Advocates of Maryland's immigration DREAM act celebrated Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's signing of a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition May 10.
Both sides of the debate on Maryland’s DREAM Act are applauding last week's decision from the federal Department of Homeland Security regarding deportations.
Supporters of Maryland's DREAM a=Act, which was signed into law earlier this year and would grant undocumented immigrants in-state tuition to state universities in certain cases, say the decision to focus on the highest priority deportations will mean people who are not considered a threat to the public will be able to remain in the country.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the DREAM Act into law earlier this year, but opponents collected enough signatures to force a referendum on the law. It will be on the state ballot this November.
One group advocating the law, Casa de Maryland believes the Obama administration's decision will help those who will benefit most from the DREAM Act.
But those fighting the DREAM Act are also encouraged.
State Del. Patrick McDonough (R-Md.) of Baltimore County is one of the leaders of a petition drive to get the issue before voters next year. He says the decision only reinforces their message.
"This is the people's petition," McDonough says. "And the people's petition is supporting the rule of law and the respect of citizenship in the state of Maryland. Those against us are the politicians."
The DREAM Act, signed into law this past spring, can not go into effect until the referendum is decided.