State lawmakers move closer to a showdown with Gov. Pete Ricketts over whether the children of illegal immigrants can obtain professional licenses.
Children who came into the country with their families illegally could obtain professional licenses as long as they are granted legal status by the federal government under the bill.
Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion says this is a federal, not a state problem.
“Instead of pushing it down on us and saying, well, we’ve given these people some temporary legal status with DACA and now you have to treat them like they’re regular citizens,” Kintner tells colleagues. “No, we don’t.”
LB 947 would allow youth given legal status by the federal government under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to apply for a professional license in Nebraska. DACA youth have been authorized to go to school, serve in the military, and enter the workforce.
Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha accuses opponents of mischaracterizing his bill.
“And I find it offensive every time members get on the floor to try to tag and label bills or agendas to try to make a point, because they can’t argue against the bill,” Mello says.
The bill has sparked some heated debate, but few “no” votes. It needs to pass one more round of voting to be sent to Gov. Ricketts where it will face a likely veto.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]