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Hailey Passes Resolution Telling Police To Leave Most Immigration Enforcement To Feds

Hailey, Idaho
Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Hailey passed a resolution Monday night that instructs police officers to leave immigration enforcement to the federal government.

“City police officers shall not provide federal authorities with non-publicly available information about any individual for immigration purposes, including by providing access to Department databases, except where required by state or federal law,” the resolution reads.

It also says officers shouldn’t request documents about a person’s immigration status unless it’s necessary to investigate criminal activity.

The measure passed unanimously by the council and has the support of Hailey Police Chief Steve England. He told council members his department believes it could help them do their jobs better by encouraging undocumented immigrants to report crimes in the community without fear of their own punishment. 

“People will hopefully feel more comfortable calling us,” he said, “and having an officer respond to their location.”

Hailey, south of Sun Valley, is the most populous city in Blaine County and is 32% Hispanic or Latino, according to the latest census estimate.

Several local nonprofit leaders testified during the meeting about how the resolution would help reduce fear among the undocumented population in the Wood River Valley. 

“I firsthand have lived this fear of deportation in this area of Blaine County,” said Monica Carillo, a University of Idaho student who is undocumented, during the meeting. Carillo also works with several local nonprofits, including the Crisis Hotline and the Blaine County Charitable Fund.

“There have been rumors of ICE that have been going on these past few years, and there’s been rising anxiety in this minority group,” Carillo said.

City officials stressed through this resolution Hailey would still be complying with federal laws.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen  

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