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Nebraska Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto: DREAMers Win Professional Licenses

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More than 100 Nebraska DREAMers broke into cheers yesterday as the state legislature overrode Gov. Pete Ricketts veto of a bill that would allow DACA recipients to apply for professional licenses.

30 votes were needed to override Ricketts — undocumented youth won 31 in the end.

Though the legislation had the support of business, religious groups, the Nebraska Cattlemen Association, and Republican Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, as well as the State, Omaha, and Lincoln Chambers of Commerce, Gov. Ricketts vetoed the bill, claiming undocumented youth were “undermining the law”.

The legislature in the red state disagreed with the Governor and handed the youth a victory that will allow them to work in more than 170 professions.

“It’s not just a vote, it’s not just a bill. This was something that’s going to affect people’s lives, people’s dreams, peoples’ goals what they aspire for their future,” said Brenda, a DACA recipient who has lived in the US since she was a toddler.

“Now that we have this bill passed, I’ll be able to come back here and teach in these classrooms, which I’m so happy about, I’m so passionate, and I want to see change happen in this community.”

State Senator Heath Mello introduced the legislation following news that many DACA recipients were leaving the state to practice their professions elsewhere due to the inability to practice legally in the state.

Last year, Nebraska DREAmers won another victory when the legislature again overrode Gov. Ricketts’s veto of a bill that would allow DACA recipients to apply for driver’s licenses.

The state legislature has sent a clear message to the Governor — Nebraska wants DREAMers to stay.

Congratulations to Nebraska DREAMers on their victory!