

“It would have to be very far in the future,” she said. “If we had to quantify that, we have no idea.”

A recent University of Maryland, Baltimore County study on the costs and benefits of the DREAM Act said the state could face an increased financial burden if it becomes a destination of choice for undocumented immigrants. However, it concludes the DREAM Act will not necessarily cause this to happen.

“There is little empirical evidence that undocumented immigrants are attracted to states and localities with more generous public benefits,” the study states.

Griffith also said it is unlikely for Maryland to become a beacon for undocumented immigrants because of the complicated nature of immigration.

“People like to talk about immigration in sweeping generalizations,” Griffith said. “People don’t wake up in South America one day and say ‘I want to move to Hoboken.’”

But Delegate Neil Parrott, R-Washington County, who spearheaded the petition to get the DREAM Act up for referendum, disagrees.

“It makes Maryland a magnet for illegal aliens to come to the state,” he said.

At organizations like Ayuda, a nonprofit, direct-services organization for immigrants in the D.C. metro area, the passage of the DREAM Act would not drastically change the way services are offered, Executive Director Jaime Sarrant said.

“We’re not going to be telling people, ‘You should move to Maryland,'” he said.

The benefits and drawbacks of relocating to Maryland would have to be considered case by case, Sarrant added.

Virginia Delegate Alfonso Lopez, who introduced the DREAM Act legislation in his state last session, has pledged to continue to sponsor the bill until it becomes law. For Gonzalez, it is important that immigration advocates in Virginia continue to focus on their own state and national fight.

“We need to keep working to support Delegate Lopez,” Gonzalez said. “We don’t know how easy it’s going to be, but hopefully it will change.”

Aranda-Yanoc said he thinks the success of the DREAM Act in Maryland would help galvanize similar campaigns in Virginia.

“The DREAMers will be energized,” he said “It’s a new element to use to talk with our legislators. With that argument, I think we have a better chance to pass it in Virginia.”

 

2 comments

  1. This is a very important issue in Maryland and it will be interesting to see what the outcome is. This election in general will have a big impact on the future of immigration and immigration law.

  2. President Obama has promised without contradiction that if he wins the White House back, he will pass a blanket AMNESTY, a mass amnesty, a definite and negative Comprehensive Immigration Reform that will crucify the American job seekers to the majority of the 20 million or more illegal aliens. This will be unimaginable to the millions of working mums, dads who will pay for the illiterate, the people who come here illegally that taxpayers are financially supporting. Every day our hospitals are filling up with the sick people from around the world, for the price of a airline ticket or using guides to bring them through our borders. They are smuggled themselves into this land and taking advantage of our lenient laws. The U.S. courts demand we must care for every need, without ever paying one single penny into the pool.

    Unless the TEA PARTY in the very near future exerts influence on state and federal policies, America will continue to sink like the ill fated HMS Titanic in a financial disaster. Some state voters have got smarter in outing Senators and Congress man across the board, replacing them with moderate Conservatives of the TEA PARTY leadership. Our country has being crippled by additional spending by the Democrats, but what should concern us is influence of the courts, namely the U.S. federal courts. For decades now state taxpayers have been forced to pay the way for illegal alien children, because there is a badly interpreted law, which makes every child of a foreign person the right to citizenship, if they can smuggle mostly unborn babies into our country. Originally it was that slaves after the Civil War could be granted citizenship. Not that any pregnant female could enter the jurisdiction of the United States and claim citizenship for their child? The highest court has never visited this law previously and either of political parties seemingly has ever entertained to vote on an amendment, so that only the children of one valid U.S. citizen have a right to claim citizenship. This is the origin of the DREAM ACT OBAMA EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE LAW, which has been simmering in silence for many decades. The cause and effect of children/ unborn fetuses smuggled across the border or on an international flight.

    Our government does nothing about the birthright tourists, who come here and having delivered their baby here leave the country. Under the present law the child is entitled to a U.S. passport for future use. At a later date the parent or parents return with the child in tow, who is now eligible for a free education, free health and other services? At an even later date the U.S citizen can sponsor the immediate family members and this is yet another immigration issue called CHAIN Migration. This simple method of legal entry draws approximately 8.000 more people to the United States. However other than the birthright tourists as it so called, around 400 thousand pregnant women manage to wangle their way through borders or a port of entry, carrying a human seed in their body undetectable and become a massive financial cost on states and the federal government. The children grow up in America and the parents avail themselves of a child’s welfare payments, which accumulates into billions of dollars a year. This of course is the Origin of Dream Act children, which the illegal parents are entirely to blame and should be held accountable.

    Across the country the majority of states are subject to this law, costing taxpayers’ unknown numbers of dollars annually, within the estimate of 113 billion and constantly rising. The example is the county of Los Angeles as in Year-end closing 2011 figures from the Department of Public Social Services reported that over $646 million in welfare and food stamp benefits were issued to illegal alien parents for their native-born children, announced Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. The $646.2 million consisted of $258 million in CalWORKs (welfare) and $388 million in Food Stamps) — a $21 million increase over the previous year. “With the $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, the total cost for illegal aliens to this one County taxpayer exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year,” said Antonovich. “These costs do not include the hundreds of millions of dollars for education.” Even with these billions of dollars staring in the face of an America drained by the poverty stricken from other countries, the city council has given the go-ahead for driver’s licenses for people who criminally entered America and now collecting free health care, free education for their children and Section 8 cheap housing.

    Illegal aliens are being given our jobs, when there is still suffering from 24 million Americans without work? They smuggle their unborn babies into the country, so that taxpayers are forced to cover their every monetary need? Neither the Democrats nor Republicans will pass the “Legal Workforce Act or the “Birthright Citizenship Bill” to stop either travesty. Join your local TEA PARTY of the rising 41 million Americans or Legal Residents and they will not only get these laws passed, but halt the illegal immigration once and for all. The TEA PARTY is being absorbed into the Republican Party, with the intent to alter the direction that both corrupt parties are taken us? The TEA PARTY “The Peoples Party” can no longer sit by and watch the Democrats spending our hard-earned dollars to support the illegal alien invasion; placing official obstacles to halt energy companies drilling for oil on the “Peoples Lands”

    Closing down coal mines in Virginia, after the companies spending millions of dollars to produce clean coal, while this administration allows gasoline prices to leap upwards. Learn more about the healthy agenda of the TEA PARTY at TEA PARTY.ORG. The only Americans, residents and illegal aliens who are going to collect any bounty under President Obama returning are the “Freeloaders”. The wealth people have accumulated isn’t even going to make a dent on the 16 trillion dollar meltdown, with 4 trillion placed on the backs of all of us. One thing the rich accomplish is risking everything, but in addition creates jobs, hundreds of thousands or millions of good jobs.

    In the eyes of a Liberal Progressives, an 81-year old grandma with a cardboard sign of the TEA PARTY is more lethal than a crazed terrorist zealot with a machete whose sole intent is to murder. The Obama administration will not even call these fanatics “Terrorists” or murderers, even after the Twin Towers massacre of 9/11? If the Global Communist Obama Czars were to grab America they would: Burn all American heritage books; Destroy the red, white and blue; Shred the U.S. Constitution; Defund and disband our military; Eliminate free speech; Takeaway our guns. I hope you get what I am saying here. The world is falling apart because America is falling apart. Islamic terrorists smell the weakness in Obama—and they will take advantage to strike.

    The coming year the new president could face: Crash of the dollar; Wall Street failures; Unemployment hitting astronomical highs; Work force vilification; Nuclear War in the making with Iran. The 37 Liberal communist Czars in the Obama government are determined to rip the heart out of this sovereign nation. He is already distributing Food Stamps to foreign nationals and he has already promised to pass a Comprehensive Immigration package if he wins in November. If that wasn’t enough, with the Sanctuary City in California spending 160 million dollars every two months, according to the Department of Health Services, the Liberals want to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants and migrants. AMERICA’S LAST RESORT IS THE TEA PARTY, BEFORE WE GIVE UP OUR FREEDOMS FOREVER.

    The Tea Party must be a positive force for America. Return decay into growth; Immorality into wholesome traditional values; Sick spiritually into Judeo/Christian values; take away our right to free choice; Political ineptness into conservative government and rid ourselves of “Political Correctness”. I have never condoned violence to change a political nightmare, but the American people are sick and tired of the Liberals destroying our freedoms. It is not beyond anybodies imagination that these political idiots at either state or municipal level, are going to be in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle? If you read the ultra Liberal-Communist-Marxist and extreme socialists Journalist and newsmen in the Huffington post, New York Post, the Los Angeles Times and other corrupted news media so you are being programmed for a new world order, that is part of Obama’s ideology. This President and his Czars were adamant in allowing the United Nations have a specialized world tax to fulfill their agenda, behind our backs.

    I do not know what the American public thinks about Donald Trump and those people classified as “Birthers”. Something is very odd about President Obama’s background, that two plus two doesn’t add up to four? Anybody who believes in the “Rule of Law” and doesn’t want to squander his/her votes on superfluous issues should read about the investigation in Hawaii, Kenya and Indonesia and read about to many fishy irregularities. Personally, I am voting as an Independent, with the emphasis on voting into Congress as many TEA PARTY LEGISLATORS AS I CAN INTO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO CHANGE IT AND GET RID OF ALL THE CORRUPTION IN BOTH PARTIES. Go to TEA PARTY.ORG and collect the true information about the lies mainly coming from the Obama administration. That’s all they have left after the dismal performance in 4 years, lying, as they try to promote a Socialist agenda for another 4 years.

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