Citizenship no longer required for LA County jobs

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of allowing the county to waive citizenship requirements for government jobs.

The motion, authored by Chair Hilda l. Solis and co-authored by Sheila Kuehl, allows the county to hire non-citizens except for positions where being a U.S. citizen is required by state and federal law.

"Los Angeles County is a community of immigrants from each corner of the world," said Chair Hilda Solis in a statement. "And while our County-government workforce reflects the community it represents, there is room for improvement. This motion seeks to make clear that the County, as one of the largest employers in the region, strives to be an inclusive and diverse workforce, and is committed to not excluding nor allowing citizenship to be a barrier to employment."

The U.S. citizen requirement will remain in effect for applicants for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jobs or any county-appointed positions for peace officers.

As of 2018, an estimated 880,000 non-citizens made LA County their home, yet there are barriers they face for employment in the county, Solis said in a statement.

"Barriers to employment based on cultural, racial, ethnic, or religious characteristics are contrary to our core values. Citizenship overlaps these demographic characteristics," shared Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo García. "This motion, by Supervisors Solis and Kuehl, 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. 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."

To view the full motion, click here.