Non-U.S. citizens can now become police officers in Illinois after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the final version of HB-3751 last Friday.
Can a Non-US citizen become a police officer?
Federal law states that ONLY U.S. citizens can serve as police officers and deputies. But Illinois House Bill 3751 would change that for immigrants eligible to work under federal law.
What is Illinois House Bill 3751?
For instance, the bill allows people who entered the country ILLEGALLY but are now here legally under something like The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act to become police officers.
House Bill 3751 “Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that an individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of police officer, subject to all requirements and limitations, other than citizenship, to which other applicants are subject. Effective January 1, 2024.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted, “To the Left, citizenship is meaningless. Illinois is now letting illegal aliens become police officers.”
To the Left, citizenship is meaningless. Illinois is now letting illegal aliens become police officers.
In Florida, we took action to combat the harms of Biden’s border crisis. We also value our citizen officers who serve and protect our communities.
As President, I will…
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) July 30, 2023
Illinois Rep. Mary Miller tweeted, “At 5pm yesterday, when no one was paying attention, Pritzker signed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to become police officers, giving non-citizens the power to arrest citizens in our state. No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens, this is madness!”
At 5pm yesterday, when no one was paying attention, Pritzker signed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to become police officers, giving non-citizens the power to arrest citizens in our state. No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens, this is madness!
— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) July 29, 2023
Even a former Chicago mayoral candidate, Willie Wilson, opposed the bill, arguing that it “defies common sense that non-citizens should be arresting and detaining legal citizens. This law will further exacerbate already strained police and community relations.” In a press statement Wilson released yesterday, he called on the Illinois Legislature to “Repeal Law Allowing Non-U.S. Citizens to Become Police Officers.”
In an interview with NewsNation, Yolanda Talley, head of the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, stated that the department had lost 1,000 officers in the past year, mostly due to retirement. “Veteran officers say if they’re not valued and appreciated, they’d rather leave the job than stay and serve where they’re not wanted.”
In February, California introduced a similar bill, SB 960, which is making its way through the legislative process.
The Peace Officers’ Research Association of California (PORAC) is opposed to SB 960 because, among other things, “they will not have taken an oath of allegiance to the country to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States.”
I’m unsure what that statement is based on, but I’m curious. There are only so many hours in the day to look into this stuff.
HB3751 goes into effect on January 1, 2024, and is just one example of Illinois having a tough time finding recruits.