The constitutional protections of due process and equal protection apply to everyone in the United States- including non-citizens- even those not here lawfully. The ACLU of Idaho is dedicated to preserving and defending the rights of all immigrants and people of refugee status in accordance with the Constitution. Our work is conducted through policy advocacy and public education. 

Protecting Civil Liberties in Federal Immigration Reform:

  • Immigration reform must create a welcoming roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans living in and contributing to the U.S. fundamental fairness as guaranteed by the Constitution requires that these individuals be brought within the legal embrace of U.S. citizenship. 
  • Immigration reform must not create a national identification system or include measures that harm fundamental privacy rights. Error-prone identification systems endanger the rights and livelihood of all Americans in the workplace and in civic life.
  • Immigration reform must end state and local intrusions into immigration policy and enforcement, as well as ban racial profiling at all levels of government. 
  • Immigration reform must address systematic due process problems with immigration detention and deportation. 
  • Immigration reform must transform border enforcement, which has grown wasteful and abusive without regard to genuine public safety needs.
  • Immigration reform must address immigration and customs enforcement's (ICE) contribution by placing many detainees in detention centers, contributing to America's mass incarceration problem.
  • Immigration reform must include the ability of committed and loving couples in same-sex relationships to sponsor their spouse or permanent-partner in a way opposite-sex couples have long been able to under current immigration law.

Idaho's Immigrant Population

Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority in Idaho and also comprise the largest immigrant population. Data from 2008 indicates that thirty-two (32) percent of Hispanics are foreign born as compared to sixty-eight (68) percent who are native born. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Hispanic immigrant population in Idaho are not all recent immigrants. In fact, the population is broken down almost evenly if we look at the last few decades:

  • 35% of immigrants arrived in Idaho before 1990
  • 32% of immigrants arrived during the 1990s
  • 33% of immigrants arrived since 2000

Defending Immigrants' Rights in Idaho

Legislatively, the ACLU of Idaho has partnered with other organizations to vigorously defend the rights of immigrants in Idaho. In 2010, we defeated three proposals, that combined, would have curtailed the rights of immigrants in employment, exposed them to increased incidence of racial profiling, as well as limit the rights of U.S. citizens' and legal immigrants from accessing public benefits. The ACLU of Idaho opposes any Arizona SB 1070 copy-cat bill from being introduced in Idaho. 

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