Bill that would allow DACA recipients to obtain drivers’ licenses a good and needed policy for Nebraska

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OMAHA – The Heartland Workers Center (HWC) is fully supportive of LB623, a bill that would allow recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to obtain drivers’ licenses in Nebraska. Although they were not born in the U.S, they identify themselves as Nebraskans, having spent most of their lives here. They are loyal to the state and want to see the state grow. We believe that the passage of this bill would allow young Nebraskans to better serve their communities and their families. In order to qualify for DACA, these young people have to meet certain rigorous criteria to qualify. They must be working and/or studying. They are highly educated and intelligent young Nebraskans, and many are bilingual. They have aspirations to further their education and help their communities. Yet, as a state, we must support them to achieve their goals, rather than holding them back, as the current policy is doing. Maria, a mother of two, says, "I've lived in Omaha now for 13 years, yet I haven’t been able to find a job in my field of study since I graduated college, even though I’m qualified for them, because they all require me to have a driver’s license." LB623 is a bill that, if passed, will allow young, talented and hardworking Nebraskans to continue living, working and spending in our state. In a state with such a low unemployment rate, these young people have the skills needed to fulfill these jobs, and potentially, even create others. But if we do not, we potentially risk losing this talent. Many young DACA recipients in Nebraska are beginning to express the same sentiments as Itzel, “I have experienced many blessings here in Nebraska, and I want to stay here in this place I call home. But I wonder if my struggle would be easier in a different state." “Today, young Nebraskans will demonstrate their leadership skills and their organized political presence at the public hearing,” stated Sergio Sosa, Executive Director of the HWC. “They have worked hard over the last nine months in advocating for this issue. Today, Nebraska, and members of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee have the opportunity to do the right thing by passing LB 623.”

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