Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mini-Legislation Update: So Close Yet So Far

Maryland was on the brink of joining the likes of California and Texas in passing its own version of the DREAM Act. It would have given undocumented immigrants the opportunity to attend in-state universities and pay an in-state tuition. However, opponents of the law have successfully gathered enough signatures (100,000) to send the law to the voters as a referendum during the next election in 2012. The law would have taken effect this month, but instead DREAMers in Maryland will have to wait more than a year just for the chance to get in-state tuition.

In other news, Alabama and Georgia are already feeling the economic backlash of their strict anti-immigrant laws. People have already started packing up and leaving because they (understandably) do not want to be around when the law takes effect. As a result, there is a severe shortage in workers despite relatively high unemployment rates. For example, there are not enough people to help rebuild and repair the damages left in the wake of Alabama’s recent tornados. Georgian farmers had to leave many crops to rot in the fields because of a lack of workers. The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association estimates around $300 million in profits lost.



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