Citizenship will no longer be a requirement for working at a job with Los Angeles County, after its board of supervisors voted unanimously without discussion to permit the county to hire noncitizens, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The only exceptions to the new rule are for those jobs in which American citizenship is required by state and/or federal law.
For example, U.S. citizenship will still be required in order to apply for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department or any peace officers hired by the county.
The board explained that the new policy "ensures that applicants for employment are fairly and equitably considered, without regard to national origin, citizenship, or other nonmerit factors that are not substantially related to successful performance of the duties of the position," according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
The board added that the new policy is in the county's best interest by "reducing barriers to employment and broadening the applicant pool."
The motion also said that ending the citizenship requirement will help bring in workers who may have multiple language skills, "connecting with vulnerable communities and establishing new connections to critical services."
Los Angeles County public defender Ricardo García compared requiring citizenship to work for the city government with discrimination based on "cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics," Breitbart reported.
García emphasized that "barriers to employment based on cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics are contrary to our core values. Citizenship overlaps these demographic characteristics."
He added that the new rule "will promote equity in hiring and give the Public Defender's Office access to the most qualified applicants for employment, irrespective of their citizenship status," stressing that "an immigrant's experience will advance our vision, mission, and values to protect our clients' legal and human rights and enable us to more readily realize my goal that our employees fully represent the demographics of the population that we serve."
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