LANGLEY PARK, MARYLAND (WUSA)--Less than a month before Election Day, demonstrators in favor of the Maryland Dream Act rallied to show their support for the law that would allow illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates if their parents have paid taxes and they've attended local public schools. Opponents of the act call it wrong for taxpayers in the state who are already struggling financially.
"I love this country. When I say home, I mean here," said 18 year-old Dulce Mendez.
"I do consider myself an American," said Ricky Campos.
Campos and Mendez are among the so-called "dreamers," students whose parents brought them into this country illegally.
"My Mom even says you're more American than Spanish anymore! She's like, 'You still get confused with certain Spanish words!' I'm like, yeah, I know, I'm so sorry, Mommy," said Mendez.
23 year-old Campos, a cancer survivor from El Salvador who says his surgery at Johns Hopkins saved his life, now wants to show his gratitude.
"I have to give back somehow to society. I think the way that I want to do it is actually becoming a doctor and save lives just as my life was saved once," he said.
Opponents of the Dream Act say it's a bad investment for Maryland taxpayers. Brad Botwin of Help Save Maryland calls it criminal and calculates it would cost taxpayers about $44,000 per student.
"It's part of life," said Mendez. "Not everybody's gonna like you. Not everybody's gonna be on the same page as you. So you learn to accept it and you learn to respect it."
Hundreds of dreamers marched from Langley Park to the University of Maryland to make their point and urge others to register to vote, and cast their ballots in favor of Question Four.
Added Mendez, "We are not looking to cut in line in front of somebody else. We're just looking to have the same line, just in a different door."
A recent survey in Maryland conducted by a group that supports the Dream Act indicated that 60-percent of the state's voters support it. Those numbers are disputed by opponents of the law.
Written by Andrea McCarren
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