Appeal of Friday’s tuition referendum ruling will be ‘frivolous,’ petition leader says

By Dan Menefee

Circuit Court Judge Ronald Silkworth ruled Friday that a referendum to challenge a new law granting in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants can go forward on this November’s ballot. In his opinion and ruling, Silkworth rejected arguments from Casa de Maryland attorneys that the new law appropriates funds and is therefore exempt from referendum.

Joseph Sandler, counsel to Casa de Maryland, which challenged the petition, said he will appeal the ruling.

Del. Neil Parrott

Del. Neil Parrott at Board of Elections. (June 2011)

Del. Neil Parrott, R-Washington County, who founded the group to strike down the law by referendum, said Sandler’s intention to appeal was “completely expected” but that the Appeals Court would probably side with Silkworth.

“The lower court ruling sets a huge precedent,” Parrott said. “It’s a hurdle that’s too high to overcome…The other side simply doesn’t have a good case.” He said the higher court would clearly see the new law is a policy bill with no appropriation attached.

“The  Maryland Dream Act makes no reference to revenue or appropriations, but solely discusses new eligibility requirements for in-state tuition for a specified class of people,” Silkworth wrote. “Any future impact on the state’s budget that could result from the Maryland Dream Act is merely an incidental result of a law aiming to change policy.”

Neil Parrott said the ruling was a victory for Marylanders who believe the state should follow existing federal law.

“I think it is very positive news for all Marylanders,” Parrott said Saturday. “Now we are going to be able to have the chance to vote on whether to give our hard-earned money to illegal aliens to subsidize their education.”

Sandler said Saturday that Parrott has repeatedly contradicted himself by saying the bill will “cost taxpayers all this money, but yet he says it’s not an appropriation.”

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.


  1. William Thomas Capps Jr.

    To the State Delegation of District 21 of Maryland.
    James Senate Office Building, Room 314
    11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
    (410) 841-3141, (301) 858-3141
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3141 (toll free)
    e-mail: (410) 841-3195, (301) 858-3195
    House Office Building, Room 160
    6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401
    (410) 841-3114, (301) 858-3114
    1-800-492-7122, ext. 3114 (toll free)
    e-mail: (410) 841-3850, (301) 858-3850
    House Office Building, Room 1576 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401(410) 841-3502, (301) 858-35021-800-492-7122, ext. 3502 (toll free)e-mail: (410) 841-3342, (301) 858-3342

    House Office Building, Room 1526 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401(410) 841-3046, (301) 858-30461-800-492-7122, ext. 3046 (toll free)e-mail: (410) 841-3346, (301) 858-3346

    Greetings to the elected officials of District 21!

    I am writing you today in hope that you elected officials of  District 21, decide to do your job and stand with the rule of law. Most people no longer have faith in our elected officials, but I have decided to test the waters, to see if you will enforce the laws on the books and adhere to the requirements from the federal government, with regard to the issue I am about to explain.

     We the people know that in itself is a rare concept that the elected officials in Annapolis to do their job, but out of fairness! The Citizens District is going to find out if there is any honor left in our State Elected officials. The Citizens District as of now,  has not been able to find any.

    I do not mean to be sarcastic but sometimes you just have to be blunt and have to put you guys on the spot to act. It is nothing personnel but we the people of Maryland are fed up with the crap.
    In 2007 an audit was done on the Department of Social Service.

    The State of Maryland discovered that over 53000 people with bogus social security numbers were getting state benefits and the computers were being altered to do this, costing the Maryland citizens $488.000.000 per year. Recommendations were made to correct the problem.

    Two years later a Social Service worker wrote the Governor the following letter:

    9/12/09Dear Governor O’Malley,
                       My name is Paulette Faulkner and I’m a Child Support Specialist with the Montgomery County office of Child Support Enforcement. My job entails me working closely with the Department of Social Services thus my specialty is a TCA Agent. When an applicant applies for benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, Temporary Cash Assistance (welfare) they are required to come to my office to comply with child support. When they come into the office to seem they are required to present certain information in order to be considered compliant. These documents include birth certificates for the children, social security cards for the family and a picture id showing the applicant as the person on the application. On several occasions I have come across undocumented applicants that do not possess the necessary credentials that’s required for our services thus making them ineligible for benefits through the Department of Social Services. These applicants will provide me with an expired VISA, and most don’t have a social security number many only have ids issued by CASA. Not only do they not have the necessary information required, but they come in stating that the father and/or the absent parent is in EL Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, and other third world countries making it impossible for me to file a case. I deny these applicants and send my denial to the case worker at the DSS who in turn will deny benefits for these applicants. In order for them to be able to get assistance I must give them a compliance status. In my office when I deny these applicants they will approach my supervisor (Hispanic) who would then overturn my decision and comply them so that they are able to receive benefits. Thus happens at of rate of a lease 85% of my cases. If for some reason she does not overturn my decision these applicants have a right to appeal my decision, and go before a judge to plead their case. In most cases the judge will rule in favor of the applicant even if they are undocumented. The tax payers of Maryland then have to foot the bill for these immigrants. What I’m confused about is this how can an illegal immigrant appeal my decision when they are breaking the law by being in this country? Secondly how can they receive State benefits if they are illegal? Is this not some sort of homeland security breach? Am I aiding and abetting illegal activity? Shouldn’t I be reporting these people to ICE or immigration? I am really concerned because I am a candidate for the Central Democratic Committee in my District/Delegate, and I want to make sure that I am following the law. Cordially

    Paulette Faulkner??

    The Result of her letter to the governor, she got fired! It does not take a rocket scientist to know that several violations of the law were embedded within this state agency. We know continued failure was in place. In early 2010 I had written an e-mail to all elected officials in Maryland about this fraud taking place within this agency. We the people are subjected to many laws and lots of them that are stupid! But when Government does not adhere to the rule it has imposed on itself. You have the seeds of a dictatorship upon the American People. Please have the courage and push for an investigation in an Emergency Session to expose this cover up.

                                                                                 The Citizens District.
                                                                                  Will Capps

  2. Dvlokay

    If Illegal immigrants are allowed in-state tution rates, why do the not allow people from Pa., WVa., New York or any other state in-state tution?
    These people are American citizens, and did not commit a crime. Why do we reward people for doing something illegal??

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