Governor Ricketts vetoes immigration-related bill

Published: Apr. 15, 2016 at 9:24 PM CDT
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Governor Pete Ricketts says a bill aimed at helping immigrants get a professional license sends the wrong message to immigrants who follow the law.

If passed, LB 947 would grant professional and commercial licenses to people brought to the United States illegally. Governor Ricketts says he refuses to award people for breaking the law, and other immigrants say the bill is unfair.

"It is a very very hard process," said Lawrence Asare-Danquah.

Lawrence Asare-Danquah is originally from Ghana, he entered the United States on a student visa and went through what he describes as arduous process to be a legal immigrant.

"LB 947 sends the wrong message to people like Lawrence and Ezra who are following the rule of law," said Governor Ricketts.

Lawrence says the bill frustrates him.

"It's unfair for people who follow the law, who follow the rule of law to be penalized, and then people who don't follow the law, just go through this process and get everything so easily," said Asare-Danquah.

But what about the child of illegal immigrants like Alejandra Ayotitla?

"I'm just doing my best to better myself and the community and the state," said Ayotitla.

Alejandra has been in the Lincoln Public Schools since the fourth grade, she is a junior at UNL with one dream in mind.

"It would mean that I would not be able to get a license to be a psychologist," said Ayotitla.

If Governor Ricketts veto stands, students like Alejandra only have one option.

"I would have to think about moving to another state where I would have to think about getting a license," said Ayotitla.