Gov. Pete Ricketts had vetoed LB 947, the bill which would allow the children of illegal immigrants to apply for professional licenses.
Two immigrants who have gone through the legal process joined the governor in a Capitol news conference announcing the action.
Ricketts claimed the bill extends well beyond children given legal status by the federal government and could expand further in the future.
“We know that the people the president is now trying to expand this to broke the law to cross that border illegally to come here and if we were to pass 947, we would be allowing them to apply for these same professional licenses,” according to Ricketts. “And, again, the unfairness and injustice here is stunning. So that is why I’m vetoing this bill.”
Ricketts will have to change minds to uphold his veto. The Unicameral approved LB 947 on a 33-11-5 vote. It takes 30 votes to override a gubernatorial veto.
The bill would allow children given legal status by the federal government, so-called DACA youth, to apply for professional licenses in Nebraska. Ricketts insists it extends well beyond the 3,000 DACA youth in the state.
Ricketts is vague on the strategy he will employ to turn the votes needed, stating simply that the issue is a principle to him and it doesn’t matter what the vote count on final reading was.
Lawrence Asare-Danquah of Omaha, a Nebraskan who came from Ghana on a student visa in 2002 attended the news conference in the governor’s hearing room. Asare-Danquah received a degree from Midland University. He became a U.S. citizen in 2010.
Eser Graham-Marski of Chadron, joined the news conference via Skype. He came to the United States on a student visa and is scheduled to be sworn in as a U.S. Citizen later this month.
The Unicameral has mostly wrapped up its legislative session. Legislators return for a final day on Wednesday, the 20th, when they will consider whether or not to override the governor’s veto.
AUDIO: Gov. Pete Ricketts announces he will veto LB 947. [7:40]