Articles Posted in Immigration

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Contrary to what you may believe, if you are an undocumented immigrant living in Idaho, you have many substantial rights under the United States constitution. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) wants you to understand these rights. It has posted on the Internet important information in “Know Your Rights Handouts” that explain what you should do if you have an encounter with officers from the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This blog post summarizes the information in these handouts and explains how to act if ICE visits you at your home or work here in Idaho, or if an ICE official stops you in a public space in Idaho.

You Don’t Have to Open Your Door

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Trump has now issued two executive orders that target immigration and refugees from predominantly Muslin countries. To the relief of many Idahoans, neither has passed the scrutiny of federal judges. When Trump issued his first executive order, civic leaders in Idaho’s refugee communities expressed great concerns. “People are fearful and anxious and don’t know what to expect — they feel they have been pointed out for discriminatory treatment,” explained Jan Reeves, the director of the Idaho Office for Refugees, a private organization that coordinates with the federal government to resettle refugees in the Boise area. Trump’s first executive order also prompted roughly 600 Idahoans to gather in the Boise airport to voice their protest.

Mr. Reeves and these Idahoans have been relieved—twice. After the first order was struck down, the softer, second order was issued on March 6, 2017. In Trump’s own words, it was a “watered down” version of the first. It contains some changes President Trump and his legal team obviously hoped would allow it to survive the courts’ examination. Trump has been disappointed again. Federal district judges in Hawaii and Maryland have either blocked the entire order or key provisions.

By Joseph G. Ballstaedt

Donald Trump received the majority of Idaho votes in the recent election and more than twice as many votes as any other candidate. However, his policies could be a big problem for Idaho. President Trump’s plans to crack down on illegal immigration could weaken a significant part of Idaho’s economy: the undocumented workforce. Even if these workers are not deported, Trump’s recent actions, including ramping up immigration raids, have made undocumented immigrants grow uneasy, with some afraid to go to work.

Without the immigrant workforce, some Idaho business owners don’t believe their industries are sustainable. For example, Terry Jones, the owner of the dairy farm on Rim Fire Ranch in Emmett, Idaho, explained there aren’t enough Americans willing to fill the dairy industry jobs. He may have a point. About 2 in 5 workers in the Idaho dairy industry are immigrants. “The reason we have those individuals working for us,” Jones explained, “is because they are skilled; they know how to care for the animals.”

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