Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Voters will decide whether illegal immigrants can receive in-state tuition breaks in Maryland. There’s new reaction after opponents of the measure forced it onto the ballot.
Gigi Barnett explains each side is preparing to sway voters.
After months of State House rallies and thousands of names on a petition drive, the battle for or against the Dream Act continues– on the radio.
It’s one of the hottest topics in the state. The Dream Act would give in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Now, 16 months before the referendum, both sides are already working to sway voters.
“We’re going to win that election. And we’re going to win a lot of other things coming up in the future,” said Del. Pat McDonough on his Talk 680 WCBM radio show.
McDonough voted against the Dream Act. Now he’s taking to the airwaves to do what he calls informing voters.
“I don’t care how much misinformation, big lies they put out,” McDonough said. “The people in this state are going to vote against the Dream Act in November.”
“We’re launching a campaign as well,” said Charly Carter.
Carter works at Progressive Maryland, which represents the illegal immigrants. She says although the petition attracted thousands of voters, there are many more who support the Dream Act.
Some “56,000 people signed, but there are millions of people that didn’t,” she said. “They’ll believe that it’s an issue of fairness.”
About 56,000 signatures were needed to place the Dream Act on a referendum. State election officials received more than double the number of required names.
Although the state says the required number of signatures is valid, there could still be some legal challenges to the petition.
The petition against the Dream Act is the first time in almost 20 years that voters have put a law to a statewide referendum.