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.