Dream Act Would Give Tuition Break To Immigrants

Students+including+Xavier+Marquez%2C+16%2C+right%2C+and+Brenda%2C+16%2C+%28last+name+withheld%29%2C+originally+from+Mexico+and+a+student+at+of+Horlick+High+School+in+Racine%2C+Wisconsin%2C+throw+their+caps+sky+high+during+a+%22United+We+Dream%21+Commencement+Ceremony%2C%22+on+the+west+lawn+of+the+U.S.+Capitol+building+in+Washington%2C+D.C.%2C+on+Tuesday%2C+April+20%2C+2004.++--Courtesy+of+MCT+Campus

Students including Xavier Marquez, 16, right, and Brenda, 16, (last name withheld), originally from Mexico and a student at of Horlick High School in Racine, Wisconsin, throw their caps sky high during a "United We Dream! Commencement Ceremony," on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 20, 2004. --Courtesy of MCT Campus

Students including Xavier Marquez, 16, right, and Brenda, 16, (last name withheld), originally from Mexico and a student at of Horlick High School in Racine, Wisconsin, throw their caps sky high during a “United We Dream! Commencement Ceremony,” on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 20, 2004. –Courtesy of MCT Campus

America has always been a destination for immigrants from around the world. The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) may further change the demographics of our nation.

Undocumented immigration and the economy are two of the most prominent issues in debates and have been for several years. In the upcoming election, Maryland’s version of the DREAM Act, question four, states that illegal immigrants can get in-state tuition to a community college granted they have graduated high school, properly filed their income taxes and will try to become permanent residents.

Maryland’s referendum does not guarantee citizenship but rather gives students an incentive to graduate high school knowing that they will be granted in-state tuition to a community college. This ensures that there will be more educated people in the workforce. “The more educated citizens we have, the better the economy will be,” said government teacher Caitlin Ulmer.

Montgomery College already grants in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. Originally proposed as a national bill, the DREAM act became a state issue as it failed to pass. Already 12 states have passed their own referendums and other states are putting their referendums up for vote.

According to www.cbp.gov, illegal immigration is down from 540,865 in 2009, when the bill was first proposed on the national level to 327,577 in 2011 the lowest total since 1972. “It is not a bad idea in theory but if you think about it, it will encourage more illegal immigration,” said senior Juan Herrera.

This referendum, if approved, could lead to significant changes in Maryland’s colleges and workforce. Voters need to make sure they get their voice heard and choose wisely as to what changes they do and do not want to see in the upcoming years.