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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts, Nebraskans Call LB947 “Unfair” and “Unjust”

Media Contacts:

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Eric Maher, 402-471-1974


The Governor will veto the bill because it sends the wrong message to immigrants who follow the law.


Photo and veto message attached.


LINCOLN – This afternoon at a news conference, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraskans called on the Legislature to reconsider their decision on LB947, a bill which would grant professional and commercial licenses to individuals who entered our country illegally, individuals who have a pending or approved application for temporary protected status, and individuals who have a pending application for asylum.


“Nebraska has always been a welcoming state.  We are also a state that respects the rule of law,” said Governor Ricketts.  “As I have visited with Nebraskans about LB947, I hear a consistent message.  Granting professional licenses to individuals who entered our country illegally is fundamentally unfair and unjust.”


Joining him at the news conference was Lawrence Asare-Danquah of Omaha, a Nebraskan who came from Ghana on a student visa in 2002.  After receiving his degree from Midland University, he became a U.S. Citizen in 2010.


“Nebraska is my home, and I am currently working to bring other family members here through the legal process,” said Mr. Asare-Danquah.  “America is an ordered society undergirded with laws.  My family has made the effort to follow the legal immigration process, and allowing others who came to Nebraska outside the legal process to receive professional licenses is unfair.”


Additionally, Eser Graham-Marski of Chadron, joined the Governor’s news conference via Skype.  He came to the United States on a student visa and is scheduled to be sworn in as a U.S. Citizen on April 28th, 2016.


“Following the law to enter the United States requires time, patience, and effort,” said Mr. Graham-Marski.  “Granting licenses that give access to jobs to people who came to Nebraska illegally sends the wrong message to hardworking people who want to follow the law.  It would be unjust to law-abiding citizens for the Legislature to grant these privileges to those who broke the law.”


At the news conference, Governor Ricketts announced he will veto LB947.  The Legislature has the opportunity on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 to sustain the Governor’s veto and reconsider their previous decision by voting down any motion to override filed by proponents of the legislation.


A copy of the Governor’s veto message is attached.
LB947 Veto Letter 4.15.2016.pdf