Bill that would allow DACA recipients to receive state professional licenses advances

Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A bill that would lift a prohibition on young immigrants referred to as “Dreamers” from obtaining state professional licenses could soon be taken up by the full Indiana Legislature.

The House and Senate are expected to vote on SB 419 after conference committee members expressed support for it Tuesday.

Republican Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany championed the effort. He says he’s confident it will be approved.

“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.

But recent changes adopted by Indiana’s Professional Licensing Agency bars DACA recipients from obtaining licenses for dozens of occupations ranging from cosmetology to nursing. The agency said it’s following a 2011 state law.

Gov. Eric Holcomb previously commented on the bill:

“Ultimately, 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. 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.”