More and More States Provide Professional Licenses for Immigrants

Currently 13 states provide access to professional licenses for immigrants, and they can practice their profession legally, benefiting the community where they live.

The organization Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) published a report in which it shows that 30% of immigrants over the age of 25 have a university degree or completed higher education, however, if they do not have access to occupational licenses , they cannot practice their profession.

In 2019, according to the report, there were 7.3 million job openings, however, there were only 5.7 potential workers to fill those positions. This gap in the supply of jobs can be reduced if immigrants are given greater access to professional licenses.


"The states are issuing these licenses because they have realized the important role that immigrants play in filling job vacancies," María Gabriela Pacheco, director of community promotion, development and communications at TheDreamUS, told EFE.

Currently the states that offer this type of licenses to immigrants without permanent legal presence are: Arkansas, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Utah.

The first state was California, in 2014, so in recent years there has been a trend in favor of immigrants with a university education.

FWD, a pro-migration organization and defender of undocumented immigrants, has indicated that the pandemic has accentuated the problem of the oversupply of professional workers in the United States. This organization emphasizes that "Congress can expand access to thousands of jobs by reviewing outdated licensing laws for immigrants authorized to work as DACA and TPS recipients."

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