Some L.A. County government positions to not need citizenship

Pamela G. Knowles

U.S. citizenship will no longer be a prerequisite for a lot of Los Angeles County govt employment, including office heads.

On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a movement making it possible for the county, with a number of exceptions, to use noncitizens to direct county businesses — excluding the main probation officer — and for any other county careers exactly where state or federal legislation doesn’t mandate citizenship.

Immigrants who deficiency legal position keep on being ineligible to function for the county.

Tuesday’s motion, by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, extends eligibility for county positions to lawful long-lasting citizens and people with perform permits.

The movement directs staff members to clear away citizenship as a need for county positions, except if usually mandated by point out or federal regulation.

Section heads will be authorized to appoint immigrants with out citizenship as their deputies when not barred by state or federal regulation.

“By eradicating citizenship specifications, the county will achieve entry to a larger sized pool of experienced applicants with various lifestyle encounters that can assistance boost present expert services,” Solis, the board chair, said in a assertion. “This choice is rooted in a greater vision to convey diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of every thing that we do at the county.”

Solis experienced hoped the county could waive citizenship specifications for disaster assistance personnel, but state regulation governs these positions and excludes lawfully utilized immigrants.

Immigrants make up 35% of the inhabitants in L.A. County. With about 110,000 personnel, the county authorities is a single of the greatest employers in the location.

Some particulars of the county’s prepare weren’t produced public. The county chief executive place of work and Solis’ and Kuehl’s workplaces declined to share a June report with The Periods, stating it was guarded by lawyer-client privilege due to the fact it was drafted by county attorneys.

At a prior Board of Supervisors assembly, Andrés Dae Keun Kwon, policy counsel and senior organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union, explained to the board that when he graduated from UCLA School of Law, his dream was to operate at the L.A. County general public defender’s business.

“But I was not a U.S. citizen, and so I was shut out,” he said.

He went on to perform in immigrant legal rights at the ACLU.

“The county workforce should really mirror the men and women they provide, and nowhere is this extra essential than at the general public defender’s office,” he said.

General public Defender Ricardo García, the son of immigrants and the county’s very first Latino public defender, mentioned in a tweet that the very important function of his place of work in the life of indigent inhabitants “makes it critical that the hiring process lets for onboarding the finest and most assorted candidates.”

The board’s selection was celebrated by other advocates for immigrants.

Victor Narro, a project director targeted on immigrant workers at the UCLA Labor Middle, said that waiving the citizenship prerequisite was a prolonged time coming.

“The citizenship necessity is genuinely from one more time period, but it can take a even though for regional governments to know that those specifications no for a longer period replicate the diversity of the modern society we have,” he said. “There are so lots of noncitizens that reside in L.A. County who are skilled or extra than qualified for all those positions.”

Narro, who teaches a community curiosity law seminar, reported lots of law students who appear from immigrant family members aspire to be community defenders. He stated the final decision provides an chance for the county workforce to far better mirror the neighborhood it serves.

“L.A. County can lead the way,” he reported. “My hope is that other counties will get rid of those citizenship requirements.”

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