LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT DACA

State Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha urged the Judiciary Committee last Wednesday to back young people once again with Legislative Resolution 26 that oppose any federal action that would rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Sen. Vargas introduced on January LR26 to renew the Nebraska Legislature's support for those youths by declaring its opposition to any action to erase the DACA protection. The resolution also would express legislative opposition to any action by the Trump administration to rescind or restrict the Obama-era program. In 2006, the Legislature passed a law allowing DREAMers to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities if they graduated from Nebraska high schools.

Two years ago, lawmakers allowed such youngsters to get driver’s licenses. Last year, they added the ability to get professional and commercial licenses.

Lawmakers passed the three previous bills over gubernatorial vetoes but legislative resolutions do not go to the governor for approval. Federal officials have reported that about 3,300 DACA permits have been approved in Nebraska, along with more than 700,000 nationwide.

Some of those youth testified in support of the resolution on Wednesday. Among those backing the resolution Wednesday were Crete Mayor Roger Foster and the cities of Omaha and Lincoln.

Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, the Judiciary Committee chairwoman, praised the resolution, but she noted that the resolution could bring up different issues from the last two bills. Those helped implement a federal program, while LR 26 would put the state in opposition to potential federal action. No one spoke against the bill, although three people sent letters of opposition.

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