Maryland Dream Act passed by voters

Businesses left exposed by immigration actionMaryland residents on Election Day voted in favor of offering state-run financial aid and in-state tuition rates to qualifying undocumented students.  Thanks to the passing of the Maryland Dream Act, the state will now join 13 others that also have tuition equity programs for undocumented students, according to a Ted Hesson article on ABC News.

The Maryland Dream Act means that thousands of students will now be able to gain access to higher education.  In order to qualify, students have to have attended a minimum of three years of high school in the state and must be able to prove that taxes are paid by their parents.

An unofficial announcement was made by the Maryland Board of Elections following the counting of tallies by 96% of precincts.  The results demonstrate that 58.3% of voters supported the bill, with 41.1% voting against it.

While the legislation is named after the federal DREAM Act, it is far more limited in terms of what it is actually able to offer.  The Maryland Dream Act cannot promise US citizenship in any way, unlike the federal DREAM Act, which could have offered a pathway to citizenship for a number of undocumented immigrants.

Following the Maryland success, around 200 immigration advocates moved to the White House in order to show their support for comprehensive immigration reform in the US, hoping to revitalize the national debate about immigration following the assistance given by Latino voters to President Barack Obama in his re-election.