Citizens of the state of Maryland were successful in garnering enough signatures on a petition that will enable voters to decide in November 2012 whether illegal aliens in Maryland should benefit from in-state tuition.

Despite the intimidating tactics of groups such as the Maryland chapter of the ACLU and activists for illegal aliens at Casa de Maryland, the Maryland State Board of Elections reported that over 63,000 signatures had been validated, far exceeding the 55,736 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot. Overall, the petition drive collected over 130,000 signatures with almost a third of those coming from registered Democrats.

As a resident of the state of Maryland I am proud of the efforts of our Maryland activists and elated that this issue will be ultimately decided by voters and not by politicians and legislators pandering to special interests groups. Gov. O’Malley had signed the bill back in May, but thanks to this petition drive that law has been blocked until the state’s voters have their say. We citizens of Maryland now have the opportunity to overturn this dreadful piece of legislation.

Illegal immigration cost the state of Maryland over $1.4 billion per year and enacting this new law could cost taxpayers and additional $3.5 million per year by 2016. During these tough economic times we should be looking at ways to cut the financial burden on Maryland taxpayers and focus our efforts on providing for Maryland’s legal residents.

FAIR and IRLI will be closely watching the future events on this very important issue, so make sure to stay tuned over the coming months.