Stand against anti-immigrant racism!
Education is a right for all!
Support the Maryland DREAM Act
Pledge to vote “YES” to defend the DREAM Act
Join the campaign to demand:
1) An end to the demonization of undocumented workers and their children
2) All high school students, regardless of immigration status, should be treated equally and fairly, and be granted in-state tuition
3) Support the Maryland DREAM Act! Pledge to vote “YES” to the defend the DREAM Act on Nov. 6, 2012
Your support will help build a movement to challenge the racist right wing’s plans. Take a stand for justice and against racism.
What is the Maryland DREAM Act?
The Maryland DREAM Act passed the Maryland legislature in April 2011 and was signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley the next month.
This law would allow undocumented high school students who have attended high school in Maryland to apply for in-state tuition if they are accepted to a public college in Maryland and meet other criteria – they need to have attended high school in Maryland for at least three years, and have parents who paid Maryland taxes during this period.
This progressive law would make college affordable and thus attainable for a generation of young immigrants.
Right-wing, racist challenge
Racist Tea Party forces and other right-wing, anti-immigrant groups are trying to overturn this new law, and make college out of reach for undocumented students.
Petitioners succeeded in collecting enough valid signatures to place a referendum on the ballot in the November 2012 elections. This means that the racist forces behind this referendum have succeeded in delaying the enactment of the law. The referendum asks voters to approve or disapprove of the law. A “yes” vote is a vote to approve the law. Unless the majority of people vote “yes,” this law will never be enacted.
Maryland students, teachers and an immigrant advocacy group have filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of the signatures and the Constitutional validity of the referendum. If the courts rule in favor of this lawsuit, the referendum will not appear on the ballot and the Maryland DRAEM Act will be enacted – but if the lawsuit does not succeed, the referendum will be on the ballot.
Why should all working people support the Maryland DREAM Act?
The irony is that if one were to ask Marylanders whether they support in-state tuition for high school students who are residents of Maryland, and who are accepted to a public college, the answer would be a resounding, "Yes!"
But the right wing, led in this case by Republican Del. Neil Parrot (District 2B), with the assistance of known racist Republican Del. Pat McDonough (District 7) and other anti-immigrant politicians, have used their petition to play into anti-immigrant stereotypes and racist attitudes. They use the age-old strategy of depicting immigrants as underhanded and stealing from the people born in the United States.
Anti-immigrant racists always blame undocumented immigrants for the crisis of capitalism. The reality, however, is that the economy is stronger because of what immigrants bring to it. Maryland has benefited economically from the hard work of immigrants, both documented and undocumented – who often work extreme hours under difficult conditions for low pay, to provide services that everyone enjoys.
These racist politicians and organizations have decided to make undocumented Maryland high school students their focus for the moment by demonizing them, and attempting to make college financially out of reach. Out-of-state tuition would make college inaccessible for many immigrant families.
They claim that $3.5 million would be "saved" between now and 2016 if this law does not go into effect. However, the DREAM Act is not a scholarship program. It does not mean the state will be spending resources to pay for students to attend college. The law would simply allow more students to pay an in-state rather than an out-of-state rate – students who would not be able to afford to attend college at the higher rate.
The racist forces behind this petition fail to acknowledge that it is U.S. neo-liberal policy overseas, such as NAFTA, that has created such extreme economic hardship for so many abroad, which has led to an influx of migrants seeking better opportunity here. They have also ignored the fact that Maryland-residing immigrants will pay state and local taxes – taxes that will amount to $275 million in 2011.
For more information and to get involved:
Go to www.AnswerCoalition.org/MdDreamAct
Call 443-759-9968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spread the word about this important campaign