John C. Martin, City Manager
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
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.