The Nashville Police Department is making national headlines due to a recent, controversial request in regards to immigrants. Apparently, the law enforcement agency feels immigrants should be considered for employment as police officers. So, the department is reportedly attempting to convince the state legislature to legalize the hiring of immigrants for law enforcement purposes.
The current laws in Tennessee prohibit immigrants from becoming police officers. But, now the Nashville Police Department is hoping to have that law changed in order to accommodate immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military. It has been reported that approximately 25,000 immigrants currently serve in the United States Army. So, the police department feels those who serve the country should be considered. Nashville Police Department spokesperson, Don Aaron, recently released a brief statement in reference to controversial request, citing the beneficial aspects of hiring immigrants, reports USA Today.
“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans… We feel that… would benefit both the country and this city.”
Although the Nashville Police Department’s efforts have been highlighted, there are actually many other law enforcement agencies that have also opted to employ immigrants. According to the International Journal Review, several metropolitan law enforcement agencies have also considered hiring non-citizen immigrants. The struggle to fill rank is reportedly a widespread problem for many law enforcement agencies across the country. So, agencies are looking to fill the gaps, reports Western Journalism. However, another controversial aspect is the fact that some law enforcement agencies are even willing to hire non-citizen immigrants.
Legal immigrants. Good. Nice try conflating this with illegal aliens. @thinkprogress— Legal_Immigrant (@Dr_2A) March 23, 2015
@thinkprogress and this is a problem? Immigrants helped to build this nation, and as long as legally able to work here, should be able to.— Matthew Williams (@mwilliams433) March 23, 2015
Needless to say, the tentative idea has sparked a heated debate online. Although many agencies have cited the advantages of including immigrants, many U.S. citizens aren’t too pleased about the idea of hiring non-citizen immigrants for such positions. Another issue plaguing most Americans is the heightened level of distrust where police officers are concerned. Due to the rise in shootings of unarmed citizens, most feel the hiring of immigrants may only make matters worse.
“Non-citizens are NOT on an equal status with citizens, and should NEVER have arrest powers. This is an obscene perversion of our First Principles.”
“I disagree. Just exactly what business does anyone that is not an American have in our military defending our American ways and all that the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA STANDS FOR. JUST AS I THOUGHT…NONE. THEY ARE OUT TO FURTHER THEIR OWN TERRORISTIC PLANS-they will be the enemy amongst us. Why? Because they will be allowed to by our own government that has there own agenda. It won’t be making our country their own and becoming Americans….wake up sheep the wolves are here and multiplying. [sic]”
“Does anyone remember Ft Hood? Military service should not be an automatic path to citizenship. We can’t even tell when of our natural born citizens can be trusted. Military service doesn’t automatically make a person a patriot. They should have to do what it takes to become a citizen before applying to any police acadamy. And only citizens should be cleared after submitting to the same background check any natural born citizen undergoes. [sic]”
However, Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, also weighed in with more details about the controversial hiring of immigrants for law enforcement. He insists employment candidates will be properly screened.
“The security risk is a straw man… This is about people who have gone through criminal background checks, who are meeting the very high standards that we set as a country to stay here and who only want to serve and protect their communities.”
Do you think non-citizen immigrants should be allowed to serve as police officers? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]