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Mayor and Council Support Bill for Airport Security Screeners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 9, 2002
Press Contact:  
Michael P. Guingona, Mayor
John C. Martin, City Manager
(650) 991-8125
(650) 991-8127

DALY CITY MAYOR, COUNCIL VOTE TO SUPPORT HR BILL FOR SF AIRPORT SECURITY SCREENERS


Daly City -- Daly City's Mayor and City Council voted unanimously last night to support HR 4058, a bill authored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). The Military Standards for Airport Security Screeners Act would establish the same immigration standards for airport screeners as those currently required for Armed Forces personnel.

According to officials from the Bay Area's three largest airports, a majority of the active airport screeners in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland are non-citizens. Of those, most are Filipinos. At San Francisco International Airport, approximately 80% of its 780 non-citizen employees are Filipinos, and many of them live in Daly City.

"As the Mayor of the city that is home to the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines, I felt compelled to ask the Council's support, along with the community's, for this important bill," stated Mayor Michael P. Guingona, who was only 31 years old in 1993 when he became the first Filipino-American elected to the City Council of Daly City.

As an aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act on November 19, 2001. The statute established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and required the federal government to overhaul its approach to securing all modes of transportation. The new law requires that all airport security screeners be federal at-will employees, and citizens of the United States.

The bill proposed by Rep. Lofgren requires the Attorney General to verify the immigration status of a non-citizen, determine whether he or she is qualified to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, and prohibit a qualified alien from being barred to serve as airport security screener based on his or her immigration status alone.

Co-sponsored by 28 other Congressional representatives, HR 4058 would also amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit naturalization of active military personnel who served during Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia) and Operation Allied Forces (Kosovo). Veterans from World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars have benefited from a similar provision, which eliminates requirements for continuous residence and physical presence in the United States. It does not eliminate, however, other requirements such as good moral character, ability to communicate in English, and knowledge of the United States Constitution.