Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, has signed a bill that will permit beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to obtain state professional licenses in more than 70 occupations.
The legislation will allow so-called “Dreamers” to obtain licenses for professions including cosmetology, nursing and real estate, The Hill reported.
Holcomb, who previously served as the lieutenant governor under now-Vice President Mike Pence, said in a Wednesday statement that he supports “removing impediments in state law that keep Indiana’s DACA recipients from skilling up and going to work.”
When announcing his support of the legislation in February, Holcomb contended that Congress needs to “clarify federal immigration law regarding DACA. But, until they act, Indiana state law should allow DACA recipients to skill up and work here in Indiana.”
The issue became controversial in Indiana after the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency added questions to its license applications regarding citizenship status.
Holcomb also said in February, “While Indiana’s Professional Licensing Agency acted appropriately and in line with what our current laws require, I am encouraged to see there is legislative intent to fix this.”
The Trump administration announced last September that it was rescinding the Obama-era DACA program, which was established to protect illegal alien children who were unlawfully brought to the United States by their parents.
The White House and congressional Democrats recently failed to come to an agreement regarding immigration policy, with both sides rejecting the other’s proposals.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “Democrats refused to take care of DACA. Would have been so easy, but they just didn’t care. I had to fight for Military and start of Wall.”
Democrats refused to take care of DACA. Would have been so easy, but they just didn’t care. I had to fight for Military and start of Wall.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
DACA recipients can again obtain licenses to work in 70 occupations in Indiana. https://t.co/251bsoyCre
— IndyStar (@indystar) March 22, 2018
“It was really weighing on me because I’ve done all this work for four years and I thought my whole future was going to change and I was going to have to move away from my family.” #protectDreamers https://t.co/lOWns0e8qT
— DACA Time (@DACATime) March 22, 2018