Voicing a clear mandate for government to deal humanely with undocumented immigrants, nearly 60 percent of Maryland voters cast their ballots yesterday for a commonsense measure that grants certain undocumented immigrant students the opportunity to apply for in-state tuition rates at state universities and community colleges. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds Maryland residents on this important victory for young immigrants seeking the critical opportunity to move on to higher education.
“Yesterday’s vote showcases the understanding among Marylanders and, in fact, most Americans that opening up opportunities for immigrants in education will strengthen our country’s economy and workforce,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR. “We salute the diverse and tireless coalition of supporters, spearheaded by NCLR Affiliate CASA de Maryland, which worked day and night to educate voters on this critically important issue. As a result of their efforts, Maryland will see young, hardworking undocumented students be able to fulfill their potential, which will be a boon to the state as a whole.”
Undocumented immigrants seeking to apply for in-state tuition rates must belong to a family that has paid state income tax, have applied for a green card, have no criminal record and have first graduated from a Maryland community college.
“While this is a crucial win for undocumented students in Maryland, it also underscores the importance that federal immigration reform would have for the immigrant community nationally,” added Murguía. “Hundreds of thousands more students across the country and their families deserve an opportunity to achieve higher education and citizenship but are being denied under current law. We implore our lawmakers on Capitol Hill to end the gridlock and craft federal legislation that fixes our broken immigration system once and for all.”