Ives works to defeat bill allowing noncitizens to become Illinois pharmacists
Before a House vote on a measure to allow non-U.S. citizens to become pharmacists in Illinois, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) issued a warning to her colleagues:
“People should be aware that you are giving noncitizens licensing in the state of Illinois if you pass this,” Ives said.
SB308 would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or so-called "Dreamers," to receive professional pharmacy licenses from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). They are currently the only occupation that falls under the IDFPR umbrella that cannot obtain licenses as noncitizens.
The bill would amend the Pharmacy Practice Act to remove the citizenship requirement.
Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) argued that the bill only codifies an existing practice and allows the state to opt out from a federal law on the matter.
“The federal law says that states can provide benefits to people without citizenship but that the state has to affirmatively pass laws in order to do that,” Guzzardi said.
Ives, however, disagreed with Guzzardi's take on the measure.
“I have a problem with that, and I request a vote verification should this have the requisite number of votes to pass,” Ives said.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), described the bill as another way to help immigrants find jobs, according to the Illinois Senate Democrats website.
“Given the investment we have made in our dreamers, it is only natural to open the gates of opportunity for employment in a career in heavy demand in Illinois,” Martinez said, according to the site. “These kids have a proven record of academic and personal achievement and are eager to serve their communities. They should be allowed to pursue a career that benefits the health of the public.”
Senate Bill 308, which was an initiative of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational fund (MALDEF) and passed the Senate in late April, lost in the House vote, 46-50, on May 19.