Police departments hire non-US citizens as officers

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Claiming difficulty in finding people to staff their ranks, especially in remote places, police departments across America are hiring non-citizens to be police officers, including legal immigrants, those with green cards, those with work permits, and even people with just temporary visas.
global citizenship
Alan Gomez reports for USA Today, March 21, 2015:

Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap.
Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.
At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it’s time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That’s why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.
Department spokesman Don Aaron said they want immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for service.
[…] Current rules vary across departments.
Some, like the Chicago and Hawaii police departments, allow any immigrant with a work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to become an officer. That means people in the country on temporary visas or are applying for green cards can join.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Justin Mullins said the department usually struggles to fill trooper positions in less populous corners of the state, including patrol sectors high up in the mountains. He said immigrants from Canada, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America who are willing to live in those remote places have helped the agency fill those vacancies.
[…] Other agencies, like the Cincinnati Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, require that officers at least have a pending citizenship application on file with the federal government. And others, like the Burlington, Vt., and Boulder, Colo., police departments, require that officers be legal permanent residents, or green-card holders.
With more immigrants moving to places far from the southern border or away from traditional immigrant magnets like New York City or Miami, agency leaders say it’s important to have a more diverse police force to communicate with those immigrants and understand their culture. Bruce Bovat, deputy chief of operations in Burlington, said their immigrant officers help the agency be more “reflective of the community we serve.”
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said he has no problems with green-card holders becoming police officers because they’ve made a long-term commitment to the country and have undergone extensive background checks. But he worries about the security risks associated with allowing any immigrant with a work permit to become an officer, especially considering that the Obama administration has given hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants work permits.
“We’re handing over a gun and a badge to somebody whose background we don’t really know a lot about,” Krikorian said.
Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said any immigrant authorized to work in the U.S. has already undergone a thorough background check and will undergo even more screening in the police application process.
“The security risk is a straw man,” he said. “This is about people who have gone through criminal background checks, who are meeting the very high standards that we set as a country to stay here and who only want to serve and protect their communities.”

With an official unemployment rate currently of 5.5% but an unofficial rate that’s much higher of at least 11%, I don’t understand why police departments are finding it difficult to fill their ranks. From a March 20, 2015 article in U.S. News and World Report:

[T]here remains considerable “slack” in the labor market (see chart), meaning that an abnormally large number of people who want to work aren’t working or people with a job are not working as many hours as they’d like. The official unemployment rate is the most well-known indicator of slack, but it only counts people who are actively looking for a job.
[…] The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most comprehensive alternative measure of unemployment and underemployment (which it calls U6) includes the unemployed, the marginally attached and those involuntarily working part-time. It stood at 11 percent in February, 2.2 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession. By that measure, about 17.5 million people are unemployed or underemployed, or twice the 8.7 million people in the official unemployment measure.

What do you think of law enforcement hiring non-U.S. citizens as police officers? Sound off in our poll!

See also “Texas police officers are members of Mahmoudberg jihadist compound.”

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0 responses to “Police departments hire non-US citizens as officers

  1. I wonder what constitution they will swear to uphold ? There’s ours , or the U.N.’s

  2. This is a terrible misconception of what our US & Canadian culture and governance is about, or perhaps I should say “was about,” as the rule of law and our histories is now broken, perhaps beyond repair.
    Ironic too, in that I just read an analysis of this situation earlier today, at https://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/21/judge-orders-us-government-stop-suppressing-evidence-torture-and-abuse, where the author is very concerned for the abysmal void between the Constitution and current realities.
    At 72, I cannot see how the vision of the Founders can be restored w/o a second Civil War, as the nation’s been let go to Hell for too long and too deeply.

  3. Kevin J Lankford

    You can be sure I will not allow my actions too be questioned by an illegal alien, no matter how big his badge. No doubt if some one can only speak broken English they are illegal, regardless of what any government agency claims.
    Anyone who speaks with a foreign accent of any kind should be suspect and have no business wearing a law enforcement uniform in this country. It would be my contention that officers speaking English only as a second language is an unmistakable sign of foreign invasion, apparently successful invasion. Any such officer should meet met with resistance, forceful resistance if necessary.

  4. A foreign-born constabulary. ‘Up against the wall, gringo!’

  5. Next the social engineering demons will want a legal or illegal alien to be elected president…….oh wait, we already have an invalid alien in the blight house, how forgetful of me

  6. Democrats’ plan for that civilian security force beholden to liberal bureaucrats for job security and benefits– Ve were just following orders! indeed. (No compunctions about gun-grabbing or shooting Americans there.)

  7. Corrupt cops are very common around the world. In Colombia it is expected that you give bribes to police to get things your way. Think of that happening in the USA.

  8. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this interesting post. Because of the corruption in police departments worldwide, the standards to become police officers should be high, including a requirement that they are U.S. Citizens.

  9. What’s next, let anyone vote and become President? Citizenship means something in this country, don’t cut in line ahead of those who have followed the well-written rules.

  10. If we think we have “riots” over a white US citizen/police officer shooting a black person. . . can you imagine what will happen when both blacks and whites riot over the shooting of a US citizen by an alien police officer. Even though I am old (68) and perhaps decrepit; just about the first time that happens, I’m putting on my marching boots and joining “the protest.” Then comes the big bucks law suits, and of course I want to serve on that jury for sure! This very kind of thing is why we have the Posse Comitatus Act. This is the most egregious idea I have ever heard of. The only people who should be serving in law enforcement are U S citizens! Dr Eowyn, this is a most remarkable article, thank you.

  11. Citizenship is the most general requirement for nearly all but Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.for example,to be a local cop you ALSO have to be a resident of the town you would be serving,to be a Sheriff Deputy you need to ALSO live within the County you serve,etc. A friend of mine was even unable to get work as an Elko Fireman despite being qualified for the job,because he lived 6 miles outside the Elko city limits.

  12. Someone above remarked that standards for police should be high. Agreed, but it hasn’t been that way for a long time. According to Jack Lamb who was a decorated officer and also taught at a police academy, at least 25 years ago they started changing two things at the academy- not hiring anyone who had too high of an IQ and not hiring any Christians. Sounds like a formula for a made to order goon squad with no morals.

  13. I am a white male from South Africa, I studied online through Georgetown university. I have exstensive background in Law eforcement security and investigations.
    In South Africa for a white male its impossible to make a decent living, I have applied to the Police force our metro police forces. They litteraly told me to my face that there is no place for me because I am a white male.
    I studied international law, I love the USA and would really like to become a Police officer there, is it wrong to want to be a law enforcement officer in a great nation like the US? Why can I not practice my expertise and my love of helping people and eforcing the law in any country?
    Yes the proper checks need to be in place and the training provided should be of very high quality to ensure that the person understands the laws in the US.
    Give people a chance.

    • “is it wrong to want to be a law enforcement officer in a great nation like the US? “
      Of course not! Hiring for any job, including police officers, should be based on merit and accomplishment, not the color of one’s skin. As should admission to colleges & universities. What we have in the U.S. and South Africa is “reverse” racism, which is still racism, pure and simple.

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