ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) –Many gathered at the state capital Thursday to debate whether immigrants who are in the country illegally should be granted in-state college tuition rates.

Suzanne Collins reports that bill received preliminary approval.

In the House gallery, more than a dozen people from places like El Salvador and Mexico wore shirts that said, “I am Maryland. Youth Can Dream.”

Lawmakers are debating whether illegal immigrants should be granted lower tuition rates, just like in-state Maryland residents.

“I’m in 9th grade. I want to be a math teacher, and I have to go to college to make that happen, you know?” said one student.

Opponents aggressively questioned advocates of the bill.

“This bill is designed to support people who have come here to game the system,” said one lawmaker.

The bill requires illegal immigrants who want in-state tuition to promise to get U.S. citizenship. They must have attended a Maryland high school for three years. Their guardian or parent must have paid Maryland taxes.

Advocates say citizens already invested in these kids’ secondary education and Maryland’s workforce will benefit if they get a college degree.

“Many of us believe that this should be a priority and that we are investing in our future by passing this bill,” said one  lawmaker.

“I understand that many of us don’t believe we should offer inducements to people to break our laws either,” said another lawmaker.

The next question is if they get work skills, can they work?

“My understanding is that someone not here legally, cannot legally work in the United States,” said one lawmaker.

“This is my dream, and I want to go to college. If they do not pass it, I still can’t afford it,” said a student.

There is a lawsuit against Montgomery County College for already allowing illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition. Opponents of the bill say lawsuits like that will continue to grow and the cost to taxpayers will increase.

“The 11 states that have adopted a similar bill, eight of them are in the process of either revoking or going through court,” said another lawmaker.

No amendments were accepted before it preliminarily passed.

There will be a final vote on the bill in the House. It already passed the Senate and the governor says he will sign it.

Comments (35)
  1. pigeon says:

    No matter how you look at it – it is NOT FAIR to either instate or out-of-state students! Damn, listen to and heed what the people have to say and how they feel about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are doing nothing but thumbing your noses at the very people who put you in office to take care of things and make it right for EVERYONE.

  2. Debbie says:

    The vast MAJORITY of LEGAL citizens do not approve of this bill and that is who you represent., They are not in-state or out-of state they are out -of – COUNTRY

  3. Citizen says:

    Why not just make them become legal in the first place rather than add all of these amendments?

    1. sven says:

      Best POINT made on this board. Fix the naturalization process. Then we’d increase our tax base and give Washington more money to squander.

      People are not illegal, but there are an awful lot of ignorant, bigoted unompassionate posters on this subject.

      I bet all your ignorant grandparents were the same one who treated my immigrant grandfather like an animal when he first entered this country.

  4. PAUL E. MICELLI says:


    1. sven says:

      Do you know what that word means?

  5. MDTaxesSuq says:

    more taxes spent on the idiot liberal agenda. i can’t wait for 2012 to vote you clowns out of the capital and back to the circus.

  6. FuzzyDog says:

    Vote the arrogant senseless pawns OUT OF OFFICE. Become one of the working class with social security and NO POLITICAL RETIREMENT BENES>

  7. VOTE-EM-OUT says:

    what we need to do is first find who sponsored it and then the idiots that voted for it and make sure THEY DO NOT GET RE-ELECTED. These are probably hard working good people BUT they are illegal. My kid was born in Md maintains 4.0 avg and the legislation voted against the $3000 a year Hope scholarship for people like her because “Md can not afford it” VOTE THEM OUT OR DONT MENTION IT. PUT YOUR VOTES WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS

  8. Mandy says:

    Illegal should not get anything free from the gov. or officials they did not come here the right way. If they do it the right way they need speak good english, work, pay taxs, know our laws, & so on for them to get anything from them but it got to be so many years for paying tax & work. This one & many reasons why there is on money here or in the gov. & they just helping them to be here but can not help us the born & rise citizens the real hard working & tax paying people.

  9. tony says:

    I have a 17 year old who wants to follow his mom and be a computer engineer. WE both work to provide for him anf live the AMERICAN DREAM. Now the people we put in office is going to destroy that dream and give it to a family that broke our laws and want to be put on the forfront. Election day people, election day. I wonder how many illegals they could have rounded up in Annapolis.

  10. chris says:

    what part of illegal we dont get.

  11. Baltimorebob says:

    WELL THEY ARE A BUNCH OF ASSSSS TO VOTE THIS IN I SAY KICK THEM ALL OUT OF USA AND IF THEY WANT TO BE HEAR DO IT THE RIGHT WAY ALL U FU####people that vote four this you should be kick out to u all are a bunch off taco eating mex bottom line get the hell out

  12. MAD says:

    If they are here illegally, why are we doing anything for them? If their parents have paid MD taxes??? If they are illegal, I doubt it. Send them back make them become a citizen the right way. What does border patrol do when they catch illegals??? Oh, just like politicians they turn their heads. Unfortunatley we can’t trust any POLITICIAN in office.

  13. Doug says:

    Here illegally and you want to give them
    LOWER tuition rates,While I pay full price.

    A Revolution coming.

  14. Baltimorebob says:

    I say hell yeh there is going to be a mass riot if they give these people free stuff how about we all join togther and be in dc monday to show them that the us citz have had enough my tax$$$$ going to these people I say lock and load

  15. Doug says:

    LOOK at them.
    Damn. I can’t afford to eat like that.
    Of course , I’ve always payed my own way and must watch my wallet.
    Food is very expensive.
    They eat that well ,and you want to give them a break on tuition???

  16. Debbie says:

    How about some investigative reporting into why our leaders are supporting something that the public is against in vast majorities. Put them on the news, ask them questions and let the voting public see who to vote against in the next election.

  17. Mike says:

    Josee go home ! Back to fix your own corrupt country. Stop the had outs to illegals .

  18. Mike S. says:

    Illegal immigrants. The first word is illegal. I am not a politician, so I might not have the same level of intelligence they have, but it is hard for me to understand why someone who is committing a crime should be rewarded. Most people who commit crimes are arrested and charged with said crime. Why in Maryland is this different?

  19. Al says:

    This is wrong in so many ways. How can you even suggest rewarding someone for breakingthe law? If they are at the hearing stating they are in the country illegally or the sons and daughters of people in the country illegally they should be arrested and deported. No other country would allow this! Except maybe France.

  20. Coraetta says:

    We have our chrildren to think about we work,deal with the laws and we still get sh — on. thanks Mike S , you said it best they are not legal and yes people they are committing a crime and our gov. wants to give them a reward,I will never understand .

  21. WT... says:

    My daughter wants to be a math teacher too. Guess the illegals who are here will get in before she does. I work, pay taxes and will not qaulify for financial aid, so I will have to work twojobs to put her through college while the ILLEGALS get breaks and will probably get financial aid too or scholarships because they are minority.

  22. Baltimorebob says:

    Throw out all that vote four this bill and send them with all the other people that dint belong hear or better yet put them in the war at there own cost give them the right to fight to be hear and bring our boys home the hell with all that are not U S A CITZ

    1. LMFAO says:

      Dude you need Rosetta Stone or a high school education.

  23. Billiam says:

    How can you not vote for illegals who look so smart in the photo??? (I said that with a note of sarcasm). Those kids don’t want to be there – they are only there for the dog and pony show called our liberal state government. What a surprise O’Malley would vote for it!!! The new Americans he wants to call them; sure, don’t call them illegals. One more thing – we can say all we want about voting these officials out of office, but until the Democrat following makes a conscious decision to stop taking handouts and stop giving handouts to people to buy the vote, it will never happen.

  24. Tcc1Usa says:

    now don’t miss a thing I’m sure there is more we can give to the very people that don’t even belong here. I guess getting welfare and our Social Security just isn’t enough????? I have something for them too and it’s free a 9mm cap up their a$$. Hey, I have a novel idea let’s give America back to the American’s that made this country great. Bet, if we went to their country we would be greeted with open arms and they would want to give us a jail cell. Send them back to where they belong. If they want to live here there is a process they can go through just like my grand parents did.

  25. Tcc1Usa says:

    P.S. another opportunity to arrest illegals and deport them. hey Dems., try taking your head out of your butts.

  26. TJN72 says:

    Nothing is going to change come election day.
    The vast majority of the people who voted for this bunch . Does not go to college or finished high school for that fact

  27. mike says:

    why are we even having this thought???????????

  28. What? says:

    Nice to see you fixed “Al Salvador”, and took my post off pointing out your error.

  29. Robin Newnam says:

    I agree with everything that is said here. I also have a Senior daughter in High School who has worked hard to earn the opportunity to go to college. Unfortunately my husband and I both work so she gets no financial aid while my husband and I will work two jobs to send her to college. I have lived in Maryland my whole life and have been a Democrat for 30 years. I agree that it is obvious that the Democrats are only interested in buyinh votes from illegals and thus abandoning thieir own citizens and taxpayers. I for one have decided that it is time to look to the future and vote out as many Democrats who are for “illegal amnesty” as I can and I don’t caer who I vote for as long as they remember that their first responsibilty is to their own constituents. There are so many Maryland students who are citizens of this country. Our children should and must count first. And no I did not vote for O’Malley or Mikulski or any of the “let’s buy us some votes” Democrats in the last election/ I don’t know who will be crazy enough to vote for any of them again. SO as one Democrat to the rest of my fellow Democrats, it’s time to clean house and consider the other candidate whether they are Republican, Independent, or anything else.

  30. Cathy says:

    Without sounding racial in this I am getting so tired of all the non,white americans
    getting everything,First you have the blacks AKA AFRICAN-AMERICAN,jesus either you are american or not, if they do not get what they want they yell because I am black then the naacp gets into it,now the illegals want to get social security and schooling.Now aia have worked very hard all my life to get what I have,and there are families that would love for their kids to go to college but cant afford it, It u=is not bad enough that there are no jobs out there,no why? because the companies are hiring these illegals and min wage and no benefits,so the people that have experience and worked all there life in the us cannot get a decent job.

  31. Doug says:

    Who scrolls this far down to read comments ?
    Hmmm ?

  32. get real says:

    They should of deported every last illegal that was in the state house yesterday.. Stop wasting our taxs dollars and time and do something productive in office

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