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O’Malley Signs Immigrant Tuition Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland will soon allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition. It’s one of hundreds of bills signed into law by the governor.

Pat Warren has more on the support and opposition to the idea.

Governor Martin O’Malley always has the option of doing nothing and allowing a bill to automatically become law. But choosing to sign the Dream Act sends the message that he supports this highly controversial bill.

Immigrant students packed the State House Tuesday to witness the day the state recognized them as residents to allow them to pay cheaper college tuition.

“We’ve been waiting for this moment for the longest time, and it’s finally here,” Lorena Chabarro said.

In the face of a petition drive to put the issue to the voters, O’Malley put his name on the Dream Act.

“This will allow us to have a more highly-educated workforce in our state, which is good for all of us,” O’Malley said.

“I’ve been waiting for this a lot because everybody quits schools because they can’t afford it because international rates are really high, so we were waiting for tuition rates so we could go to college,” said Chabarro. “I can’t wait. I’m really excited.”

But there were some loudly voiced objections.

“The state has to make up that money, and they’re going to make it up on the backs of the people of Maryland,” said Del. Mike McDermott, (R). “There’s no other place for it to come.”

Even as supporters take pictures, a petition drive is underway to force the issue to the ballot in next year’s general election.

“This issue of illegal immigrants getting in-state tuition is bad policy,” said one opponent. “It’s bad for the legal citizens, and I think at a time when education truly is important these individuals need to pursue citizenship then the education and the taxpayers paying for that can be a benefit.”

But for now at least, immigrant students and their supporters are satisfied that they’ve won the day.

The law takes effect in July, unless the petition drive stops it.

Opponents have until May 31 to submit one-third of the 55,700 signatures needed to put the measure on next year’s ballot. The rest are due June 30.

The bill is set to take effect June 30.

More from Pat Warren

One Comment

  1. sheriff says:

    This bill will be repealed just like OMalley’s political career, the wise guy only cares about votes & numbers, nothing about hardships on god fearing tax paying citizens who have to finance this & other give aways.

  2. cris says:

    omalley sucks

  3. Dinger says:

    Where do we sign the petition?

    1. Can't Fix Stupid says:

      Please help us repeal this stupid bill. This may just be the breaking point for Mr. O’Malleys’ career.

    2. guest says:

      sign the petition at

    3. Deanna says:

      I’m with you, where do I sign?

  4. Can't Fix Stupid says:

    Bye! Bye! O’Malley! Take Ramirez with you please!

  5. whatnow says:

    I already signed and mailed my petition. Everyone who is against this needs to get on board and not just talk about it. I saw on the news this morning that Obama is getting read to turn his attention to the imigrant problem because “he needs the hispanic vote”. Word for word, that is what they said. Fight back now or enroll in a spanish class.

  6. Guest2 says:

    What’s he going to do when the petition get the correct number of votes to be put on the ballot and the voters make them repeal this awful bill.. He is an attorney. He knows that the illegals are being given something that they are not entitiled to. When the bill is repealed, perhaps a bill of impeachment for him and disbarment as an attorney? Jan Brewer is all set to go the the Supreme Court over the immigration. What’s he going to do when her bill is declared constitutional?

    1. sheriff says:

      Under constitutional (state) law, OMalley can’t be impeached. The bill can & will be repealed if put to the voters on a ballot referendum. We need to send a message to law makers that we the people not the special interests groups run the state.

    2. Can't Fix Stupid says:

      I really hope she wins! Finally a politician with some! How is Obama Bin Laden supposed to get the Hispanic vote? Are illegals allowed to vote as well?

      1. whatnow says:

        He wants to waive all of the requirements and make all of the illegals legal .

  7. janet spink says:

    i agree with everyone. Why is our government always setting a race profile. No one bill should be about any race. The bill’s and law’s should be for every american. If they are paying taxes in our state it should be automatic for everyone. Not just a certain race. A legal familly in Maryland that pays taxes can’t get the help illegals do. Why is that. Dah?

  8. guest says:

    Fill in your info., print the form, sign it and mail it.

  9. brianczaw says:

    So if I live a half mile across PA line in Delta, PA(and spend alot of money in MD), I have to pay out of state. If I sneak across USA borders and then into MD I can go to collect for in-state tuition. Wow, that makes a lot of sense……

    1. sheriff says:

      Brian, Yep, just as sure as there’s s…..t in a goose.

  10. Billiam says:

    If you don’t like the bill, print and sign the petition. If you don’t care, then don’t complain about how this is affecting you, because if really bothered you, you would sign it and send it in. C’mon people – tell our fearless governor that you have had enough.

  11. Can't Fix Stupid says:

    I just sent in approximately 90 signatures that I’ve collected!

    Obama needs to go along with O’Malley and Ramirez!

  12. What? says:

    There were people on the boardwalk in Ocean City this weekend with petitions for quite a few counties on the western side of the bridge. We signed ours there. They were also wearing No Casa stickers. I thought it was genius of them to be out on SpringFest weekend doing this.

  13. Janet Keith says:

    I don’t quite understand the “educated workforce” statement being used to back up his position. If these are illegals being educated, they are still illegals. Illegals cannot work legally in Maryland (can they?), so exactly how DO they help us? I have signed my petition as well. I wish there were a petition to repeal O’Malley. As usual, the highly educated and intelligent, as well as those with common-sense are still outnumbered in Maryland (it’s quite obvious given that O’Malley is still in office)….. I beg thee intelligent to bear children and educate them …

  14. pigeon says:

    I hope his fingers fall off and he gets a flat tire going home through a “little MEXICO” neighborhood! Let’s see how much they like or even care about him! I know this will not pass censorship, but at least I got to say what I wanted!

  15. Janet Keith says:

    I suppose O’Malley feels that when and if the Dream Act is passed, he will be held in high esteem for having set up illegals to immediately qualify for legal residency…and, in turn, O’Malley will get the Hispanic vote (which is HIGH) for his future plans to run for presidency.

    “Obama did back the Dream Act, legislation that would offer some young illegal immigrants a path to legal residency by going to college or serving the U.S. military, but an attempt to pass the legislation was blocked in Senate during the lame-duck session.”

  16. Steve says:

    This bill clearly changes the political scenery in Maryland. Did any of the people that supported this bill see the polls. 90% AGAINST!! I have to assume they are tried of being in office. **** GET RID OF THEM ALL *****

    1. maryland tax payer says:

      OMG, who do the politicians represent? We need to blame ourselves and sign the petion, we have to keep an eye on these guys forever after.

  17. POOR WHITE TASH says:


  18. ShadowDancer says:

    in another interview:
    We have a constitutional obligation to provide a public education for every child in our state,” the governor wrote. “But we should not allow our nation’s broken immigration system to serve as an excuse to escape our basic, moral obligation to expand opportunity for all Marylanders, provided they graduated from a Maryland high school, pay taxes in our state, and are on a path toward citizenship.”
    Wrong! You have a constitutional obligation for the CITIZENS of the state to receive BASIC tuition. That does not include paying for their college and that does NOT include illegal aliens (they are not immigrants, they are alien invaders and should be treated as such, not coddled.).
    O’Malley may be the first since Agnew to be seen as a criminal in the eyes of the voters.
    Tougher gun laws? Why not just enforce the ridiculously draconian laws you have put in place. Like most people say, you are only protecting the criminals in Maryland by making more and more gun laws. They won’t care about more laws, only the law abiding citizens will.

    1. w. sCHAEFER says:

      NO MORE

  19. Turtle says:

    Haha…this punk ia a CLONE of obama!!! A fake/fraud/liar!!! What about the rights of our OWN people????????? The REAL AMERICANS!!!!!!!!! I’m tired of EVERYTHING being about “certain” racial groups and illegals.The only important things in this country are,blacks and illegals.

    1. Jerry says:

      He don’t give a damn. All he cares about is what makes him look good.

  20. Debbie says:

    The citizens of Maryland will prevail. Sign the petition and overturn this bill

  21. mike says:

    Barack O’Malley and his brother Obama are ruining this state. It is time to get rid of all the including Hoyer and the rest of the Md. yes men on Capitol Hill and quit sucking on the tit of the federal government. It is time for state rights to be practice or they all forgot we have more rights or are we the Peoples Republic of Maryland

  22. ashley says:

    I can’t get a cheap college education, but someone who pays NO taxes can???

  23. Steve says:


  24. Lola says:

    IMPEACH OBALLEY!!!!!!!!!

    1. pigeon says:

      The law doesn’t allow it!

  25. Jeff says:

    I can tell some people didn’t read the article. You have to or your parents have to be paying STATE INCOME TAXES as a requirement. The same is true for anybody in MD. Whatever state you pay income taxes in, is where you get in-state tuition. The whole tax thing shouldn’t be part of the issue. The issue is whether or not illegal citizens should have access to our public colleges even though they are not citizens. That’s the real debate and everyone is entitled to their opinion on it. The tax comments don’t apply as they have to pay State income tax to qualify. The same tax that allows us to get in-state tuition. The real issue is whether we have a moral obligation to educate people here illegally. Most people in this country originated from immigrants looking for a better life back in the day. Put yourself in their shoes.

    1. whatnow says:

      Maybe you need to do some re-reading yourself Jeff. It doesn’t say the students had to pay taxes, its say a parent or LEGAL GUARDIAN. You got people marrying illegals to get them a green card for money, how much money do you think it would take for someone to be an illegal’s Legal Guardian. Then they get the in-state break. Yes, we all hail from immigrants. Immigrants who came through Ellis Island legally. Not criminals who slide across the border. Besides, this country is full. Do you know what the unemployment rate is? Where are we supposed to but these MILLIONS that are coming every year????

      1. Rene says:

        You can’t get a green card though marriage this easy, this is a punch line myth. There are 3-5 year delays and up to 4 years of minimal wage as bond. I am a legal immigrant and i know the forms and did them all legally.

    2. Can't Fix Stupid says:

      I would like to know how someone who is illegal is supposed to pay taxes with no Social Security number. Do they go to the tax office and just hand them money? That’s is yet another line of B. S. that this bill has incorporated.

    3. gobnait says:

      No Jeff, put yourself in the shoes of the US citizen students who are priced out of an education now available to ILLEGALS. Put yourself in the shoes of people like my husband and his large family who emigrated LEGALLY to our country and eventually became proud American citizens. What sage exhortation do you have for them to assuage their outrage at the inequity of it all?

  26. sheriff says:

    Jeff, Listen up Sonny Boy, Figures don’t lie but liars always figure. Thry declare maybe 10K & make 40k under the table for starters. Get out of denial ok?

  27. tld62 says:

    Why is this titled “O’Malley Signs Immigrant Tuition Bill????” Please STOP mischaracterizing what this really is… ILLEGAL alien tuition bill. Whether here by their choice or not these students are here illegally. We have truly become a sanctuary state. Bring on the referendum!

    1. pigeon says:

      You are wrong. We have truly become a sanctuary country!
      As far as I can remember there is really only one state in our country that is doing everything they possibly can to stop the illegal people from getting much of anything.
      The rest of the states and their governments forgot the meaning of ILLEGAL.

  28. vicki says:

    Key work: “ILLEGAL”!!!!! The word says it all

    1. pigeon says:

      They know the word, not the meaning.

  29. vicki says:

    sorry for my typo: “word”

  30. cw says:

    If I don’t pay taxes, the government (whether it be state or federal) considers me a criminal. If they are illegals, how can they be contributing to our tax system. The government doesn’t want middle class AMERICANS to ask any questions about tax dollar distributions. It is much easier to strongarm tax paying AMERICANS than to deal with non-taxpaying CRIMINALS. 10 cookies in the jar, 15 hands in it. When will enough be enough!!!!!

  31. Laurel says:

    disgusting….we need laws againist these illegals not open our arms and schools to them….how sad is the United States of America becoming.

  32. Billiam says:

    To the citizens of MD against this bill – please do what is in OUR best interest and sign the petition – it simply is illegal immigrants getting a freebie. Just because O’Malley says we’ll have a more highly educated workforce – who is he kidding? I guarantee you a tiny percentage of those trying to get the in-state tuition rate will take advantage. Maryland – this is your chance to show those incompetent fools who are supposed to “represent your interest” that this was a huge mistake. I say it was a huge mistake because I believe it will be defeated in November.

    1. maryland tax payer says:

      people for the dream act should sign the petition too, they are really going to regret their choice in a year or so.

  33. SignedPetition says:

    This is absurd. At this rate we might as well just make no laws against immigration…

  34. Jonathan Chiles says:

    Did anyone on this comment forum agree or in favor of this bill. I didn’t see a single one. It is amazing to see how the vast majority is against this, and yet it was still passed. I love this state, hate who runs it.

    1. Billiam says:

      Jon – who’s to say that O’Malley wanted all along, and maybe in the back of his mind, he knows if it comes to referendum it will be overturned. But he’ll look great because him and the rest of his cronies voted for it and signed it into law. It passed because the Dumbocrats made sure it passed – so now it’s up to the citizens of MD to make sure it gets on the referendum for November so it can be overturned.

      1. overtaxed says:

        Thats what makes him the “Teflon Leprechaun”

  35. Marc says:

    These United States of America is a nation of immigrants. My America still has its doors open to those who wish to integrate into our society and add to our strength by providing the passion and ingenuity that has made this country great. I know many people who have worked hard to get their citizenship, green card, or work visa. They have waded through the red tape and fought up hill to get here the right way, the legal way.

    Too condone and reward illegal behavior sends the wrong message to the rest of the citizens of our state and nation. I understand and respect that people want so badly to come to our country to provide their families with a better life. However, their first action in this nation to be an illegal one, is wrong. Though far from perfect we do have a way for people to immigrate to the United States, if it is their wish to truly be a part of our society then they must do it the right way.

    By, Marc Lester of

    1. pigeon says:

      And with other immigrants, did the US set up a “second language” for all the Polish, Italian, Jewish/Hebrew, Greek, German, Irish? Hell no. Now when you make a call to a company or other “institution” you have to let them know which language, English or Spanish, you wish to converse in. All the other immigrants learned to speak English, so should all the Spanish speaking people (the legal and illegal ones). This is America, not Mexico or any other Central America or other Spanish speaking country; SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!

  36. PAUL E. MICELLI says:


  37. Sandra Kendall says:

    Another one of O’Malleys brain farts.

  38. Jerry says:

    i just posted a comment and for some reason it was blocked. What happened to freebom of speech?

    1. Jerry says:

      Just called OweMalley a noncaring a**hole, and that he should be kicked out of office.(but used the full words)

      1. pigeon says:

        Well, you were correct in your terminology, but next time try using “the north end of a south bound mule”. Works better and actually gets others to “think about it”.

    2. Can't Fix Stupid says:

      CBS love censorship!

  39. I want free stuff says:

    O’malley owns more slave’s than Thomas Jefferson…. How is this even legal? Who keeps voting for these morons

  40. I want free stuff says:

    This is a disgrace to the American legal system. So they raise alcohol tax, and soon the gas tax of 10cents per galloan. Next year property tax and income tax just so little Jose and Consuela can get their college education. Wait till I see some illegals out working tommorow….

  41. annonuser says:

    Based on the attrocious violation of grammactical rules, most of the posters should avail themselves of the in state tuition and go get some of that education. Once educated come back and make posts that have credibility.

    1. Billiam says:

      Really? Really? Shouldn’t that be grammatical? When YOU have viable credibility, come back and join the rest of us who are concerned about the issue and not your pompous attitude. Do us one more favor and stay anonymous.

  42. Ruth S. says:

    What a joke! Hope there’s money left in a year when my daughter starts college. Oh, wait! That won’t happen because we are hard-working, middle class LEGAL U.S. citizens that make “too much money” to qualify for anything! You are a piece of work, Mr. O’Malley!

  43. Mark says:

    if they past this bill into law, than they should make it one price for everyone. Everyone get in state tuition or no one gets it. Fair is fair. I was bread and born here a long time ago and the fourth generation here. My family did it right and did all the right paper work to be legal, why can’t they do the right thing and become legal too first.

  44. mandy says:

    Did O’malley ask the REAL U.S. CITIZENS what they think about this bill I think not.
    The ones who made vote this bill in should all be lock up in jail they breake the law. Illegals means illegals should be out of the U.S.A. & ship them back to theres they do not belong here. Thank alot DEM’s for haveing O’malley & others back in office.

  45. blustarrising says:

    The man has nerve considering he is directly responsible for thousands of layoffs and and widespread unemployment. As for higher education and waving that flag in the faces of voters? Two things are made very clear that he has turned his back on. One, many of those now unemployed due to his poor leadership still have outstanding loans agains’t them because they went for higher education. And two, it’s very clear he’s never taken the time to visit a convience store, or fast food place to find he was being waited on by a person hafeway through their advanced schooling to become a teacher or nurse or whatever dream they had but could nolonger survive and afford it in his state of reckless spending and pet projects. Thanks for another step towards the insanity and struggles that California now faces due to poor government.

  46. Crabby says:

    Seriously, who keeps voting for O’Malley? Are people just now realizing what an idiot he is? There are plenty of people that come to the US LEGALLY from overseas and have their schooling paid is called a scholarship.

  47. A says:

    i don’t get how the illegal immigrants can live off our tax dollars.. not want to be a citizen and not feel guilty for it.. i could never take advantage of people like that

  48. Poor judgement says:

    Este es terible. The legal residents and citizens of this state will be paying for this discounted tuition for the illegals. Let alone that these students will be competing for the same slots for programs within the colleges and universities…

  49. Vale says:

    I’ll sign the petition. As well as all my family. And I sent this total absurd to all friends. The state is in debt, people are sitting on furloughs already for the 3rd year, resources in UMD System are cut, they are talking about raising the tuition for LEGALS. And WE have to pay for ILLEGALS! I’m just speechless!

  50. shawn says:

    If I knew this would have been our future outcome. I would have not voted for you O”Malley. Always pray before you make decisions obvisouly you did not.

  51. GP says:

    Illegal Immigrants do not deserve ANYTHING!!!
    They are here ILLEGALLY!!
    You give to everyone who should not get it and they rest of us pay for it.
    Kick out illegals, and send Omalley with them, we dont need him.

    1. pigeon says:

      Now tell the same thing to those who supposedly are representing you in DC. They listen just as well as the people in Annapolis.

  52. frugalmdmom says:

    I wonder how many illegal immigrants were at the bill signing. I bet they could have rounded up few and hauled them away.

    1. maryland tax payer says:

      there were hundreds, this was not made public knowledge to legal citizens, this was done through victor ramrez, new hispanis senator along with CASA de Maryland, acronym for Central American Solidarity Association.

  53. d says:


  54. Rose Prevost says:

    How can they “join the workforce” when, by being illegal, they can’t legally work here?

  55. Md Dad says:

    WOW!!! Some people have short memories. Wasn’t it back when (…gag) was running for re-election that he was using the term “new Americans”. That told everybody right then and there what he was all about. So now everybody that voted him back in are so surprised that he could do such a thing. He stunk for Md. back then, and he will keep on stinking for Md. in the future.

  56. thebronze says:

    Enough is Enough ! Take Your Country Back
    Sign the petition
    Make yourselves heard in any way possible !

  57. GranDelusion says:

    The illegal immigrant problem in this country is out of hand and just getting worse. Way to go O’Malley for encouraging more illegal activity! There are so many legal residents who can’t even afford the in-state tuition for college. Rather than aid the illegal residents, the money should go to assist the legal residents who want and deserve higher education. It is a slap in the face to the immigrants who followed the rules and went through proper channels in order to be here legally. And for those here legally and illegally – learn to speak English! Why is almost everything now printed in English and Spanish? Spanish is NOT our native language. I was in the store the other day looking for a blender and half the boxes were faced outward all in Spanish! I had to turn the boxes in order to find the English side. This is happening everywhere and it’s sickening. From the coupons in the Sunday paper to the directions on the back of a box of cake mix – it’s half English, half Spanish. I’m tired of having to jump around on a page, etc. just to try to find where it continues in English. I’m ready to boycott those companies who insist on packaging their products meant for U.S. consumers bilingually. We all need to take action (more than posting on a website). Go to and download the petition to stop the immigrant tuition bill today! Go through your neighborhood and collect signatures; take it to work – help stop traitor O’Malley’s bill NOW!!!

  58. concerned says:

    When are the people in our state and our country going to finally wake up and stop voting fools like O’Malley into office in the first place !
    If companies and individuals would stop hiring people who are here illegally we
    wouldn’t have the unemployment problems we have now and the prices of every including health care would be much lower that it is now !
    Anyone hiring illegals should loose there home or business(were ever they employ them at) and they should get mandatory jail time not fines, fines don’t work at least it hasn’t as of yet .
    This would make a great place to start, then we could start term limits for ALL elected officials country wide !!!!!!!!!

    1. cappy says:

      this is a state run by scubagsget them allout

  59. Lynn says:

    Only in America would we deny our
    own children an education and help illegals
    get one

    The people in this state need to do
    something about this bill and get it

  60. lynn says:

    and then get O’Malley out of office

  61. lynn says:

    where do I sign?

  62. josye says:


    1. josye says:

      Correction: Hippies FOUGHT against the goverment for their beliefs. Sorry folks – so mad at our government and what they are doing to us american people.

  63. pnyrpbcan says:

    California will now cut paste your words and edit out Maryland and call it Dream Akt.

  64. no relief says:

    What is missing from this article…the word, “ILLEGAL” is missing. Legal immigrant students on student visas still pay out of state tuition. How fair is that? Do it the legal way, and be punished. The arrogance of our elected officials in Annapolis is absolutely stunning.
    And what does O’Malley mean by “educated workforce?” Last time I checked, it is illegal to hire illegal immigrants. That is where the word, “illegal” comes from.
    Is there ANYONE who is a regular citizen who supports this legislation?

    1. maryland tax payer says:

      That is crazy, the ones that actually follow the law are second class. Insane.

  65. maryland tax payer says:

    What a mess this guy omally made that we the legal citizens have to clean up. Sign the petition!

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