“They are American in every way but immigration status,” state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said in Albany. “They’ve done everything right. They’ve worked hard in school. Some have even served in the military.”
The New York state’s licensing board voted Tuesday to accept applications from immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, giving them the opportunity to obtain professional licenses, to be teachers and medical doctors.
The action applies to illegal immigrants who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status (DACA), a program that was implemented by Obama in 2012 – meaning they were brought to the U.S. before they were 16 years old and have been in the country continuously since 2007.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the Regents’ action, which takes effect June 1, “another critical step toward addressing our broken immigration system.”
Those supporting the action said the new applicants can ease the state’s shortage of bilingual professionals.
Those opposing said professional license applications for military spouses should have first been processed, and others said illegal immigrants should not be licensed to teach when American citizens are out of work.
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