NPR : News

On Ballot In Maryland, 'Dream Act' Wins Big On Election Night

The Maryland Dream Act, which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, will stand.

With a 58 to 42 split, voters rejected a measure that sought to overturn legislation passed by lawmakers last year.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

"The measure is expected to affect about 435 students in each entering class. When it was originally passed in March it was predicted to cost the state $3.5 million by 2016, an analysis by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research, which anticipates an overall positive economic impact because the students helped by the Dream Act are likely to earn more money and therefore pay more in taxes.

"'This is a wise investment,' said Kristin Ford, communications director for Educating Maryland Kids. 'It's not just good for kids, but it's also good from an economic standpoint.'

"Ford said the key to the campaign was educating voters. Once people understood the measure, she said, they tended to support it, but it was important to emphasize that it wasn't a handout or a special scholarship."

A national version of the Dream Act has enjoyed popular support, according to polls, but it's become a deeply divided political issue. So much so that President Obama bypassed Congress and used an executive order earlier this year to call off the deportation of young illegal immigrants.

Many credit that move with helping Obama win a huge part of the Hispanic vote. Exit polls showed that the president enjoyed a 40-point lead with Latino voters.

Another notable number from the exit polls: Sixty-five percent of Americans polled said "illegal immigrants working in the United States [should] be offered a chance for legal status." Only 28 percent said they should be deported.

This is an important issue that you'll be hearing about for some time to come, especially as it relates to the future of the GOP.

If you remember, during the Republican primaries Mitt Romney was forced to take harsh position on immigration. His call for "self deportation" haunted him during a "meet the candidate" event sponsored by the Spanish-language network Univision.

Another thing to keep in mind: Latinos are the fastest-growing voter group in the country. Yesterday, they made up 10 percent of voters, so for the GOP, it gets harder and harder to win national elections without moderating that Latino gap. The big question then becomes whether Republicans will moderate their views on issues like the Dream Act and immigration.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Exhibit Shows Dolores Huerta's Life As Part Of The 'Backbone' Of America

The exhibit about the United Farm Workers activist is the first in the National Portrait Gallery's "One Life" series to be devoted to a Latina.

NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes In The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social-site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.