Maryland Governor Martin O' Malley
Governor Martin O’ Malley of Maryland is set to sign a new law which recognizes undocumented students as state residents and qualifies them for in-state tuition rates at public universities, dropping an undocumented student’s tuition from the out-of-state rate of $24,831 to $8,416. The easing of this financial burden is particularly significant since undocumented students are ineligible for federal student loans and grants to cover college expenses.
But as immigrants rejoice in Maryland, the picture is far less rosy in other pockets of the country. Though a federal judge has temporarily suspended elements of Arizona’s SB 1070 legislation, New America Media points out that police officers are still stopping suspected undocumented immigrants and continuing with deportations.
Furthermore, SB 1070 has been virtually copied in similar immigration bills in Utah and Georgia. Dubbed “The Utah Solution,” the new Utah legislation would require police to check immigration status when stopping people for committing felonies. Similarly, the bill in Georgia, which just passed this morning, will require employers to check the immigration status of their employees and grant police the authority to randomly request immigration documentation. Meanwhile, Texas is trying to pass a bill that could have employers facing jail time if they hire undocumented workers.
Concerned about what immigration bills might be in development in your state? The good folks at Colorlines have a helpful map for reference. While you’re there, check out their “Drop the I Word” campaign to encourage media outlets to stop the use of the pejorative “illegal” when referring to immigrants.