A veteran member of Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus said Saturday that he opposed a bill that would provide in-state college tuition rates for illegal immigrants because it would take seats away from Black students.
Delegate Emmett Burns made the comments Saturday on WBAL’s “Kendel and Bob Show,” hosted by former Gov. Bob Ehrlich and his wife.
Burns said the bill is unfair to those immigrants trying to enter the U.S. legally, but admits he disagreed with a majority of his fellow caucus members.
The measure to allow Maryland students to receive in-state tuition even if they’re in the country illegally appears doomed because of a threatened filibuster threat by Republicans who oppose the idea.
“We only have so many seats, and African Americans are unrepresented proportionally in those college seats,” Burns said.
“To offer a benefit to illegal immigrants is wrong.”
Democratic Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who leads the committee that would have to vote on the proposal before it could go to the full Senate, said the vow by Republican Sen. Andrew Harris to filibuster the bill on Monday, the lone remaining day in this year’s lawmaking session, made its passage unlikely.
The bill has already passed the House. If enacted, Maryland would join nine states, including California, Illinois and New York, that allow state residents in-state tuition regardless of citizenship.
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