GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA) — Voters in Maryland will get the chance to decide for themselves next year whether the state should offer in-state tuition to residents of the state who are not US citizens. In an announcement Thursday, the Maryland Board of Elections said enough signatures had been submitted on petitions to place the issue on the November 2012 ballot.
“What we’re trying to do is send a message to the governor and to the state legislature that this is an issue that should be on the ballot. This is an issue that has significant ramifications for taxpayers and this is an issue that should not be rammed through the legislature by three votes. It should be something that the taxpayers of Maryland, and the citizens ,are allowed to have a say in Maryland about,” said Sue Payne, of the group Rally For America that actively ran the petition drive.
The tuition break was passed into law by the state legislature and signed by the governor, and was to have become law on July first. The announcement by the elections board essentially puts the law on hold until voters cast their ballots next year.
Paine believes in-state tuition provision is unfair.
“It forces the taxpayers in the State of Maryland to subsidize college tuition for people who have no legal presence in the state. They basically are foreign students and, unlike our normal foreign students which would have to pay out of state tuition, the governor has decided with the legislature to force taxpayers to subsidize foreign students, illegal aliens so to speak, and allow them to get in- state tuition at the expense of the taxpayer
“So, we would be subsidizing the college tuition for someone who has no legal presence in the United States while there are 25 to 26 thousand students who are put on the wait list or told there is no room at the inn at the University of Maryland. They can’t get in but we’re going to allow illegal aliens to come in, and foot the bill for that,” she said.