NY Lifts Licensing Restrictions for Some Immigrants

ALBANY (AP) -

Some illegal immigrants will be allowed to teach and practice medicine in New York State after a licensing board voted to accept applications from immigrants brought to the United States as children.

“They are American in every way but immigration status,” state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said after the Board of Regents made permanent the regulations in Albany on Tuesday. “They’ve done everything right. They’ve worked hard in school, some have even served in the military.”

Elia and Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said the action will open up new opportunities for thousands of people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status. The DACA policy implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 granted recipients the legal right to work in the United States.

Critics said the Regents should have first expedited the licensing process for military spouses and that illegals shouldn’t be licensed when American-born teachers are out of work.

“Why should people who are in the United States illegally be afforded the same rights and privileges as those in this country legally?” one commenter asked.