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Immigration bill is tabled pending input from local law enforcement agencies


A bill looking to change a section of immigration law in Idaho will not go to the full state senate, for now.

The Senate State Affairs committee questioned Sen. Dan Foreman’s proposal that would prevent governmental agencies investigationsfrom interfering with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigations.

Currently, the employees of government agencies, such as police departments, can choose whether or not to cooperate with an ICE investigation. This bill would take away an agency's ability to tell its employees whether or not to cooperate with a federal immigration investigation.

“Its focus is very simple,” he said. “Do we want government entities in the state of Idaho to order people to not cooperate with a lawful investigation?”

It would allow local law enforcement to ask the immigration status of individuals under detention and exchange that information with other governmental agencies.

The bill would also permit anyone, including the federal government, to file a complaint with the Attorney General if they have evidence of a violation.

“This legislation is not about immigration per se or sanctuary cities. It is about codifying a policy of respect for the law.” Foreman added.

The committee said it will hold the bill until it can hear comments from sheriffs' departments.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.