Ny To Let Undocumented Workers Teach

05.18.16 | Bob Price

Despite criticism from some state lawmakers, the state Board of Regents on Tuesday adopted regulations to allow undocumented workers apply for teaching certification and other professional licenses.

Some Senate Republicans and conservatives had opposed the plan and started a petition to pressure the education oversight board to drop it.

But the Board of Regents, which sets education policy in New York, made the regulations official on Tuesday after first proposing them in February, saying individuals who came to the U.S. as children and can't become citizens because of their parents' status should be able to teach in New York.

“Today thousands of young people across the state have gained new opportunities,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said in a statement. “Their futures are no longer restricted in New York."

The state cited the 2012 policy by the Obama administration called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that allows people who came to the U.S. as children and meet certain guidelines to request deferred immigration action every two years. The problem, the Regents members said, is that the people can't obtain legal residency -- yet they shouldn't be denied the right to teach in New York.

The change also applies to 53 professional licenses overseen by the state Education Department, including many medical professions.