By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A year after giving many of Maryland's illegal immigrants the right to in-state college tuition, some state lawmakers want to give them improved access to driver's licenses in a move that supporters say could have fiscal benefits and would bring residents in the state illegally out of the shadows.
A Maryland ballot measure to allow in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants was expected to generate fierce debate this fall, but it has been somewhat lost in the frenzy over the state's other referendums on same-sex marriage and expanded gambling.
Maryland Democrats and immigration activists gathered Tuesday to celebrate passage of the Dream Act on the same day opponents said they are nearing a key milestone in forcing a referendum on the issue.
Opponents "try to make it an immigration issue, and it isn't," Mr. Ramirez said. "This is an investment, and it's a decision that we have to make."
"People understand that it's a fairness issue, and that it's about treating all of our Maryland high school graduates the same," said state Sen. Victor R. Ramirez, Prince George's Democrat, who sponsored the legislation in 2011. "People realize that we're not giving anything away, and that this is an opportunity."