Naabi votes against bill that would allow feds to enter rez, make arrests

PHOENIX

A bill in Congress seeks to violate the Treaty of 1868. House Resolution 4864, the so-called “No Haven for Dangerous Fugitives Act,” was introduced by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem, a Republican, from South Dakota.

The bill would amend language to the U.S. Code that would allow federal authorities to enter reservation boundaries to arrest anyone who is trying to avoid arrest.

Noem added that tribal sovereignty must be respected by federal, state and local governments “at all times, including by engaging in all reasonable efforts to reach extradition agreements with Indian tribes.”

On Thursday, the Naabik’íyáti’ Committee voted 12-0 to oppose Noem’s legislation.

Yazzie said in a Friday news release that if Congress approves Noem’s bill it “would be a free-for-all for the FBI, federal law enforcement, or state police.”

He said outside law enforcement would “book someone and take them away without following the proper procedures.”

Yazzie’s colleague Raymond Smith Jr. also said the extradition process was “addressed in the Treaty of 1868.”

Smith highlighted the “bad men” clause in the treaty, which contains “specific provisions for federal officials to provide notice, and federal request from the Navajo Nation.”

Smith was referencing Article 1 of the treaty, which says the tribe would turn over a person who committed a crime within its boundaries to the federal government for prosecution.

Naabi added that the tribe already had several cross-commission agreements in place from all three states it covers, and concluded the act ignored “the mutual respect of governing sovereigns” and weakened “the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations, including the Navajo Nation.”


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Categories: Politics