Police Departments Hiring Immigrants as Officers

Immigrant Cops

LAW ENFORCEMENT agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap. (ILLUSTRATION: Border officers in California. California has been in the forefront of hiring non-White officers.)

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.

“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans,” he said. “We feel that … would benefit both the country and this city.”

…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.”


Meanwhile, the consequences of hiring non-Americans as “law enforcers” recently came into sharp focus in Los Angeles. — Ed

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Source: USA Today

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1 Comment

  1. Heinemann
    March 24, 2015 at 11:22 am — Reply

    After reading the above report one does not know whether to laugh or cry. One wonders (not really) where this land is until I learned they are cities associated with USA.

    I had already learnt that George W. Bush had promised American citizenship for military duty to his mercenaries to augment his flagging Americans and circumventing all laws through the usual legerdemain. No one seemed to object.

    Change is not always dramatic. It can be casual, subtle like the parody above. The name of these new bureaucracies should arouse some suspicion though , but I believe such immoderate response is inappropriate if not unlawful.

    Aaron is probably a child of god and apparently strategically placed in the Nashville Police Department who believes established laws should be suspended for this subversion. Laws are meant to be broken.

    It is clear names have not been changed to protect the culpable: Aaron; Bovat; Krikorian ;and last but certainly not least, Ali Nooranii. Is this the Rainbow coalition ?

    It gives one comfort to know that Center for Immigration Studies and Executive Director for the National Immigration Forum and Law Enforcement of the largest cities are in the proper hands.

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