Trending Topics

Legislation reintroduced in Wis. to allow DACA recipients to become officers, deputies

Currently, DACA recipients can become troopers, game wardens, COs and serve in the Wisconsin National Guard

Police badge police radio

Photo/Getty Images

By Sarah Calams

MADISON, Wis. — Legislation has been reintroduced in Wisconsin that would allow DACA recipients to become police officers and sheriff’s deputies in an effort to assist with ongoing police recruitment challenges.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has made it possible for immigrant children to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Currently, DACA recipients in the state can become troopers, game wardens, corrections officers and serve in the Wisconsin National Guard, reported. However, current law prohibits them from becoming officers and deputies in cities, villages, towns and counties.

State Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez says making DACA recipients eligible for those law enforcement roles would help fill vacant positions and boost diversity: “This bill would potentially open up access to a new untapped pool of candidates – candidates that will improve department community relations. It will increase trust to allow for more cooperation with department investigations.”

Over 6,000 DACA recipients in the state would be eligible to apply if legislation is passed, according to the report.

“Even if we can get a few applicants and get them in their academies and make our community stronger by having bilingual personnel working, I think it’s a win-win for Wisconsin,” Jesse James, a former police officer and state senator, said.

NEXT: Immigration and DACA: The impact on first responder hiring

The lawsuit was filed by three academy graduates from 2017 and 2018 on behalf of their whole classes
“I heard [my father’s] stories growing up and saw how much impact it had … I wanted the same thing,” Officer Calyn Dausch said
“I think there’s a potential for danger,” Sheriff Vern Warnke said. “I think there’s a chance for our criminal element to grasp what’s going on”
A tax would be added to create a fund that would allow for minimum staffing limits to be set and increased until the department reaches 2,074 officers