New Law Gives Dreamers Access To Professional Licenses

“Dreamers” who are in this country illegally will now be able to legally work in Indiana.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – “Dreamers” who are in this country illegally will now be able to legally work in Indiana.

Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday signed Senate Enrolled Act 419, which will allow DACA recipients to get professional licenses in the state. The law will allow some of the estimated 9,000 people in the state who were illegally brought into the country as children to work as hairdressers, plumbers, and in about 70 other jobs that require a state license.

“I support removing impediments in state law that keep Indiana’s DACA recipients from skilling up and going to work. Many thanks to Indiana lawmakers for taking swift action to address this issue,” Holcomb said in a statement upon signing the bill into law.

“Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, are allowed to work and study under former President Barack Obama’s program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Holcomb’s administration implemented questions about citizenship on application forms used by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency last fall. The change meant DACA recipients could not be approved for a professional license to earn a living.

The governor said he change in the application form was necessitated by a 2011 state immigration law. He backed this year’s legislative effort to remove the citizenship requirement for licensing.

Holcomb has previously urged Congress to clarify federal immigration law regarding DACA. The issue led to a three day government shutdown in January as Republicans and Democrats differed on weather a measure to make DACA recipients into permanent citizens should have been included in a spending bill.

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