State legislators have defied the governor and approved a bill that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to apply for professional licenses.
Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion tells colleagues they’re making a mistake in approving LB 947.
“But the problems as we look at this bill are many,” Kintner says during debate on final reading. “First of all it puts us in the forefront in this country of states, we’ll be the first state to legalize nearly every type of license that could possibly be given out. California doesn’t even do that.”
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.
It passes on a 33-11 vote with five state senators abstaining.
Gov. Pete Ricketts opposes the bill, but has stopped short of saying whether he would veto it. Ricketts sent a letter to senators prior to the final vote, asking senators to reject the bill.
Kintner charges the federal government has created the problem and should have to fix it.
“We are about to jump into uncharted waters that no other state, no other state, has been willing to do,” according to Kintner.
Kintner says the bill will cover a much broader group of people than suggested by supporters and suggests it has not been fully vetted.
“Now, I don’t think Sen. Mello wants to let terrorists in or people who are going to cause trouble,” Kintner says. “I take him at his word he truly wants to help the DACA people. I just don’t think it’s our job.”