Arkansas Republicans, including Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), have helped secure professional licenses for illegal aliens enrolled in former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program thanks to the passage of new state law.
The law, which took effect July 1, will now allow the state’s nearly 5,000 DACA illegal aliens, along with illegal aliens who hold federal government-issued work permits, to obtain professional licenses to hold jobs in education and healthcare, among other industries.
Hutchinson said “all of Arkansas benefits” when DACA illegal aliens can obtain professional licenses to take jobs in the state. Only State Sen. Trent Garner (R) and State Reps. Joshua Bryant (R), Bruce Cozart (R), and Gayla McKenzie (R) voted against the legislation.
“The passing of this law was a special moment in Arkansas history,” Hutchinson said.
Arkansas Nonprofit News Network reports:
Act 746, formerly HB 1735, will allow the state’s nearly 5,000 DACA recipients and other immigrants with work permits to obtain any professional or occupational license in Arkansas. The federal DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, covers immigrants who were brought to the United States, without authorization, as children. DACA allows these individuals — a group sometimes called “Dreamers” — to stay in the country free from the threat of deportation if they meet certain qualifications. Although DACA recipients are eligible for federal work permits, requirements at the state level have sometimes prevented them from becoming licensed in specific professional fields.
The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Clint Penzo (R-Springdale) and state Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), received overwhelming bipartisan support. It passed the House of Representatives 88-3 and the Senate 34-1; both chambers are controlled by large Republican supermajorities. It takes effect July 1. [Emphasis added]
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the passage of the law across party lines “was a big victory for the young people who are talented and ready to build their future in our great state. [Emphasis added]
Arkansas Republicans’ passage of professional licenses for DACA illegal aliens comes after the sanctuary state of Colorado passed similar legislation this year with lobbying from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group.
Likewise, New Jersey passed similar legislation last year, and illegal aliens in the state are now applying for and receiving professional licenses.
Today, there are anywhere from 11 million to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S., costing Americans about $134 billion annually, with about eight million holding American jobs. Roughly 55,000 illegal aliens live in the state of Arkansas.