Immigrants living in California who are not U.S. citizens could be appointed to public boards and commissions under a bill passed in the state Legislature Friday.
California law requires civil officeholders to be U.S. citizens. Senate Bill 174 would make it legal for non-U.S. citizens to serve in these offices, and would also clarify that children born in California are citizens of the state, even if their parents are not.
The bill’s author, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), said that SB 174 would provide tax-paying noncitizens fair representation in public life, while benefiting the state as a whole.
He added that non-U.S. citizens can be licensed in California to practice law, dentistry, accounting and other professions. Experts who work in these professions often serve on boards and commissions that offer technical advice and handle licensing and regulation, he said.
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