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Victory for Immigrant Communities in Annapolis, MD

Immigrants Win in Annapolis in 2019

Annapolis, MD- The Maryland General Assembly came to a close Monday with important victories for Maryland’s Immigrant communities. Super-majorities in the House and Senate approved key policy priorities – reforming the Maryland DREAM Act, raising the minimum wage, ensuring appropriate treatment for immigrant crime victims, increasing scholarship access for immigrant youth, and increasing education funding for public schools.

“Maryland continues to lead the nation in recognizing the enormous contributions of immigrants, from the undocumented to those of us who are citizens,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA.  “I am proud that we have rejected the race-baiting from Washington to move the lever forward for immigrant families.”

In addition to hosting a lobby night early in the session that brought more than 600 people to Annapolis, CASA participated in mobilizations for the minimum wage, education funding, immigration hearings and more.  For two whole months, CASA members flooded into Annapolis almost everyday to tell legislators the impact these policies could make in their lives and for their communities. Victory was very sweet for these activists.

” I am very happy that finally the minimum wage was passed. Families will now be able to have a better quality of life. Many large families have a hard time making ends meet even having to take on 3 jobs.  Finally, our voices were heard,” said Marlenn Alvarez, a CASA member from Silver Spring, MD.

Like the minimum wage increase, the MD Dream Act Expansion bill HB 262/SB537 also passed both chambers with super majority support. It now heads to the Governor’s desk. The bill strengthens the Dream Act including by allowing qualified students to matriculate directly to a 4-year institution and ensuring that students with DACA, DED, or TPS status, programs that the Trump administration has sought to eliminate, can complete their college educations at in-state rates regardless of what happens on a federal level.  Under a separate bill that passed, HB 118, those students qualifying for in-state tuition under the Maryland Dream Act would join their peers in being eligible for Senate and Delegate scholarships.  Because education starts before college, CASA was proud to join the chorus of voices battling for historic increases to educational funding including a step toward statewide community school implementation.

This year also left more work to do to ensure that Maryland law enforcement is not contributing to separating families.  A series of bills to address the serious violations of civil rights facing immigrants in Maryland received support in the House of Delegates (HB1165 and HB1273), yet once again stalled in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee where the Chair failed to schedule the bills for a vote.

CASA is grateful for the many champions in the House of Delegates and Senate chambers as their hard work in committee and on the floor contributed to these victories.

메릴랜드 주의 애나폴리스에서 얻은 이민자들의 승리는 계속 다른 주로도 확산되어 연방정부의 반 이민법적인 행보와 관계없이 주 차원에서는 계속적으로 이민자들의 권익 옹호를 위해 노력을 하게 될 것으로 보인다. 이번 매릴랜드 주의 드림법을 개정하고, 최저 임금인상, 공정한 대우, 이민자들의 자녀의 장학수여 제도 증가와 아울러 공립학교에 교육비를 증가 시키는 법안을 상, 하원에서 통과되어 이제 주 지사의 사인만 기다리고 있는 중이다.

CASA는 메릴랜드 주 하원의원과 상원의원들에게 감사를 드린다고 말했다.

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