Delegates Neil Parrott and Pat McDonough declared victory today in their petition drive to put the Maryland DREAM Act to referendum in 2012. The Maryland Board of Elections announced certification of 63,118 petitions - 7,382 or 13 percent more than the 55,736 needed. When counting is done, Delegate Parrot forecasts that validated signatures will exceed 95,000.
This is a huge win for Maryland in its battle with the sanctuary state policies of Governor Martin O'Malley and his Democrat allies in the legislature. Delegate Parrott said:
Today the voters of Maryland have achieved a huge victory. Volunteers across the state have worked diligently over the past two months to bring the bill that would provide in-state college tuition benefits to illegal aliens to referendum.
When we started this petition drive, we knew that Maryland voters wanted more financial responsibility in Annapolis and wanted the enforcement of our immigration laws, not ways to skirt around the law. Today marks the beginning of the end for an illegal alien benefits bill that simply does not make sense.
Maryland citizens are sick of seeing their jobs undercut by illegals who don't have to worry about paying taxes. They are also sick of the huge burden ($1.7 bliion per year) illegals in Maryland place on state and local government. Granting in-state tuition for illegals was the tipping point. As Delegate Parrot said:
This bill doesn’t make sense financially or legally, and people are glad to be able to do something about it.
This preliminary victory does not bode well for the Democrat Party, even in this darkest of blue states. Fully 30 percent of petitions came from Democrats. Another 15 percent were unaffiliated. Over half of the petitions recieved from Baltimore City were from Democrats. As Democrat Senator James Brochin stated earlier:
It’s important to note that this is not just a Republican effort. I’m a Democrat and this is bad public policy.
Delegate McDonough reminded voters that this is only the first round:
Today shows that the Petition Drive was successful. We are now going to begin our campaign and work to make sure the referendum effort ultimately succeeds at the ballot box in November of 2012.
Until then, the illegal immigrant "DREAM" Act is off the table in Maryland.