Immigration

Updated at 5:58 p.m.

Seventeen states, led by Texas, are suing the Obama administration over its recent executive actions on immigration.

"The Constitution prescribes immigration policy be fixed by Congress — not by presidential fiat," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the state's governor-elect, said at a news conference in Austin.

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Idaho has the highest share of undocumented immigrants who will benefit from President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

One voice chiming in against President Obama's expected immigration announcement is Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican from Idaho.

Labrador is backed by the Tea Party, part of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, and a former immigration lawyer who represented undocumented residents fighting deportation.

Raul Labrador, Shirley Ringo
Courtesy Idaho Public Television

Immigration reform and gay marriage were just two of the issues on the table Thursday night during the Idaho Public Television debate between candidates running for Idaho's First District Congressional seat.

Republican incumbent Raul Labrador and Democratic challenger Shirley Ringo are vying for a chance to represent Idaho in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Raul Labrador, a Tea Party favorite, is calling for Congress to debate and vote on further military action against the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State.

Labrador thinks President Obama needs to sketch out a well-defined mission with a clear exit strategy in order to win Congressional support in his forthcoming speech to the nation.

At the Utah State Capitol, a mural of Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers brings some color to the building's spartan rotunda. Beneath it is a more modern sculpture — a woman walking forward with her son, who's holding a globe.

Underneath the statue are the words "Immigration and Settlement." The symbolism isn't lost on state House Speaker Becky Lockhart.

"Utah is a place that understands the value of immigration, the value of peoples coming to find a better life," she says, pointing up at the sculpture.

A breakdown in a U.S. State Department computer system that processes foreign worker visas has sowed major worries at some Northwest orchards.

Butch Otter, Lori Otter, Russ Fulcher
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. July 25, 2014.

This week, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

However, federal officials say they've already sent children from the border to Idaho.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has sent a letter to federal officials telling them not to send any of the unaccompanied young migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border to Idaho.

Otter on Wednesday sent the letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez.

Idaho has not been contacted by federal officials about bringing any of the children to Idaho.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It may be hard to believe, but the agenda here in Washington does include a few items beyond trading punches over the healthcare law and its troubled website. Near the top of the list is immigration reform. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports on the prospects for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.

There's a little known back door into the United States, available only to the affluent. It's called the immigrant investor visa -- or EB-5.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador reacted today to the Senate’s approval Thursday of an immigration reform bill.  The Republican congressman who made his living as an immigration attorney before being elected to the House in 2010 says he gives the Senate credit for framing the issue and addressing important aspects of the immigration debate. 

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Supporters of the Senate immigration bill got a boost today from the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO report says the bill would boost the economy and reduce federal deficits.  But last night, the House approved an immigration bill increasing criminal penalties against anyone in the U.S. illegally. 

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A group of about a dozen immigration rights supporters protested Monday outside Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador's Meridian office. They criticized Labrador’s decision last week to leave a group of House Democrats and Republicans who’ve worked for weeks on a bipartisan bill to reform immigration law.

Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (R) quit a bipartisan House group working on immigration legislation. 

He sent this tweet after his announcement:

Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Democratic and Republican senators have filed hundreds of amendments to an immigration bill in the U.S. Senate.  Many amendments filed by Republicans aim to boost border security and add employment enforcement provisions. Supporters say in some cases the real intent is to kill the legislation.

May Day Protests In Seattle Turn Ugly Again

May 2, 2013
Deborah Wang / KUOW

May Day began peacefully in Seattle with a march for immigration reform. But in the evening, hundreds of protesters clashed with police.

Police used what they call “blast balls.” That’s a kind of explosive that also contains pepper spray.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A few hundred people rallied at a downtown park in Boise for immigration reform before marching to the Statehouse. As part of the national May Day rallies, Idaho labor unions, businesses and student groups came out in support of a U.S. Senate bill that would create a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to America illegally. 

Cristina McNeil is with the Idaho Community Action Network. She says that lobbying Congressman Raul Labrador to pass comprehensive immigration reform is an important part of the struggle.

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador joined the GOP's biggest stars Thursday morning as thousands of conservatives and tea party activists gather near Washington DC.

The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, offers Republican leaders a high-profile stage to talk about issues, including immigration.

Labrador told CPAC members that conservatives need a grander vision for immigration reform.  He laid out a three-point plan.

Office of Rep. Raul Labrador

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. 

Holder withheld documents from a congressional investigation into the failed border security operation knownas“Fast and Furious.”

U.S. Representative Raul Labrador (R-ID) has been critical of Holder and Operation Fast and Furious since last year. He spoke on the House floor before the vote.   "The Attorney General has not only failed to produce all the relevant documents, he has misled this Congress and thereby prevented us from uncovering the truth." 

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