Los Angeles county waives citizenship requirement to get a government job

While most were focused on whether or not one California county would reinstate draconian mandates related to the COVID pandemic last week, the Board of Supervisors quietly and unanimously moved forward with a plan to grant illegal immigrants a brand new right.

At Thursday’s regular meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, an agenda that featured 64 items addressed a “New Board Policy” just past the halfway point on “Inclusive Hiring.” Though initially couched in the ambiguous language of progressives, the policy introduced by supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Sheila Kuehl in June 2021 stated its intent clearly as a “Waiver of Citizenship Requirements for Los Angeles County Employment” and was officially adopted on July 26, 2022.

In her original statement addressing the policy, Solis wrote, “Los Angeles County is a community of immigrants from each corner of the world. 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 and Kuehl contended that of the 880,000 “non-citizens,” according to 2018 estimates, illegal immigrants “who often express deep interest for public service” are barred from doing so because of citizenship requirements. They cited, for example, the Public Defender’s office which was said to receive applications from “otherwise qualified non-U.S. citizens who, although permitted to practice law in California, are disqualified from the examination process” for hire.

Fox Business reported Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo García, who promotes himself as the first “Latinx” public defender in LA County, as saying, “Barriers to employment based on cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics are contrary to our core values. Citizenship overlaps these demographic characteristics. 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.”

Meanwhile, the promotion of “equity” was already found to be leaving nearly 20 million American men sidelined from the labor force without making further inroads for illegal immigrants. Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, found among working-age (16-64) “there’s a huge pool of potential [American] workers for employers.”

“Since 2000, the number of working-age immigrants rose from 18.4 million to 27.6 million, nearly nine million,” Camarota explained. “In the same span of time, the number of Americans who have dropped out of the labor force rose by more than 10 million.”

So, while the Board of Supervisors works within the confines of the law to open more paths for non-citizens, they continue to slam doors in the face of Los Angelenos. For the time being, the policy includes exceptions for state and federal laws and therefore the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other peace officer hirings still require citizenship.

García went on to add, “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.”


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