New York to allow undocumented immigrants to become teachers

Undocumented immigrants in New York state may soon qualify to become teachers, according to the New York State Board of Regents.

The board voted on Wednesday that it allow certain undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children to pursue careers in education. The policy will apply to those who qualify for President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia Visiting kindergarteners at East Moriches Elementary School.

Undocumented immigrants who qualify for DACA are allowed to work but cannot obtain teaching certificates or licensees in pharmacy, dentistry and engineering because of their immigration status.

“These are young people who came to the U.S. as children,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said in a statement. “They are American in every way but immigration status. They’ve done everything right.  They’ve worked hard in school, some have even served in the military, but when it’s time to apply for a license, they’re told ‘Stop. That’s far enough.’  We shouldn’t close the door on their dreams.  Allowing these young people to get professional licenses will open up a new world of economic opportunity for them.”

Read more about the policy change here.

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