Earlier this year immigrants won a major victory when the New York State Board of Regents voted to allow young people who had obtained employment authorization under DACA to apply for many professional licenses.
However, given the darkly anti-immigrant tone of this political year, there is a move by some politicians to rollback this win.
New York State’s Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia explained the reason for allowing those with DACA work permits to apply for licenses. “These are young people who came to the U.S. as children…They are American in every way but immigration status. They’ve done everything right. They’ve worked hard in school, some have even served in the military, but when it’s time to apply for a license, they’re told ‘Stop. That’s far enough.’ We shouldn’t close the door on their dreams.”
State Senator Terrence Murphy of Westchester, has attacked the new program. He issued a statement saying that “allowing lawbreakers to teach, or practice medicine, says a lot about how backwards our priorities truly are in New York. This is another example of why rulemaking by unelected bureaucrats is what is ruining New York State. Will they next unilaterally enact free college tuition for illegal immigrants?”
Murphy and other anti-immigrant legislators are backing a petition that deceptively claims that military families are being hurt by this change in rules. While the new rule in no way makes it more difficult for the families of service members to obtain licenses, the petition implies that it will now be easier for those with DACA to obtain a license than for the spouses of those in the army. This is simply a lie.
We have seen these sorts of deceptive tactics time and again this year. We need to stand up to these bullies. Please send a comment supporting allowing those with DACA to apply for professional licenses in New York State. To comment, contact: Peg Rivers; New York State Education Department; at Peg.Rivers@nysed.gov