Los Angeles Ends Citizenship Requirement for Government Jobs

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: New U.S. citizens recite the the Oath of Allegiance during a
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People in the United States illegally can now work for Los Angeles County with no requirement to provide proof of citizenship.

Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to allow non-citizens to work in government positions provided the position does not conflict with state or federal law.

People will still be required to provide proof of citizenship to work for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Authored by Chair Hilda l. Solis and co-authored by Sheila Kuehl, the policy allegedly aims to better represent the “community” in city government.

“Los Angeles County is a community of immigrants from each corner of the world,” said Solis in a statement. “And while our County-government workforce reflects the community it represents, there is room for improvement. This motion seeks to make clear that the County, as one of the largest employers in the region, strives to be an inclusive and diverse workforce, and is committed to not excluding nor allowing citizenship to be a barrier to employment.”

Solis noted an estimated 880,000 non-citizens live in Los Angeles and the county’s Public Defender’s Office had received “applications from non-citizens who are otherwise allowed to practice law in California but are disqualified from the application process because of the citizenship requirement,” according to Fox Business.

Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo García said requiring citizenship to work for the city government is tantamount to discrimination based on “cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics.”

“Barriers to employment based on cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics are contrary to our core values. Citizenship overlaps these demographic characteristics,” García said. “This motion, by Supervisors Solis and Kuehl, will promote equity in hiring and give the Public Defender’s Office access to the most qualified applicants for employment, irrespective of their citizenship status.”

“An immigrant’s experience will advance our vision, mission, and values to protect our clients’ legal and human rights and enable us to more readily realize my goal that our employees fully represent the demographics of the population that we serve,” García continued.


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