SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The governor of Illinois signed a bill into law that allows non-U.S. citizens to become police officers in the state. The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Barbara Hernandez angered critics who slammed the idea of foreigners arresting American citizens as “a fundamentally bad idea.”
Illinois House Bill 3751 signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) will no longer require U.S. citizenship as a qualification to become a police officer in the state. The governor signed the legislation on Friday. It will go into effect on January 1, 2024, despite facing heavy opposition from GOP lawmakers and prominent law enforcement organizations, Fox News Digital reported.
The new law “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,” HB3751 says.
Additionally, non-U.S. citizens must be able to obtain, carry, purchase, or otherwise possess a firearm under federal law to apply for employment as a law enforcement officer.
The bill states that immigrants who remain in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act, are also entitled to apply for a position to join police agencies in Illinois.
Currently, federal law prohibits non-U.S. citizens to serve in the capacity of a law enforcement officer or deputy.
The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) condemned the new law once it passed in the Democratic-controlled state House earlier this month, Fox reported.
“What message does this legislation send when it allows people who do not have legal status to become the enforcers of our laws?” the group said in a statement to ABC20. “This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all the public confidence they can get.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. is a voice condemning the bill. She tweeted following news of the bill’s passing, “In the state of Illinois, illegals can now become police officers. Yes, you heard that right.”
“People who are breaking the law by their presence here can now arrest American citizens. You know the other blue states are watching and getting ready to implement this idea as soon as they can!” she exhorted. “We either address this border crisis or allow our country to descend further into a Leftist dystopia.”
In the state of Illinois, illegals can now become police officers.
Yes, you heard that right.
People who are breaking the law by their presence here can now arrest American citizens.
You know the other blue states are watching and getting ready to implement this idea as soon…
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) July 30, 2023
Illinois Rep. Mary Miller (R) was incensed and voiced her displeasure regarding the new law on Twitter.
“At 5 p.m. 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,” she tweeted. “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
Illinois Republican state Senator Chapin Rose previously slammed the bill in May as “a fundamentally bad idea.”
“I don’t care where this individual is from—Australia. They should not be able to arrest a United States citizen on United States soil,” the Daily Wire reported.