A newly introduced bill in California proposes allowing illegal immigrants to become police officers in the state.
The bill, SB 960, proposed by Democrat Sen. Nancy Skinner, removes a provision that an individual must be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States to become a police officer. The bill removes the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.
“Existing law, with certain exceptions, prohibits a person who is not a citizen of the United States from being appointed as a member of the California Highway Patrol. This bill would remove that prohibition, and would make conforming changes,” the bill states.
The bill, which was previously voted on at the end of March, received four votes in support and one in opposition. Democrat senators Steven Bradford, Sydney Kamlager and Scott Wiener, and Nancy Skinner, voted in favor of the bill. The lone Republican, Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, voted no.
According to Fox News, the bill only allows for legal immigrants to become police officers, according to a source familiar with the legislation. However, the language in the bill does not specify that illegal immigrants are barred from doing so. Therefore, it is ostensible that an illegal immigrant could apply to be a police officer and succeed.
According to the source, the term “illegal immigrant” was omitted as other sections of federal law already prevent illegal immigrants from becoming law enforcement officers.
“This bill only allows those who are living here legally and have the legal ability to work here — through a visa, a green card — to become peace officers. I just want to be clear on that,” said Sen. Skinner at a March 22 Senate Public Safety Committee, Fox News reported.
The push for the legislation comes following the Biden administration’s announcement to lift the Title 42 health policy, which was implemented in March 2020 as a means of deporting illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House announcement has seen pushback from both Democrats and Republican lawmakers who expressed fears that a migrant surge could result from the law's repeal.
Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller said it would “open the floodgates on a biblical scale.”