Undocumented Immigrants

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.

Kay Ledbetter / AgriLife

A lawsuit filed in district court in Boise earlier this month pits an Idaho dairy against former employees from Mexico. 

Six veterinarians are suing Funk Dairy southeast of Twin Falls for human trafficking and breach of contract, among other charges. The vets are from Mexico, and say they were hired to work at the dairy in 2014 under false pretenses.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

It’s a hot August afternoon and Maria sits in a car in a Kuna parking lot. The air is on a little but the engine’s not running so it doesn’t do much good. Despite the heat Maria wears a pink sweatshirt and a matching baseball cap. Maybe this heat doesn’t seem so bad to her because she just finished several hours working in a corn field.

“Today we were dis-tasseling the corn, taking all the tassels off,” she says. “They say it helps it grow faster.”

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.)

Northwest sweet cherry experts are reporting that some orchards are having a hard time getting their fruit picked this year.

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.

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.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon House has approved a controversial bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state college tuition rates. Supporters called Friday’s vote historic. But not very many students are expected to actually take advantage of the measure.