President Donald Trump’s decision to halt the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, a.k.a. DACA, sparked a range of responses across the nation. In Idaho, many leaders say the President made the right move ending the Obama-era program.
Over 3,100 of the so-called “dreamers” were protected in Idaho by DACA as of this March, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The program lets undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children who meet certain requirements remain in the U.S. and allows them to work.
A host of Idaho elected officials weighed in on the President’s decision – nearly all citing the questionable constitutionality of former President Obama’s executive order creating the program.
GOP Congressman Raul Labrador says Trump’s decision to end the program will spur sweeping immigration reform. That sentiment was echoed in statements from Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo who say the wind-down of DACA will allow the proper legislative process to take place.
Both Governor Butch Otter and state Attorney General Lawrence Wasden say they hope the move forces Congress to take action.
That’s the refrain of Bob Naerebout, the Executive Director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. He says, “Hopefully going forward, Congress will not only address the DACA issue, but the broader immigration issue.”
Naerebout’s professional association has been seeking comprehensive immigration reform for a while. He thinks the end of DACA brings a new urgency to an issue touching the lives of many of the state’s undocumented dairy workers.
“We’ve talked about the value of our foreign-born labor and the value of getting their status to a legal status,” Naerebout says. “Hopefully Congress is incentivized enough to finally act on immigration.”
Educational institutions across the state are getting the word out they don’t collect information about citizenship. Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sherri Ybarra, is among those saying the federal government must sort out immigration.
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