Oliver, Quirk Decline to Support In-State Tuition Petition

June 9, 2011

Baltimore County Council members Kenneth N. Oliver and Tom Quirk said today they will not join their colleagues in supporting a petition against a new state law that gives discounted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

“I think that we are only looking at part of the bill, not the whole bill,” said Oliver, noting that an undocumented student would need to have attended a Maryland high school and provide proof that their parents filed state taxes. “If their parents are paying taxes to the state of Maryland, I don’t see where there’s a major problem.”

Quirk said he views immigration issues as state and federal matters. “The county really doesn’t have anything to do with this.”

The students would qualify for in-state tuition rates at a community college. After completing two years, he or she could transfer to a four-year institution and again pay the in-state rate.

Council members were told last month that only 20 students in the county would qualify, Oliver said.

The county has gathered the most signatures in the petition drive to place the Dream Act on the 2012 ballot, according to a statement issued last night by Tony Campbell, chairman of the county Republican Central Committee. The statement notes:

According to the State Board of Elections, Baltimore County was the top jurisdiction with 14,494 signatures for the petition drive to place the Dream Act on the 2012 ballot. …

In Baltimore County, the effort took off with the Towson Town Spring Festival the weekend of April 30 – May 1st with an estimated 2,000 signatures collected in 15 hours. According to State Board of Elections data, volunteers in Baltimore County including current and former Central Committee members, grass roots activists and Republican elected officials were successful in having 12,043 signatures validated or 83% of the total signatures turned into the SBE.

“The petition is well on its way to achieve its goal of putting this terrible law passed on the last day of the legislative session before the people of Maryland,” said Tony Campbell, Chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee. “However, we cannot rest on our success. The deadline for the remaining 24,720 is only 3 weeks away. The goal of acquiring 100,000 signatures across this great state will send a message to Annapolis that the people of Maryland are paying attention to what they are doing and will stand up and fight for the rule of law.”

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