Indiana legislature approves DACA licensing bill

Government Shutdown
Demonstrators rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) during a rally outside of the Capitol Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in Washington, on second day of the federal shutdown. Democrats have been seeking a deal to protect the "Dreamers," who have been shielded against deportation by DACA, which President Donald Trump halted last year. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Legislature has given final passage to a proposal that would lift a prohibition on young immigrants referred to as “Dreamers” from obtaining state professional licenses.

The House and Senate both voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure on Wednesday. Gov. Eric Holcomb has said he supports the measure.

Republican Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany championed the effort after he was contacted by a young woman in his district.

“Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, are allowed to work and study under former President Barack Obama’s program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

But recent changes adopted by Indiana’s Professional Licensing Agency bars DACA recipients from obtaining licenses for dozens of occupations ranging from cosmetology to nursing.

The agency said it’s following a 2011 state law.