BILL NUMBER: AJR 39 INTRODUCED BILL TEXT INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Alquist (Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Chu and Salinas) (Coauthor: Assembly Member Chan) FEBRUARY 25, 2002 Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39--Relative to airport security workers. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AJR 39, as introduced, Alquist. Airport security workers. This measure would memorialize the President of the United States and the Congress to suspend or eliminate the requirement that security screening personnel be citizens and act to ensure that any legal immigrant that has applied for citizenship be allowed to keep his or her security screening job absent certain evidence. The measure would also memorialize the President of the United States and Congress to remove waiting time penalties that apply to immigrant security screeners who try to bring their families to the United States if they apply for citizenship. Fiscal committee: no. WHEREAS, The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (Public Law 107-71) established the Transportation Security Administration within the Department of Transportation, to be administered by the Under Secretary of Transportation for Security; and WHEREAS, Under the act, the Under Secretary is responsible for day-to-day security screening operations for passenger air transportation and intrastate air transportation, including the screening of passenger baggage; and WHEREAS, Under the act, the Under Secretary is responsible for developing standards for the hiring, training, testing, and retention of security screening personnel; and WHEREAS, Under the act, the qualification standards for individuals to be hired as security screening personnel must require the individuals to be citizens of the United States; and WHEREAS, The Under Secretary assumed responsibility for airport security on February 19, 2002, and all security screening personnel that are not United States citizens will be terminated by November 19, 2002; and WHEREAS, A large percentage of security screening personnel at several airports in California are not United States citizens; and WHEREAS, In the bay area alone, approximately 1,200 mostly Filipino workers, will lose their jobs as a result of the requirement that security screeners must be United States citizens, with no demonstrable showing that this will improve safety or security; and WHEREAS, The vast majority of security screeners that are not citizens of the United States, are legal immigrants from nations that have long been friends or allies of the United States, their countries having fought alongside our soldiers during wartime, and have either applied for citizenship, or are prevented from applying for citizenship, as a result of punitive immigration policies; and WHEREAS, Immigrant security screeners are not to blame for the September 11, 2001, disaster and punitive actions against immigrants unrelated to their being a security risk, creates and inflames ill feelings for this country abroad; now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly and Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature of the State of California memorializes the President and the Congress of the United States to suspend or eliminate the requirement that individuals to be hired as security screening personnel must be citizens of the United States; and be it further Resolved, That the President and the Congress should act to ensure that any legal immigrant that has applied for citizenship should be allowed to keep his or her security screening job, absent evidence showing that they are a security or criminal risk; and be it further Resolved, That the President and the Congress should remove the waiting time penalties that immigrants working as security screeners suffer, in trying to bring their families to the United States, if they apply for citizenship; and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States.