For Immediate Release
March 1, 2012
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Impact of Maryland and U.S. DREAM Acts: UMD Debate March 14
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland public officials, top national advocates and policy experts will participate in a moderated, informal debate on the pros and cons of the federal and Maryland DREAM Acts on March 14, 2012 at the University of Maryland.
Sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and the Norman and Florence Brody Public Forum, the debate promises to be a balanced and constructive dialogue on a potentially groundbreaking change in U.S. immigration policy. The event is free and open to the public.
The issue is very timely as Maryland's DREAM Act statute moves toward a referendum vote this fall, and as proposed federal legislation generated considerable heat in the Republican presidential race, the debate organizers say.
The debate will stress both the specific provisions of the laws and the fundamental issues they raise, such as concepts of fairness toward both immigrants and native-born citizens, the nature of diversity and the rule of law.
FORMAT: The event will be structured as a moderated informal debate. The Chancellor of the University of System of Maryland will open the event with a brief summary of the importance of the issue for the state and higher education. Then, the first panel will examine the federal DREAM Act, followed by the second panel's discussion of Maryland's version of the law. The audience will have an opportunity to pose questions to the panelists.
William E. Kirwan, Chancellor, University System of Maryland (opening remarks on the significance of the Maryland law to the University System and the State)
MARYLAND: If the Maryland DREAM Act takes effect, young people brought here illegally as children will qualify for government benefits such as in-state tuition status at public universities and opportunities for privately-financed state scholarships.
Its status, though, is in doubt. Opponents successfully gathered enough signatures last year to block the Maryland law's implementation. A state court has ruled that the law can face a statewide referendum this fall, and pending an appeal the question will appear on the ballot.
FEDERAL: Reintroduced to the U.S. Senate in 2011, the federal version of the DREAM Act would offer a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants who demonstrate a commitment to the United States by either attending college or serving in the military for at least two years. That legislation has stalled in Congress.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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