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DACA recipients eligible to join Seattle police as liberal policies blamed for 'dire' staff shortage

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The Seattle Police Department is now welcoming illegal immigrants to join its depleted force as staffing levels dip to lows not seen since 1957.

“It’s rather ironic, you’ve got people who are in this country illegally who are now going to potentially be enforcing the law,” Seattle radio host Jason Rantz remarked on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday. 

The SPD announced last week they are accepting applications from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients after state legislation allowing “Dreamers” to apply for civil service positions went into effect in Washington.

LAPD CHIEF SAYS DEPARTMENT IS LEADING NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT TO ARM DACA POLICE OFFICERS

seattle defund

The number of sworn officers in the SPD has plunged to 913 compared to over 1,400 in 2017, according to the department. Additionally, there are currently only 424 patrol officers and 280 eligible for retirement.

Rantz said the police are in “dire need” of support due to the fallout from liberal policies.  

“You had a movement that was out there calling cops, murderers and racists, and unfortunately, you had a city council at the time that embraced and amplified those messages. And so people started to leave in huge numbers,” he said.

Rantz believes the staffing numbers are even worse than reported, saying he feels confident that the true number of deployable officers in the city is under 900.

Rantz added that while there is nothing “inherently wrong” with people who were brought to the U.S. as minors wanting to help their community, the problem lies with the Obama-era DACA policy being “legally potentially untenable” as laws can change.

Seattle Police vehicle

“Let’s say there are some you’re going to put them through the courses, you’re going to put them through training only to then be told, okay, nevermind, we have to rescind all of this because the DACA program has been deemed unconstitutional, or the ATF has changed its policy,” he said.

The restriction on DACA recipients carrying firearms was disputed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) during a similar law enforcement recruitment move by Los Angeles City authorities last year, with the U.S. Justice Department clarifying in a February letter that it is “ATF’s position” that “DACA recipients may also possess firearms and ammunition seized as evidence or for forfeiture if the possession is in connection with their official duties.”

Despite program recipients being authorized to work in the U.S., they have typically been unable to enter jobs in law enforcement, with qualifications for Seattle’s police force previously noting that an applicant had to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. 

“An applicant must hold a United States citizenship, OR have legal permanent residency in the U.S., OR be a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient,” the Seattle Police Department’s job qualifications page now reads.

Washington officials predict the state has over 14,000 DACA recipients. 

The Seattle Police Department did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report

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