With Election Day a month away, supporters of the Maryland “Dream Act” have hit the airwaves and are putting on their last and biggest public display ahead of the Nov. 6 vote.
Maryland’s DREAMers—students, immigrant advocates, clergy and elected officials—are planning to march Saturday afternoon from Casa de Maryland’s multicultural center in Langley Park to the University of Maryland-College Park in a show of solidarity and to push Dream Act supporters to register to vote. Organizers are expecting a thousand participants.
Signed into law in May 2011, the Dream Act would allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition in the state’s university system if they meet a set of requirements, including having graduated from a Maryland high school and that their parents pay state taxes.
A Republican-led petition drive easily amassed enough signatures to block the Dream Act from taking effect last summer, and after a pair of court battles this year, it landed on the Nov. 6 ballot, where it will appear as Question 4.
The Dream Act campaign has ramped steadily upward since emerging this spring. It has mobilized Maryland’s Latino youth, forged an alliance with the campaign to win Maryland’s vote on same-sex marriage, and consistently found favor in statewide polls.
Educating Maryland Kids—a coalition of educators, labor unions and immigrant advocates behind the push for the Dream Act—spent $54,000 for a radio ad that aired this week on WLIF and WPOC in Baltimore. The 90-second spot is the first in a series of radio and TV ads that will “blanket the airwaves” in the run-up to Election Day, according to a statement.
CLICK HERE to hear the ad
And organizers expect Saturday's rally—their final one before Election Day—to top their Baltimore march in July and Silver Spring march in August.
"Growing up in our beautiful state with its wonderful people I have come to call myself a true Marylander,” Claudia Quiñones, a student leader from Casa, said in a statement. "I want to have the opportunity to give back to this state that I have called home."