ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Demanding to be heard. Hundreds of people rallied in Annapolis Monday night, speaking out against legislation that they say is unfair to immigrants.
Weijia Jiang explains some lawmakers, however, say immigrants are costing you money.
They stormed the state’s capital demanding lawmakers’ attention. Hundreds from the Hispanic community are outraged over several bills they say target immigrants.
“It’s 28 pieces of anti-immigrant legislation very similar to the Arizona legislation right here in our state,” said Gustavo Torres, Casa de Maryland.
Among the most contentious are a bill that would allow police to question immigration status during investigations, one that would require a legal status to get any job and another that would keep track of undocumented school children.
Delegate Pat McDonough introduced 16 of the 28 bills.
“They’re trying to mislead people, telling a big lie,” McDonough said.
McDonough says illegal immigrants cost billions.
“They’re not in favor of civil rights; they’re promoting civil wrongs, promoting the violation of the law at taxpayers’ expense and that is a huge difference,” McDonough said.
Protesters are not only speaking against pending legislation, they’re here to support one bill in particular that has already generated widespread controversy nationwide.
“I have a 3.5 GPA, I have AP classes, I’m still going forward. I’m not giving up,” said high school senior Jaime Rivera.
Students like Rivera urge lawmakers to pass the “Dream Act,” which would allow undocumented high schools to pay in-state tuition rates to attend Maryland universities and colleges. Now, they pay out-of-state rates.
Supporters chanted “Yes, we can,” channeling hope from a previous battle to kill and pass bills they say shape their future.
Lawmakers are expected to vote on the “Dream Act” this week.