BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s one of the most controversial issues in Maryland. Now opponents of the Dream Act fire the latest shot in the battle.

Political Reporter Pat Warren has the latest on this heated controversy.

Organizers of the petition drive to put in-state tuition for undocumented students on the November ballot in next year’s election say a lawsuit filed on behalf of Casa de Maryland should not be allowed to derail the referendum.

While thousands of Marylanders sign on to put tuition breaks for illegal immigrants to a vote…

“I can’t see why we should be supporting them when we’re having such financial difficulties anyways,” said one Maryland resident.

“The law’s the law,” agreed another.

Supporters of the Dream Act go to court to stop it from appearing on the ballot.

“This is not the type of law that that can be referred to a referendum because it provides funding for a state program,” said Joe Sandler, Casa de Maryland attorney.

Casa de Maryland is asking a judge to declare the petition invalid claiming the Dream Act is immune from referendum because voters don’t get to override state funding.

It’s a similar argument before the same judge who ruled against a slots referendum in Anne Arundel County. That slots ruling was overturned and the question went on the ballot, but there’s been no written opinion from the Court of Appeals.

Dream Act opponents consider that a foul on the play.

“Because of both of these things this lawsuit must stand still until there’s a new judge and a written opinion,” said Maryland Del. Pat McDonough.

Casa de Maryland tells WJZ, attacking a judge may be an easy way for a politician to get his name in the paper, but most Americans prefer that their legislators dedicate their time to resolving the critical issues facing our communities.

On the campus of Baltimore County Community College, WJZ found students largely in favor of the Dream Act.

“I’m completely in support of anyone being able to come as long as they’re a resident having in-state tuition,” said Megan Flanigan, a student at Baltimore County Community College.

But opponents are confident that there are enough votes out there to kill the whole thing, if given a chance.

“This case cannot move forward as long as the opinion on petitions does not come out of the Court of Appeals,” Del. McDonough said. “It’s like saying we want to go play a football game today and we want to play without the football. It won’t work.”

The Maryland Attorney General is defending the State Board of Elections against the lawsuit and a spokesperson for that office says it will wait on the court’s good time to get that written opinion.

Unless the petitions are thrown out by the courts, the Dream Act will appear on the November 2012 ballot.

Comments (54)
  1. Debbie says:

    Gee when they are all gathered in one place get a bus and DEPORT them not reward them. They don’t want a vote because they know what the outcome of that wil be as I am sure the elected officials also know what the outcome will be if they support this.

  2. MD CITIZEN says:

    Quote: “This is not the type of law that that can be referred to a referendum because it provides funding for a state program,” said Joe Sandler, Casa de Maryland attorney.

    I do not agree that this is true, but for sake of argument==who will actually be funding this program?? THE TAX PAYING CITIZENS OF MARYLAND! So, let the citizens vote on it…

  3. David says:

    If you vote to support teh Dream ACT then you agree that:
    Its ok that taxes are used to feed the children of illegals but citizen are unable to use those same services to also feed their starving children of american citizens. You get fired and the i illegal takes your job and now they take food away from you americans also.


  4. Sherry says:

    Where do people think that “State Funding” comes from? The taxpayer of course. And to suggest that after a few bureaucracts that are interested in their own “career” politican jobs without any regard to public opinion. What a sad state of affairs.

    We are surely becoming a “welfare” state where the government has the most control. Next, “illegal” will be defined in the dictionary as “law abiding citizens just trying to better themselves” while many Americans are out of work, without health care. Also many of these people don’t either bother to ASSIMILATE and expect us to provide them interperters. Who are the slaves now?

  5. JIM DECK says:

    I think americans should learn the mexcian language. the mexcian people deserve to come to the U.S.A. and not pay taxes , and get jobs and be able to get health care. There kids should even have free college. I’am serious, This is America, Mexcian keep fighting the marylanders will cave in , they are not only weak, but do not stick together,,, brother mexcians you got it made

  6. sad says:

    “Casa de Maryland”…what a load of BS. They don’t want citizens to vote, they want to take away our right to democracy now. What they really want is “Casa de Illegals” taken from YOU, the rightful owner of the “Casa.”
    Why take our money and give it to illegals? These illegals have already gotten free public school, and often other freebies at our expense. They also cause a disproportionate number of car crashes (drunk and incompetent).

  7. JIM DECK says:

    i think the mexcans are really , really good people and we as americans should learn the mexcian languange. We also as americans should help the mexcian people find jobs, and if they can’t work at least send there kids to college. i see nothing wrong with helping mexcians we should , and we owe them a education, , and if need be we should scarfice our job and give it to a mexcian

  8. R says:

    Hope we all remember the Delegates that voted for this and get them out of office. It was also interesting how our County Exect. wanted to raise property taxes the same week or so that our stupid Legislators passed this bill.

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