Undocumented immigrants can now teach in NYS

Posted at 5:16 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 05:59:51-04

New York has removed a barrier that's kept some immigrants who have entered the country illegally from teaching or practicing medicine in the state.

The Board of Regents, which certifies or licenses 53 professions, voted Tuesday to allow applications from immigrants who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

DACA allows undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable, two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. It is a path to citizenship started by the Obama administration in June 2012 and gives those who qualify the legal right to work.

However, DACA does not give the undocumented immigrants legal status and they still face hurdles in earning professional licenses.

The Regents initially voted in February to adopt regulations to allow holders of DACA status to apply for teacher certification and professional licenses. After a public comment period, Tuesday's action made the regulations permanent. The change takes effect June 1.