A Coeur d’Alene lawmaker is spearheading an effort to adapt Arizona’s new illegal immigration laws to Idaho.
Republican Rep. Bob Nonini is working with other north Idaho lawmakers on implementing a similar law to Arizona’s, which requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to check a person’s immigration status if there’s reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally. The legislation also allows citizens to sue cities and counties for not enforcing federal immigration laws.
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Arizona over the law, saying it illegally conflicts with federal law. It also notes several examples when Congress has urged enforcement of immigration laws at the state level.
Nonini, as well as members of Idaho’s congressional delegation, admit a state-by-state, border control strategy is not ideal. But they say Arizona acted because the federal government failed to deal with illegal immigration.
Nonini says that while Idaho doesn’t border Mexico like Arizona, there could be border issues with Canada.
The Idaho Republican Party passed a resolution during its state convention last month endorsing Arizona’s law, but rejected a plan urging lawmakers to adopt a similar measure. (IdahoReporter.com)