Support For Maryland DREAM Act Remains Strong
A new Washington Post poll shows that Maryland voters are in strong favor of preserving in-state tuition for undocumented students at public colleges and universities in Maryland. According to the poll, 59 percent of voters support keeping the measure in place with 35 percent in opposition. As the election approaches and support remains strong, advocates and activists are increasingly optimistic.
The Maryland DREAM Act allows for certain undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at public schools in the state if they can prove they attended a Maryland high school for at least three years, and that they or their parent has filed to pay state taxes.
A referendum on the policy – originally passed and signed into law in April of last year – appears on the ballot this year as Question 4, putting the fate of tuition equality for immigrant students in the hands of voters. If the law remains intact it will make Maryland the first state in the nation to approve in-state tuition for immigrant youth by popular vote.
According to the poll findings, white voters are split in their support, compared to three-fourths of people of color who view the law favorably.
In total, 13 states have passed in-state tuition laws that promote a level playing field for undocumented students as they enter higher education. California has gone as far as opening its financial aid program to certain undocumented students, an effort that went into effect this year.
The outcome in Maryland will be watched not only by DREAMers there, but in states across the country, to see if we continue the progress that has already been made.
Eduardo Garcia is advocacy manager at Campus Progress. Follow him @itseddie.