Sponsored by a group of Maryland’s most liberal legislators, Senate Bill 167 allows illegal immigrants who graduated from the state’s schools to enjoy in-state tuition rates at the state’s community colleges. It is estimated the bill could cost state taxpayers upward of $3 million per year by 2016, although those who drew up the bill’s fiscal note conceded they couldn’t accurately gauge the impact.
In 2009, after a bill allowing speed cameras in work and school zones was passed, organizers of a petition drive to send that bill to voters in 2010 fell just short at the 1/3 threshold. The last time a petition succeeded in making the ballot was 1991, while one has to go back nearly forty years to find the last time a ballot initiative succeeded in overturning legislation. So petition organizers knew history was against them.
So you can imagine the shock that Annapolis liberals received when Parrott and his local petition organizers announced last week they were turning in 62,496 signatures at the May 31 milepost. While supporters of the Senate bill like the immigrant advocacy group CASA de Maryland are publicly holding their cards close to their chest, it’s likely they will turn to the courts if the petition drive succeeds in getting the signatures required. In the meantime, they’re attempting to impede progress any way they can.
Here's a first-hand account of the attempt to disuade people from signing the petition in Rockville, MD, a suburb of Washingtond, DC.
Special thanks to the volunteers from Montgomery, Baltimore and Harford Counties that spent time collecting signatures at the Rockville Hometown Holidays event today. Hundreds of Democrats and Republicans signed the petitions today to stop in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.I know that in my neck of the woods, a heavily Jewish suburb of Baltimore, calle Pikesville (no jokes please, I've heard them all), the above peice of legislation is VERY unpopular. Many parents here are having real trouble affording college tuition in the first place, and are very angry that the bill passed at all. I think that if this measure makes it onto the ballot in 2012's general election it will pass, much to the consternation of our very liberal state legislative leaders.
How do we know we are winning growing public support on this important issue? A few days ago the head of CASA of Maryland, Gustavo Torres, was quoted in the press that the petition drive would fail and therefore was not a worry to his group and the illegal alien community.
Today that changed!
One of Torres’ top drones, the taxpayer subsidized Kim Propeack, Community Organizer of some sort, came by our tent today and actually tried to force herself between petition signers and our volunteers!
Propeack screamed that we were ‘Immigrant Bashing” and called the MD Petitioner volunteers “Haters”! One of our volunteers Shakil, a first generation immigrant from Bangledesh (his parents are legal immigrants!) was extremely offended by the vile words used by CASA of Maryland.
Fortunately our cool headed volunteers ignored Propeack and continued about their business of collecting signatures from concerned citizens.
Also snooping in the background was Delegate Luis Simmons (D- Mntgomery County). Simmons did not try to stop citizens from signing petitions like CASA’s Propeack, but he was certainly putting the “evil eye” on our volunteers. Simmons was an early supporter of in-state tuition as well as many other taxpayer funded programs for Hispanic illegal immigrants. [Simmons was one of those who got the sweetheart bond bill to benefit Identity, Inc and apparently two of its board members, here.]
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