ACLU Welcomes Action and Calls on Congress to Pass Federal DREAM Act
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WASHINGTON - Voters in Maryland today approved Question 4, a ballot measure that allows Maryland students regardless of immigration status to pay in-state tuition at Maryland universities if they've graduated from a Maryland high school and fulfilled other requirements. Election results from 60.7% of precincts reporting indicate that Question 4 passed by a wide margin of 57.5% to 42.5%.
"The passage of the DREAM Act is a remarkable victory for Maryland and its immigrant community, especially aspiring citizens," said Sirine Shebaya, Liman Fellow at the ACLU of Maryland. "By approving Question 4 by a wide margin, Marylanders have shown that they stand for fundamental fairness and equality for all of Maryland's students. This achievement places Maryland at the forefront of efforts to secure rights for immigrants who are an integral part of communities throughout Maryland."
Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced that it will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to young adults who came to the U.S. as children (often referred to as "DREAMers"). Though this policy, known as "deferred action," provides a critical stopgap measure, it does not provide a permanent solution to the problem.
"The administration's deferred action policy does not provide these youth with a roadmap to U.S. citizenship," said Joanne Lin, ACLU legislative counsel. "The ACLU calls upon all members of Congress to follow the lead of Maryland voters and growing voices of support around the country by passing the federal DREAM Act, which would complement the Maryland law by providing a roadmap to citizenship for DREAMers."