The Case Against Question #4, “Maryland Dream Act”

The following letter was submited as a letter to the editor.

Fellow Marylanders:

Give me a few minutes of your time to make a case against the Maryland Dream Act.

HB 655 was introduced and then passed into law in 2011 after SB 167 was voted on and passed. A grassroots effort to initiate a recall of this piece of legislation was begun, and enough registered, legal Maryland residents enabled this legislation to be decided on by the entire state, not just its bicameral houses and governor. …

It will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as “Question 4,” and I am encouraging all Marylanders to vote no.

In the current session of the Maryland General Assembly, three bills all regarding tuition HB 519, HB 756, and HB 1016 were introduced and never made it beyond committee. HB 519 and 756 deal with tuition for veterans. HB 1016 would have provided tuition and mandatory fees waivers to children of Maryland police officers killed in the line of duty.

All three of these bills were killed in committee due to appropriations. Plainly said, the state didn’t want to pay. This is a recurring theme from your elected delegates and senators. The state doesn’t want to pay for veterans (or in this case make filing for these benefits simpler) or the children who lost parents protecting the very citizens who cast their votes!

Meanwhile, they want to use your tax dollars to fund the education of illegal immigrants. The stipulation is they must attend for a specified consecutive period and graduate a Maryland high school. I am sorry, but I have a problem with this!

The state legislative body, nearly in unison earlier this year, voted to “return” the burden of funding teachers’ pensions to the individual counties. … Meanwhile, instead of using this “savings” to help reduce the state debt, they want to fight to keep the Dream Act alive. So, in all likelihood, your state and local taxes will increase, and the services you see for that increase will be minimal.

Folks, these are your elected leaders — most of them are reelected leaders — deciding that the education of the ones who do not legally belong in our state or our nation should receive preferential treatment to the ones who have and continue to serve your nation and local communities.

I am sure the pundits will say that I am beating the Hannity, Rush or Fox News drum. I argue that I am a taxpayer, a citizen, veteran and a police officer, and I am tired of the wasteful spending in Annapolis as well as in Washington, D.C.

We can barely take care of our own citizens, and now we want to extend benefits to people who aren’t in the nation/state legally? Where’s the logic in this? How is this fiscally responsible? If I had that answer, I’d run for governor myself. … Until then, I will continue to make my case against Question #4 and hope that common sense will prevail at the polls on Nov. 6, 2012.

Thank You –

John Distel

Frederick, Md.

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