Supporters of the Dream Act hope to convince a majority of Maryland voters to go along with them on this Election Day.
A referendum will determine whether undocumented immigrants will get the benefit of in-state tuition. Some believe the path to a better life in the U.S. is education.
“All I do is feel American,” says Francisco Cartagena, who came to the U.S. as a baby. He says without in-state tuition he won’t have his American dream.
“For me it means being able to attend a school and being able to pay it and simply achieving my goal of becoming an international finance major,” says Cartagena.
Supporters of the Dream Act say the immigrants aren’t going anywhere so they might as well get a shot at becoming a better educated resident, even if it does come at the expense of taxpayers.
“I have family that are illegal immigrants and I believe that everyone is entitled to an education whether you are an illegal immigrant or not,” says Sarahi Islas, a student at the University of Maryland.
But the issue has proven divisive and controversial. Some state residents question the wisdom of giving undocumented immigrants discounted tuition, but at the University of Maryland, even some citizens who pay out-of-state tuition think it’s just time to give them a tuition break.
“I absolutely think they need in-state tuition, especially if they completed high school in the area. There is no reason not to give them in-state tuition,” says Annie Holt, a student.