Last week, state lawmakers in Utah passed a bill, almost unanimously, that would allow noncitizens to be employed as police officers.
The bill, S.B. 102 Peace Officer Training Qualifications Amendments, has now been sent to Utah Governor Spencer Cox, where it awaits his signature. It deletes the requirement that a police officer application be a U.S. citizen, and also deletes the requirement that the applicant be a “permanent” legal resident.
Applicants are required to be “lawful” residents of the U.S., who have lived in the U.S. legally for at least five years, are at least 21 years old, and are legally authorized to work in the U.S.
The Salt Lake County sheriff said the bill is needed because, “Recruiting is very tough right now. And there are a lot of individuals who don’t want to go into law enforcement. And there’s a lot of law enforcement officers who don’t want to do it anymore, simply because of the climate now.”
However, the sheriff did admit that conducting background checks for noncitizen applicants could be difficult, especially for those who come from refugee communities.
One organization, “Defending Utah,” is sounding the alarm, asking, “How can law enforcement officers swear their constitutionally required oath to protect the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic when they’re not even US Citizens?”
PLEASE TAKE OUR POLL BELOW – WE WANT YOUR OPINION! Should noncitizens be allowed to serve as police officers in the U.S.?
Utah: Legislature Voted to Allow Non Citizens to be Police https://t.co/uGuyAHhP2j
— Patriot Preparedness (@PPN_2017) February 20, 2021
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