Does anyone have a dollar to lend the Washington Post? It needs to buy a clue, apparently, as it sees "legal immigrants" as the "Unlikely foes of Md. Dream Act," an in-state tuition bill for illegal immigrants that voters may toss out next November in a ballot initiative.
Here's how Post staffer Pamela Constable opened her November 28 story:
The 62-year-old Wheaton barber had earned a law degree in his native Thailand and waited eight years for a visa so he could move to the United States and begin a new life.
When he heard this year about the Maryland Dream Act, which would grant in-state college tuition discounts to illegal immigrants, he was outraged.
“I did the full legal process,” Anuchit Washirapunya, who is deaf and cannot speak English, wrote on a notepad as he hunched in his barber’s chair. “The illegal students have no right to work or stay here.”
Until recently, Maryland’s legal and political battle over in-state tuition has been seen as pitting young illegal immigrants against native residents. But in the past few months, a petition drive by opponents of the measure has attracted a small but growing number of legal immigrants, who say that they, too, are being cheated.
Gee, imagine that. It's not rocket science to you or me, but the Post seems perplexed. After all, Maryland is a liberal Democratic state and immigrants in D.C. suburb Montgomery County are reliable Democratic voters:
Legal immigrants and visiting foreign students at Montgomery, many of whom come from Asia and Africa, expressed a combination of sympathy and resentment toward illegal immigrants in their midst. Some said their determination should be rewarded; others said they should have to pay the same as those who come from other states and nations.
“Everyone wants to get an education, but you can’t just come to this country illegally and think everything is free. You have to be patient and legalize yourself,” said Josephine Beyam, 33, a nursing student. She arrived from the Philippines in 2008 as a full-fledged resident after waiting at home for four years, apart from her American husband, as the law required. Since enrolling, she said, she has been paying off her student loans every month.
“We have been through thick and thin,” Beyam said of her reunited family. “This country is a blessing, and the government is very generous. If you are not born here, you have to start from the beginning, but I accept that, because you can still pursue your dreams.”
On the bright side, at least the paper -- whose editorial board endorses the Maryland Dream Act -- is noting the ire that the bill has generated among legal immigrants who follow the rules at great personal cost while illegal immigrants are effectively receiving taxpayer-funded subsidies.