A motion to allow the country’s most populated county to hire non-citizens to lead its agencies was unanimously approved by the LA County Board of Supervisors.
One exception will be the county’s chief probation officer, and any immigrants who lack legal status will also remain ineligible.
But the move extends eligibility for county jobs to lawful permanent residents or anyone with a work permit.
Staff will now remove citizenship as a requirement for jobs, unless it is required by state or federal law.
“By removing citizenship requirements, the county will gain access to a larger pool of qualified applicants with varied life experiences that can help enhance current services,” Solis, the board chair, said Supervisor Hilda Solis in a statement.
“This decision is rooted in a larger vision to bring diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of everything that we do at the county.”
She had wanted the county to remove citizenship requirements for disaster service workers, but state law prevents it.
Los Angeles County has a population of 10.04 million people, of which immigrants make up around 35 per cent.
The county government has around 110,000 employees and is one of the region’s biggest employers.
Los Angeles County Public Defender Ricardo García, the son of immigrants, tweeted out his support for the move.
“The critical public service and justice role the Public Defender plays in the lives of LA County’s indigent defendants makes it essential that the hiring process allows for onboarding the best and most diverse candidates,” he wrote.
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