California is considering allowing non-citizens to serve on juries, a local California public radio station reports.
“Under AB1401, non-citizen legal permanent residents would be allowed to serve on juries. Federal law allows such residents – sometimes called ‘Green Card Holders’ – to stay in the country as long as they like,” 89.3 KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reported on Monday. “Some are in the process of applying for citizenship. Others choose to remain citizens of other countries.”
Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, one of the California bill’s sponsors, told the local station that this should happen because non-citizens live among Americans as peers.
“The jury system is based on our peers judging us,” Bob Wieckowski said. “It’s only fair, because so many people living in California are legal permanent residents.”
The bill, which faced bipartisan opposition from most Republicans and some Democrats, passed both the state Assembly and Senate and is sitting on Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting a signature.
This news comes as a similar bill, one that would allow non-citizens to work as paid poll workers at election sites throughout California so they can be Spanish-language translators, also awaits its fate on Brown’s desk. Election integrity organizations are adamantly opposed to that poll worker bill and are protesting against it this week.