On Wednesday, Nebraska lawmakers approved a bill that could potentially allow immigrants with temporary legal status to lawfully work in more than 170 professions. This bill would apply to those individuals who acquired legal status under President Barack Obama's executive action.
The new bill, a contrast to Nebraska's discriminatory bill requiring English-only driver's license exams, passed with a 33-11 vote, a number strong enough to keep Governor Pete Ricketts from vetoing. Furthermore, it includes professions like medicine and teaching, which some believe could cause rifts among U.S. citzens who are also pursuing these careers.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this could affect a total of 5,200 youths residing in Nebraska.
Senator Heath Mello of Omaha is onboard as a supporter. "It's a common sense workforce development proposal to keep educated and skilled residents in Nebraska," he told the Washington Post.
"There are a lot of states that haven't looked closely at it. Nebraska is part of a growing trend," added senior staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center Tanya Broder.
Here's hoping states like Nevada, California, Texas and New Jersey, which have the highest concentration of unauthorized immigrants in their labor forces, will follow suit.