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Proposed bill would prohibit sanctuary cities in Idaho

Idaho

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BOISE — One Idaho legislator hopes to ensure that no Idaho city becomes a sanctuary city.

Republican Rep. Greg Chaney of Caldwell, proposed a bill that would require Idaho law enforcement to disregard any sanctuary city policies some cities may attempt to adopt.

The bill would require law enforcement to report anyone they arrest who has an immigration violation on their record to immigration authorities.

Chaney said House Bill 76 is not intended to motivate law enforcement to single out possible illegal immigrants.

“Certainly, the intention’s not to create extra eyes on those who are undocumented,” he said. “Rather, if immigration’s already looking for you then the (law enforcement) agency would inform them that they found you.”

Chaney’s bill only allows law enforcement to arrest people if they have probable cause and not on the basis of immigration status. If an individual is unable to provide documentation of immigration status within 48 hours of being detained, law enforcement would then be allowed to look for immigration violations.

Chaney said only a very small, distinct group of people would ever be affected by this bill.

Being on the Idaho Commission of Hispanic Affairs, Chaney said he has met with leaders in the Hispanic community to address their concerns over the bill. He acknowledged concerns about profiling leading to a fear of law enforcement as a result of the bill.

“I’m doing everything I can to clarify what the bill is supposed to do and what it’s not supposed to do, even if I need to go back and apply some feedback that I’ve gotten on some different language,” Chaney told Eastidahonews.com.

He said even though Idaho does not have any sanctuary cities, the current frustrations with President Donald Trump’s executive actions regarding immigration may lead to city leaders attempting to protest by adopting sanctuary city policies.

The state of California has introduced a bill that would adopt such policies across the state. Trump responded by threatening to “defund” the state.

“There’s plenty of room in the immigration discussion to disagree with the administration’s policies and approaches,” Chaney said. “But this particular type of policy would not be the proper way to oppose the administration.”

House Bill 76 was sent before the State Affairs Committee on Feb. 1.

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