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“Our laws matter, our borders matter, our safety and security matter,” Chaney said.






(Boise) Representative Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill in the House State Affairs Committee aimed at protecting Idaho communities by prohibiting local policymakers and law enforcement from becoming “Sanctuary Cities” or counties.

Chaney pointed out that most immigrants were of the sort he described as some of the “hardest working, most family oriented and God-fearing people” who were “valuable members of the community.” However, Chaney said, not all who enter the country do so with good intentions.  Just how many can’t be measured, he said, without proper enforcement and vetting—matters of federal jurisdiction that cities and counties shouldn’t be trying to block.

The bill would require that law enforcement check for and comply with immigration holds when arresting someone for a violation of Idaho law. The bill would withhold state sales tax distribution funds from cities or counties that make a policy of ignoring or obstructing federal immigration policy.

“Our laws matter, our borders matter, our safety and security matter,” Chaney said.

While there are no jurisdictions currently in Idaho acting as a sanctuary community, Chaney says that recent changes in immigration policy by the Trump Administration may give rise to new attempts by local officials to obstruct immigration efforts.

“The safety of our citizens should not be compromised by political protest,” Chaney told the committee.  He added that while there is always room for disagreement on immigration policy, “compromising public safety isn’t the way to do it.”

The bill would only apply to those individuals otherwise arrested on misdemeanor or felony charges under Idaho law and specifically prohibits local law enforcement from arresting or detaining individuals solely on the basis of immigration status.


What the proposal does:

  • Prohibits local agencies from arresting or detaining on the basis of immigration violations alone.
  • Establishes a statutory requirement to check for immigration holds on persons arrested for misdemeanor or felony violations of Idaho law.
  • Prohibits the adoption of policies which encourage non-compliance with immigration.
  • Sets out procedures and penalties for cities and counties that violate the law.


What the proposal DOESN’T do:

  • Doesn’t relate to the refugee program at all.
  • Doesn’t attempt to overstep the state’s role in immigration by establishing a state-specific immigration policy.  In fact, it prevents state, county, or city policies that run afoul of Federal priorities.
  • Doesn’t seek to authorize or encourage local law enforcement to seek out those who have violated immigration law alone.  On the contrary, it specifically prohibits it.

CONTACT: Rep. Greg Chaney

(208) 332-1055