Article by Maxim Lott.
This week, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed a bill to require the state’s public universities to give undocumented aliens — generally illegal — in-state tuition privileges.
The bill, known as the Dream Act, is already the law in ten other states, including California, New York, Texas and Illinois.
But critics argue that the bill will give illegal aliens better treatment than Americans and legal immigrants — thanks to existing diversity policies at universities.
University of Maryland (College Park) computer science Prof. James Purtilo told FoxNews.com that, during his time as an associate dean, he frequently saw admission officers favor students because of their “undocumented” status.
“They favor students with special circumstances. ‘Undocumented alien’ would be one of these special circumstances… They help fill out the diversity picture for the admissions office.”
“It was just the norm,” Purtillo added, “that obviously we need more of these students [undocumented aliens]… ‘this student has a real story to tell’ would be a common thing the admissions officers would say. Or that ‘they’re enriching the College Park experience.'”
University of Maryland spokesman Millree Williams said because admissions staff were either busy with commencement ceremonies or on vacation, he was unable to answer questions about the university’s affirmative action policies as of Tuesday morning.
Gustavo Torres, executive director of Casa de Maryland, which pushed for the bill, said he thought the concern over affirmative action was a non-issue. He noted that in the current system, undocumented immigrants are discriminated against in many ways.
“I don’t see how [they could have an advantage.] Those kids don’t qualify for anything at this point – their only benefit right now is in-state tuition. They can’t get scholarships or anything.”
President Obama also renewed his push last week for a national Dream Act, which would go further and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented students.