McDonough: Lawmakers, Taxpayers, Parents, Students of Maryland Were Misled on DREAM Act

From the office of Del. Pat McDonough:

Senate Bill 167, the so-called “Dream Act” which provides in-state tuition discounts for illegal immigrants, will be very costly to taxpayers.

The Maryland General Assembly, which passed the bill 74-65, was seriously misled about the potential costs for the proposal. Under state law, the members of the legislature must be provided with a ‘fiscal note’ that outlines the potential costs to the taxpayers of the proposed legislation. The “fiscal note” that was received by the lawmakers regarding Senate Bill 167 was grossly inaccurate and misleading. It was a big lie!

Legislative Reference, which produced the figures, claimed that the tuition discounts were $800,000 the first year and $3 million annually in the third year. However, their figures were based on only one community college. The bill would impact all 16 community colleges in the state of Maryland.

The average discount benefit provided to illegal immigrant students at a community college would be about $12,000 dollars during a two-year period. This taxpayer subsidized benefit would cost a minimum of $12 million dollars annually which would double every year as a new class enters. After four years, the total would be 48 million dollars in taxpayer subsidies based on a population of 1,000 illegal students.

Now, it gets interesting. The state bean counters believed there may be as many as 2,000 illegal immigrant students attending every year. That number will dramatically increase the projected taxpayer subsidy to over $24 million dollars a year.

Remember, after the illegal immigrant students receive their Associate’s Degree at a community college, the next step is two more years at the University of Maryland or another college. The taxpayers’ subsidy required for the final two years would be $32,000 per student. At 1,000 students that would equate to $32 million dollars in TAXPAYERS COSTS ANNUALLY . Using the state’s figure of 2,000 students, the cost would be $64 million annually.

I know these figures are difficult to follow, but the projections make it clear that Senate Bill 167 is a massive imposition for Maryland taxpayers. Most importantly, these huge costs will impact the state budget and subtract funds from other educational programs. Eventually, both taxpayers and students will pay for benefits for illegal immigrants.

The legislation was not reviewed by the Budget Committee, but it was promoted with seriously inaccurate cost projections. Consequently, the lawmakers, taxpayers, parents, and students of Maryland were misled.

I will be requesting an opinion from the Attorney General as to whether Senate Bill 167 is a lawfully passed act. Also, I will be asking the Audit Committee to investigate the reasons for these questionable financial projections. As I have stated in the past, a lawsuit is being prepared with Judicial Watch to challenge the “Dream Act.” Meanwhile, the petition drive continues. You may receive petition forms on the internet by visiting Mdpetitions.com. If you do not have access to a computer, you may receive petitions by calling me at 410-238-0025.

Comments

  1. Not from Here says

    After the students’ parents prove that they have been paying taxes for three years to qualify for the community college in-state/in-county rates, and the employers are charged with hiring illegal immigrants, I think this whole problem will go away.

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  2. Bernadette Z says

    The voters will take care of this lawless law..It is redistribution of wealth..from my pocket to theirs…de-criminalized pick pocketing.
    Shame on you, O’Malley and you law”makers” who voted for this..seems to me, you’re the law breakers with this one…

    And thanks, Pat, for the analysis of what this will truly cost the taxpayer..I always thought their figures were deliberate lies as well..

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  3. Bernadette Z says

    The voters will take care of this lawless law..It is redistribution of wealth..from my pocket to theirs…de-criminalized pick pocketing.
    Shame on you, O’Malley and you law”makers” who voted for this..seems to me, you’re the law breakers with this one…

    And thanks, Pat, for the analysis of what this will truly cost the taxpayer..I always thought their figures were deliberate lies as well..

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  4. fogdog says

    Since these students are going to stay here and find employment, they might as well be part of the educated work force.

    If anyone is to blame it is the people who hire illegals. Why is nothing done to the employers of these children’s parents?

    Also, if you are worried about keeping the cost of college down, why is anyone over 60 not charged tuition in Maryland colleges. It is a real waste of money to educate someone who is retired. There is a tuition loss of millions of dollars educating senior citizens.

    I would like Del. Pat McDonough to inform use why he is for giving seniors free tuition in Maryland colleges.

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    • NonResident/USCitizen says

      Senior citizens must live on whatever pension they saved up. If they are returning to college, most likely they are trying to earn a college degree that they never earned in the past. Most of the folks that I know that do not have a college degree cannot afford it once they retire on their small pension. Why not allow them to get the degree they desired but couldn’t afford? Perhaps they can study with their grandchildren or children. There is no such thing as too much education! It increases the quality of life for the whole family. There is a big change in the way one thinks for people who earn a degree. The world opens up and gets bigger rather than having tunnel vision of only your own backyard.

      As for the undocumented students, if they aren’t going to go to school, they’re still going to be in this country, causing trouble, i.e. crime. Better to have them educated so that they can do better things in their lives than sit around in prisons, costing taxpayers even more money for all the crimes that they are committing. Not all of them end up getting deported. Some countries refuse to accept their citizens back, so the US must keep them. Then we end up paying for their prison costs.

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  5. Harry says

    Hopefully you will keep this before the voters with REGULAR press conferences given by yourself and other members.If you are here illegally the place for you is on a quick trip back not college.The members of the house and senate, should not be surprised when the citizens of Maryland throw their own Boston tea party in the Chesapeake. By the way you article in the Dagger … no answer on the phone for petitions and the website is not working. Harry

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  6. CollegeStudent says

    This article is absolutely bias and inaccurate.
    “Using the state’s figure of 2,000 students, the cost would be $64 million annually.”

    If the state denies in-state tuition students will not be able to afford college at all. How will allowing more students to pay what any U.S. citizen pays losing money. It will actually be beneficial. Student’s that qualify for the Dream Act will not receive any financial aid or any type of help. Is sad to see anyone against educating young people to be more productive people.

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      • frankly speaking says

        porter-just because you keep saying it, doesn’t make it so. the Dream Act does not provide any financial aid.

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        • Porter says

          @FRANKLY SPEAKING

          If you you subtract in-state tuition rate from out-of-state tuition the difference is the discount. The discount is financial aid.

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        • Phil Dirt says

          Call it anything you want to, but if it causes someone to pay less than they would otherwise, what else could it be but financial aid? Could it be any simpler?

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  7. Concerned College Student says

    I do not support this legislation either way, but can someone show or cite the section where it states that illegal immigrants won’t recieve financial aid if that is the case?

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  8. frankly speaking says

    Most financial aid is in the form of loans, pell grants or perkins loans with require legal residency, citizenship thus no illegal can apply for it. The article implies that these students are getting financial aid, which is not true and their full cost of in-state tuition must be borne by the student as they can’t apply for financial aid or obtain federal funds. The cost is quite minimal, as the colleges will still charge in-state tuition to the undocumented students. McDonothing needs to learn to tell the truth.

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