Gov. Ricketts vetoes bill allowing ‘dreamers’ access to drivers licenses

Ricketts: “The bill is wrong on principle and the bill is overly broad.”

UPDATED 9:18 PM CDT May 27, 2015
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LINCOLN, Neb. —Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have allowed access to drivers licenses for some children of illegal immigrants, known as ‘dreamers.’

In a letter to state senators, Ricketts called the bill “wrong on principle” and “overly broad,” writing the language would allow for drivers licenses to more than just that group. Ricketts continued, "The effort to advance LB 623 demonstrates once again how the failure of the federal government to properly address national immigration policy wreaks havoc on the state governments."

Governor Ricketts, in the letter, also cited legal action regarding deferred action in federal courts that as a reason to not expand access to drivers licenses in the state.

Nebraska Appleseed, a group which supported LB 623 and expanded access to drivers licenses issued a statement critical of the veto Wednesday. Director Darcy Tromanhauser said, ““We are gravely disappointed in Governor Ricketts’s choice to harm young Nebraskans – and Nebraska communities – with his veto of LB 623 tonight,” Tromanhauser wrote. “The hard-working, talented young people who can apply for driver’s licenses under the bill have lived in Nebraska most of their lives and would be able to contribute more fully to their communities if the bill became law.”

The bill's sponsor, State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha tweeted Wednesday night, "We will override [Governor Ricketts'] veto tomorrow."