Bill requires citizenship for corrections officers - New York News

Bill requires citizenship for corrections officers

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Republicans in a House committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would require state corrections and detention officers to be American citizens, eliminating potential candidates who are legal permanent residents.

House Bill 2133, sponsored by Republican Rep. Darin Mitchell, drew criticism from committee Democrats who say the bill pits U.S. citizens versus permanent legal residents while also excluding military veterans who typically perform such jobs.

The House Committee on Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs approved the bill 5-3. The legislation would also require proof of citizenship for all peace officers.

Mitchell says the bill aims to reduce unemployment for U.S. citizens by giving them priority over non-citizens. "When I represent a district that has 34 percent unemployment rate, we ought to make a really strong effort to reach out to them," Mitchell said. "They are citizens, and they're unemployed."

Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, said the bill will send a message that Arizona is not an inclusive state. "We're a better country than trying to pit one class of people against another, and legal permanent residents are type of people," Gallego said.

The bill comes after the recent discovery that a long-time Arizona state police detective was living in the country illegally.

Carmen Figueroa apparently was told by her family that she was born in the U.S. though she was actually born in Sinaloa, Mexico. Her status was discovered when the State Department processed a passport application submitted by her brother, who is serving in the U.S. military. Figueroa resigned from the Department of Public Safety in December.

Committee members brought the case up at the hearing. An official from the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board called it an embarrassment at the meeting but said it was an anomaly and that officers already go through rigorous background investigations, including citizenship checks.

An official from the state Department of Corrections said there are currently 450 open positions that agencies have struggled to fill, adding that the bill would put a strain on recruitment efforts.

What's more, the department currently employs about 400 officers who are permanent legal residents, legislative liaison Will Barnow said. The department employs 6,100 officers. The bill would not be retroactive.

The bill was opposed by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, which certifies police officers and establishes standards for state correctional officers.

It will move to the House floor after a routine committee inspects it.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Joan Rivers on life support

    Joan Rivers on life support

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:03:07 GMT

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

  • Dispute over reclining seat on another flight

    Dispute over reclining seat on another flight

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:54:18 GMT
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
  • Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Crash in Lincoln Tunnel causes major delays

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 16:33:28 GMT
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
    One of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel was closed for nearly four hours after a chain-reaction accident involving a New York-bound jitney bus and two other vehicles. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says three people were reported injured in the accident in the center tube at about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices