I am a 35-year resident of Boise and appreciate the work local law enforcement does to keep me safe. HB 198 being considered by the Idaho House jeopardizes the safety of communities across the state. Law enforcement agencies would be forced to divert their limited resources to comply with this law instead of focusing on local safety priorities. It would make victims and witnesses of crimes reluctant to work with the police out of fear that they may be subject to an investigation as to their immigration status. When people are afraid to report crimes, everyone in the community is less safe.
HB 198 would reduce funding available to communities. They risk losing sales tax revenue if law enforcement focuses their limited resources on local safety priorities instead of complying with federal immigration requests. It would raise incarceration costs because local facilities are not reimbursed for the costs of imprisoning people subject to federal immigration laws.
This bill is an invitation for police to treat people differently because they are perceived to be “foreign.” Every resident of this state should live free of profiling and be subject to equal policing.
I strongly encourage rejection of HB 198.
Sharon E. Jones, Boise