Illegal immigrant lawyers, teachers couldn't be denied state licenses if bill becomes Illinois law
A bill pending in Springfield would prohibit the state from denying illegal aliens professional licenses to practice law, teach or dispense prescription drugs.
Senate Bill 3109 would eliminate all state citizenship requirements for state-regulated professions.
Supported by pro-"open borders" groups like the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the bill passed the Illinois State Senate last month by a vote of 39-9.
It earned support from all Democrats as well as Republican Sens. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst), Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows) and Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria).
The bill would delete all provisions in state law that require those applying for state licenses to state they are a United States citizen or "Legally-Admitted Alien."
It would ban any citizenship requirement for any Illinois lawyer, teacher or professional regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), including doctors, architects, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, accountants and veterinarians.
The bill's leading backer, ICIRR is a Chicago-based non-profit that has spent $39.4 million "promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees" since 2012. Most of this money has come from Illinois taxpayers.
ICIRR will receive $6.1 million in grants this year from the Illinois Department of Human Services, according to the Illinois Comptroller.
A similar law was enacted in 2015 in California and in 2016 in New York.
Other states have passed narrower measures.
Florida passed legislation in 2014 that allows certain illegal aliens to become licensed attorneys if they meet specific requirements.
In March, Indiana's governor signed a bill that allows illegal aliens in the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to obtain a select group of professional licenses. That bill does not apply to lawyers or teachers.