Concern has been raised about the Idaho House Judiciary and Rules Committee holding SB 1067. Holding the bill was about protecting the due process and privacy rights of our citizens, and protecting the integrity of our state’s ability to study and analyze issues independent of the coercive threats of the federal government. On the surface, SB 1067 updates Idaho child support laws to recognize orders from foreign countries. It is, however, the product of a 2007 treaty. For the United States to participate, all 50 states must approve the exact language which is contained in SB 1067.
The federally mandated language in SB 1067 raises due process concerns. Courts in Idaho are required to accept foreign orders with only a few exceptions. Those exceptions include minimal requirements for notice and hearing; however, those rights are undefined and vary drastically from country to country. Our courts would be curtailed from looking behind those orders. One provision even bypasses court review and allows agency enforcement without court review.
Implementation of the treaty would open federal databases to foreign countries. An important child support enforcement tool is the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) which includes the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), as well as access to information from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, VA, the Department of Defense, NSA and FBI. Regarding the threat to personal information, counsel for the Congressional Research Service expressed significant concern in a report of July 15, 2013. The report states: “The expansion of access to and use of personal information contained in the FPLS, especially in the National Directory of New Hires, could potentially lead to privacy and confidentiality breaches, financial fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. There is also concern that a broader array of legitimate users of the NDNH may conceal the unauthorized use of the personal and financial data in the NDNH.”
Finally, the federal government uses coercion to force approval of the bill. It has threatened states with the loss of existing child support funding and technical support on all other cases if the bill is not passed. In other words, the federal government, in its effort to compel adding a few foreign child support collections, is willing to impair all other child support collections to force compliance with its mandate. Idaho is not dismantling its child support system, the federal government is threatening to do that.
A few citizens who testified at the committee hearing raised concerns about SB1067 leading to enforcement of Sharia law in Idaho, which ended up as the major focus in news articles. That was not the reason for holding the bill. The bill and treaty have serious risks and flaws. It is not our choice to interrupt current child support enforcement. Rather, it is the federal government that is using children as collateral to force its policies upon Idaho and its sister states.