There’s good news for any DACA recipient in California who has ever dreamt of a life as a police officer. After new legislation has passed, it’s now legal for these Dreamers to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Police departments need officers
This change in immigration policy comes in the wake of a major shortage of new officer recruits. At many police departments, it’s also a challenge just to keep the officers that they already have.
Prior to the change, DACA beneficiaries couldn’t pursue a career path in law enforcement thanks to the wide array of provisions included in the laws in some states. But now, some of these regulations have been dropped, allowing those who were brought to the U.S. as children to become police officers in California and Colorado.
The debate continues
Proponents of these laws point to the fact that non-citizens with U.S. work authorization can already register for military service. To these advocates, it only makes sense that these non-citizens should also be able to work as officers of the law.
However, not everyone sees it this way. Vocal critics of this point of view say that only citizens of the United States should be allowed to work as police officers. Many of these naysayers hold the belief that someone who isn’t a citizen shouldn’t have the right to arrest someone who is. Some go so far as to say that non-citizens shouldn’t be allowed to possess firearms.
Laws in California and Colorado have been passed that allow non-citizens who are authorized for employment in the United States to get a job as a police officer. This means that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients can now work in law enforcement. Comparable legislation is currently in the works in New Jersey and in other states.