Legislation reintroduced in Wis. to allow DACA recipients to become officers, deputies
Currently, DACA recipients can become troopers, game wardens, COs and serve in the Wisconsin National Guard
By Sarah Calams
MADISON, Wis. — Legislation has been reintroduced in Wisconsin that would allow DACA recipients to become police officers and sheriff’s deputies in an effort to assist with ongoing police recruitment challenges.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has made it possible for immigrant children to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Currently, DACA recipients in the state can become troopers, game wardens, corrections officers and serve in the Wisconsin National Guard, WPR.org reported. However, current law prohibits them from becoming officers and deputies in cities, villages, towns and counties.
State Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez says making DACA recipients eligible for those law enforcement roles would help fill vacant positions and boost diversity: “This bill would potentially open up access to a new untapped pool of candidates – candidates that will improve department community relations. It will increase trust to allow for more cooperation with department investigations.”
Over 6,000 DACA recipients in the state would be eligible to apply if legislation is passed, according to the report.
“Even if we can get a few applicants and get them in their academies and make our community stronger by having bilingual personnel working, I think it’s a win-win for Wisconsin,” Jesse James, a former police officer and state senator, said.