DACA Recipients, Non-Citizens Invited to Join Police Force

(DailyVantage.com) – With personnel numbers at a low not seen in over sixty years, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has started accepting applications from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to bolster its force.

The SPD’s active duty officers are now down to 913, with 280 officers eligible for retirement and 424 serving as patrol police.

Applicants for positions in Seattle’s police force were previously required to be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents; therefore, even though program graduates have the legal right to work in the United States, they have frequently been denied this opportunity.

City officials are considering using a newly enacted state statute that permits authorities to recruit non-citizens as police officers as a means to resolve this situation that they have created for themselves. Democrats controlled the state senate, and they enacted Senate Bill 6157, which grants DACA applicants police powers. One problem with the plan is that it would allow illegal immigrants to own and carry guns in the US, which is against the law. Plus, the city is under fire for its insistence that the SPD must be more “diverse” and less white and veteran-heavy.

One of the 22 laws passed by the General Assembly that Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed was Senate Bill 69, which would have made it possible for DACA participants to be eligible for jobs in police enforcement. According to Youngkin, implementing SB 69 would “protect illegal immigrants” while undermining public safety.

The counterargument is that if a municipality wants to improve cultural understanding in the midst of community-police distrust, expanding the candidate pool to include DACA holders might diversify police departments. Police officers have a responsibility to build trust with the communities they patrol by keeping them safe. Dismantling systemic challenges and prejudices requires a diverse police force. A more diverse police force that includes DACA beneficiaries would benefit from increased cultural awareness, different viewpoints, and stronger connections fostered by representation.

Colorado is one of the few states that have passed legislation that allows DACA participants, who are also law enforcement officers, to own firearms legally. Furthermore, all branches of the United States military do, in fact, let noncitizens serve, and several services actively recruit noncitizens to enlist for the advantages and expedited citizenship process.

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