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Calif. bill would allow non-U.S. citizens to become cops

Current California law says police officers must be citizens or permanent residents who have applied for citizenship

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By Suzie Ziegler

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new bill would allow certain non-U.S. citizens to become police officers in California, reported FOX 11 Los Angeles.

Senate Bill 960 would remove a provision that requires individuals to be a citizen or permanent U.S. resident to become a peace officer.

Current California law says peace officers “must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.”

SB 960 would only allow legal immigrants to become police officers. Federal law bars illegal immigrants from becoming police officers, according to the report.

“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. Nancy Skinner, the bill’s sponsor, at a Senate Public Safety Committee in March.

The bill was voted affirmatively at the end of March and is now in its third reading, the report said.