Immigration

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Congressman Raul Labrador introduced a bill in the House Tuesday seeking to tighten enforcement of immigration laws and cracking down on so-called Sanctuary Cities.

The bill is called the Davis-Oliver Act; it’s named after two California law enforcement officers who were killed in 2014 by an undocumented immigrant.

Among the provisions of the bill are requirements that all applicants for a visa to the U.S. undergo additional screening. Part of that enhanced vetting includes letting security agencies access an applicant’s social media profiles.

City of Twin Falls

In a 5-to-2 vote Monday, the Twin Falls City Council decided to label the community a “Neighborly City.”

In the run-up to the decision, the city council heard more than three hours of public comment at meetings over the last month.

The “Neighborly City” label is a tamer version of declarations other cities have made calling themselves either “Welcoming” or “Sanctuary Cities” where federal immigration law is either downplayed or outright flouted.

goochrules / Flickr

Monday evening in Twin Falls, the city council heard two hours of testimony about a resolution that would declare the community a “Neighborly City.”

The language in the resolution describes Twin Falls as “a community where all residents are welcomed, accepted and given the opportunity to connect with each other without bias.” Out of 28 speakers who shared views on the proposal, 21 spoke in favor of it.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho may be synonymous with potatoes, but the state is also one of the largest dairy producers in the country. Like much of the agriculture sector, a majority of the labor at dairies comes from foreign-born workers.

In southern Idaho, cows’ hooves clack gently as they stand in the milking parlor of a small dairy. Taking the noise of the automated milkers in stride, the cows are calm as they’re milked in 10 minute sessions. Monitoring the animals, overseeing the machinery and wrangling the cows in and out of the milking parlor is Pedro.

Todd Dvorak / AP Images

President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration enforcement in January has put a spotlight on the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE. But according to acting Idaho U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, President Trump’s executive order has not changed how his office handles immigration cases.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Many agree the immigration system is broken, and there’s a national debate on how best to fix it. This debate is sometimes based on emotions, not on data. But a new study released Tuesday is taking a closer look at the numbers.

Asmaa Albukaie was Boise’s first refugee from Syria, arriving in late 2014.

"For me as a refugee, I came searching for safety and peace," Albukaie says.

She found that. She also found work.

Idaho Democratic Leader Responds To Immigration Bill

Jan 31, 2017
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Monday Idaho House Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) introduced a bill opposing the adoption of sanctuary cities. Although Idaho has no sanctuary cities in place, the lawmaker says his proposal would ensure that no state funding would ever be given to cities and counties that refuse to enforce federal immigration laws.
 
House Minority leader Mat Erpelding (D-Boise) blasted the bill.
 

In the 1840s, a million Irish citizens died of starvation during what became known as the “Great Hunger.” Taking up the desperate cause of his countrymen was a spirited and wealthy young orator named Thomas Francis Meagher.

Brent Moore / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he’ll deport all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. Lacking legal status, they fill many jobs – especially in farming. With Idaho solidly conservative, we wondered how those in agricultural areas reconciled their business interests with their politics.

Steve Millington is sitting in the back corner of the Twin Falls Perkins restaurant when we meet in the late morning. He’s the chairman of the Twin Falls County Republican Party and an avowed fan of breakfast; he has a plate of eggs, bacon and pancakes while we chat.

Neil R. / Flickr

In the last few days the U.S. Supreme Court has issued several major decisions. Perhaps the one that will have a direct impact on the most people in Idaho is last week’s split decision that effectively eliminates President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Those would have granted temporary legal status to people whose children are legal U.S. residents (known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans or DAPA) and to people who came to the country as children (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.)

KrisAlysha / Flickr

A Caldwell-based seed company has agreed to pay $200,000 in penalties to settle allegations that it illegally discriminated against citizens from outside the U.S.

The Idaho Statesman reports that the Justice Department announced the settlement with the Crookham Company on Monday.

A federal investigation from 2014 to earlier this year found that Crookham required non-U.S. citizens to show either a permanent resident card or employment authorization card to prove they were authorized to work. U.S. citizens had been allowed to produce any type of valid documentation.

Boise State University School of Public Service

Only a few of the 1,000 Idahoans who took a new public opinion poll saw immigration as a big priority for the state.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

In 2015, nearly 730,000 foreign-born people took the oath to become U.S. citizens. That included 1,449 in Idaho. Thursday more joined them in Idaho’s first naturalization ceremony of the year.

Sometimes these ceremonies are done with a lot of pomp at public events like 4th of July celebrations. This one is in the waiting room of a federal office, the kind of place where most days people take a number and wait to talk to someone through a window.

An orchard in southeastern Washington state says the U.S. immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. That's the response Thursday from Broetje Orchards in Prescott.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID, is optimistic the changing makeup of the U.S. Congress will lead to the passage of an immigration reform bill in 2015. But the lawmaker isn't as optimistic about that legislation actually becoming law.

"I think we're gonna have legislation that passes the House and the Senate that the American people will like," Labrador says. "The question is whether this President will be willing to actually sign that legislation."

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