FOLLOW US  Click to go to Facebook.  Click to go to Twitter.  Click to go to YouTube.   TEXT SIZE Click to make text small. Click for medium-sized text. Click to make text large.  

Archbishop William Lori's Remarks on the Passage of the Maryland "DREAM" Act

Voters in Maryland voted to uphold the DREAM Act in Maryland, which provides in-state tuition for illegal immigrant students.

When the bill was first introduced in the 2012 General Assembly it was met with much resistance and Maryland voters were against it in large margins according to early polls.

Most people heard the word "illegal" and were immediately against any benefits for someone not in the country legally.In short, they saw it as rewarding people breaking the law.

A dramatic change in the public's perception of this law took place during the months between its passage and the referendum vote in last week's election.The change occurred after the Church and others conducted a public education campaign helping voters see the fairness and justice of the law and how it benefits children and society.

The education campaign revealed to people the facts about the law, including:

·Eligible students who do not have legal status must have graduated from and attended a Maryland high school for at least three years, and first attend a community college for two years prior to applying to a four-year university;

·Students will not compete for seats reserved for other Maryland resident students and instead will be considered in the pool of out-of-state applicants; and

·Their parents, legal guardians, or the students themselves must show they paid taxes during the three high school years and will continue to pay taxes while attending community college and university.

In particular, we reminded our Catholic faithful of our rich history of offering educational opportunities to the disadvantaged, that opening the doors to education has been a hallmark of the Church's outreach since the earliest days of our country.Countless generations of immigrants have integrated into American society thanks to their education in our Catholic schools.

Some of our nation's first Catholic schools were founded here in Maryland to serve American students at a time when it was illegal to do so in many states.Whenever possible, the Church has always advocated for policies that allow all young people, regardless of their ethnicity, creed, legal status or economic means, equal access to educational opportunities.

Throughout the Old and New Testament, we are reminded that our faith continually calls us to embrace the stranger, and to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters as we journey together toward our true homeland in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Church's support for the DREAM Act, something favored by Democrats, juxtaposed our support for marriage between one woman and one man, something also on the ballot in Maryland and which was supported by Republicans.This revealed in stark clarity the Church's allegiance not to any one party's platform but to the Gospel values taught to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. 

By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. By providing this link, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, the website, its content, or sponsoring organizations.

cancel  continue