Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Dream Act supporters step up their campaign to gain voter approval of an immigrant tuition law.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports the campaign is targeting black voters.
Question 4 asks voters to allow students in the country illegally to go to college at the same in-state rates legal residents pay.
At recent media events, Dream Act supporters have put African immigrants forward, although the majority of students who would benefit in Maryland are Hispanic.
“I’m from Kenya,” one supporter said.
“I’m from Ivory Coast,” said another.
It’s a direct appeal to African-American voters.
“I think it’s hypocritical for us to want African-American children to do extremely well and not want others to do well,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings.
A national organization calling for immigration reform is running an ad focusing on the immigrant population and unemployment rates of black citizens.
“What I don’t understand is why our leaders are going to admit another million immigrant workers next year to take jobs when 3 million black Americans can’t find work,” a NumbersUSA ad says. “Do our leaders really believe black Americans don’t want to work?”
The Dream Act is an O’Malley administration initiative.
“Vote for Question 4, and keep public education a top priority for everyone in Maryland,” another ad says.
Passed by the General Assembly and signed into law, it met the opposition of tens of thousands of Maryland voters who signed a petition to put it on the ballot.
“I don’t support the governor turning Maryland into a Disneyland for illegal aliens,” said Del. Pat McDonough.
Now the task of the dreamers is to win voter approval.
“I think what happens too often is folks climb up the ladder of life, and getting into the United States and getting into this land of opportunity and then some folks want to pull the ladder up and burn it,” Cummings said.
In addition to the Dream Act, campaigns for same-sex marriage and expanded gambling are also looking for African-American support.
Early voting starts Oct. 27.