Graduate Student Ewaoluwa Ogundana recently wrote a blog post for New America, where she was interning, about the workforce barriers that undocumented immigrants experience. In the article, she credited Maryland with helping create pathways for young undocumented immigrants in getting a higher education, but pointed out that the state bars them from obtaining professional licenses. It limits them “from fully benefiting from their higher education credentials,” she wrote. For example, they can't become licensed nurses, accountants, court reporters or educators.
Maryland legislators took note of Ogundana's point and Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-Montgomery) and Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s) worked together to introduce two bills. The Maryland Senate and House were scheduled to hold hearings on the legislation this week. If passed, the bills would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain professional and occupational licenses, and make Maryland the sixth state to remove this legal bar.
Read more about Ogundana's impact on Maryland policy in this Washington Post article.