Murthy Law Firm founder and president, Sheela Murthy, was invited to join Governor Martin O’Malley and local immigrant advocates for a luncheon meeting held at downtown Baltimore’s Center Club on July 17th. The purpose of this gathering was to discuss Maryland’s DREAM Act and the ongoing campaign to preserve it.
Early last year, Governor O’Malley signed the Maryland DREAM Act, which would provide in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students who were brought here as children, as long as they pay state taxes, graduate from a Maryland high school, and agree to legalize their status as soon as possible. Opponents of Maryland’s DREAM Act have been fighting it in court, and the measure now faces a November referendum that could repeal it.
Murthy strongly supports Maryland’s DREAM Act, and has been working with other community leaders to preserve the law. Not only is it unfair to punish the children of illegal immigrants for the actions of their parents, Murthy declares, it makes no sense to waste the talents of smart, hard-working immigrant children. Instead, she says, we should help them to develop their talents, for the good of our society.
Governor O’Malley echoed these sentiments in a letter supporting Maryland’s DREAM Act:
“This issue is about fairness and basic human dignity for all. We are a stronger State when we expand opportunity to a greater number of our people, rather than fewer. Greater educational opportunity and better jobs mean a stronger economy and more taxable income to support. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the belief we share as Marylanders and as Americans in the dignity of every individual, and in the notion that every child deserves equal protection under the law.”
With immigration reform stalled at the federal level, we have seen numerous efforts among states take steps on their own. Unlike many, Maryland has not attempted to usurp the power of the federal government, and has taken a bold stand that embraces these residents, recognizing their dignity, their plight, and betting on their potential to pay it back as well as forward.
Copyright © 2012, SHEELA MURTHY. All Rights Reserved