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Maryland Petition Group Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit from Pro-DREAM Act Group

MDPetitions.com has asked a Maryland Circuit Court to dismiss a law suit that would deny Maryland voters an opportunity to consider tuition benefits for illegal alien students by referendum in the 2012 elections.

MDPetitions.com argues that the illegal alien activist group Casa de Maryland and the other plantiffs that filed are lawfully wrong and have not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they are entitled to relief from the court. MDPetitions.com's legal brief states that "absent from [the plantiff's] motion are any affidavits or other admissible evidence demonstrating that there are ‘aggrieved' persons registered Maryland voters entitled to relief."

SB 167, The Maryland Dream Act, was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Martin O'Malley on May 10, 2011. The law enables certain illegal aliens to pay reduced tuition rates at Maryland community colleges and public universities. MDPetitions.com collected 132, 071 signatures, nearly twice the amount required by law, in support of a petition to put SB 167 to voters in a referendum.

Two illegal aliens, several Maryland voters and Casa de Maryland challenged the petition drive in court. On October 7, 2011, MDPetitions.com was granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit, which seeks to deny voters an up or down vote on the SB 167.

On December 5, 2011, Case de Maryland and the other plantiffs said they would no
longer challenge the sufficiency and number of petition signatures collected, but have continued to argue that the SB 167 cannot legally be subject to referendum.

MDPetitions.com argues in its court filing, that Maryland voters who signed the petition are exercising their Maryland constitutional right known as a Referendum. According to the Maryland constitution, the people have the right to petition to approve or reject any law passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor. The only limitation to the referendum right is appropriation laws or laws maintaining the state government or a public institution.

Judicial Watch, whose represents MDPetitions.com, argues that SB 167 is a policy choice by the General Assembly and does not authorize any public money to any specific
purpose.

"This lawsuit should be dismissed in its entirety.  The plaintiffs are desperate to prevent Maryland voters from having a say on taxpayer-subsidized tuition for illegal aliens, but they have now run out of legal arguments. MDPetitions.com abided by the letter of the law and ran a highly successful petition campaign. It's now time to leave the issue of discounted tuition for illegal aliens to the voters," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Indeed, Casa de Maryland has seemed to acknowledge that its lawsuit will fail and that voters will have the final word, as it recently announced plans to launch a $10 million fundraising campaign to convince voters that they shouldn't overturn the illegal alien tuition policy on Election Day."

The chairman of MDPetitions.com is Maryland Assembly Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County and Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford Counties serves as its honorary chairman.

Neil Parrott stated, "The voters of Maryland have spoken loudly and clearly that they want to be able to vote to decide whether to give their hard-earned money
to subsidize college educations for illegal aliens. This lawsuit from illegal aliens and Casa de Maryland, attempting to deny Marylander's their constitutional right to referendum, should be dismissed so that the voters, not the courts, can decide." I have said from the beginning that this legal action by Casa de Maryland is bizarre," said Delegate McDonough. "The idea of illegal aliens suing Maryland citizens to prevent them from voting illustrates how much they disrespect citizenship."

"The Maryland DREAM Act, SB 167, is an anti-American bill that takes college educations away from our own citizens and violates federal law. Over 132,000 Marylanders signed this most historic petition to take the SB 167 to referendum, and the voters should decide Maryland's future."

"In-state college tuition rates are a finite resource and are designed for citizens, not those whose mere presence represents the violation of the rule of law."

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Roy Beck of the reform group NumbersUSA sees it as much more than that, calling the ruling "a tremendous victory for unemployed Americans."



"There are about 7 million illegal aliens estimated to be working in non-agricultural jobs. There are many Americans unemployed and lined up to get those jobs," Beck claimed.



Also supporting the ruling is the Latino advocacy group known as the League of United Latin American citizens (LULAC).



Luis Vera, LULAC's general counsel, says the law should expose businesses that utilize underpaid immigrants in unsafe conditions.



About a dozen states have laws similar to Arizona's.



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