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Idaho Lawmakers Working on Plea to Federal Government to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Stay and Work in Idaho

By • March 21, 2023

A group of Idaho Lawmakers are working on Senate Joint Memorial 101, a plea to the Biden Administration and US Congress to allow illegal immigrants who work in Idaho to stay and continue working. It also asks that future immigrants and their immediate families be allowed to enter the Idaho workforce by merely paying a fine “in satisfaction of their immigration-related violations.” The memorial details the failures of the federal government in handling the immigration system as a whole, and explains Idaho’s immediate and ongoing need to include immigrant labor in the workforce.

Co-Sponsors of the memorial include Senator Jim Guthrie, Senator Treg Bernt, Senator Linda Hartgen, Senator Chuck Winder, Representative Judy Boyle, Representative Chenele Dixon, Representative Rod Furniss, Representative Stephanie Mickelsen, Representative Jack Nelsen, Representative Jerald Raymond, Representative Lori McCann, and Representative Melissa Durran.

The statement of purpose prepared by Guthrie states,

“The Federal government controls immigration, naturalization and entry to the United States. The Federal government has failed to meet its responsibility to secure our Nation, at and within its borders, and has failed to provide a guestworker Visa program that can meet the labor demands of domestic business, particularly as relates to year-round agriculture, construction, food processing, manufacturing and hospitality industries. This Memorial expresses the desire of Idaho citizens and business that the Federal immigration system be modernized to secure the border, to provide for a legal workforce of guestworkers, and asks that Idaho’s delegation become National leaders on this topic.”

The text of the memorial includes, in part,

“WHEREAS, it is estimated that, as of 2018, there were 11.4 million people present in the United States without lawful status, and current estimates are that 2.4 million people are employed in agriculture. The vast majority of this population have jobs, are hard workers, pay taxes, and are critical to the economic production of domestic business, and further it would be impractical to incarcerate or deport a class of people uniformly and without regard to circumstances; and
WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon the Congress and President of the United States to strengthen our national security and the security of the several states, including Idaho, by adopting targeted, common sense, business-focused, market-driven immigration reform, which at its core must include the following:


(2) An effective guestworker program that meets the labor needs and demands of year-round agriculture, construction, hospitality, food processing, manufacturing, technology and other market sectors, and in particular allows cyclical worker visas of adequate length to meet the labor demands of Idaho agriculture and business; and
(3) An effective process by which persons currently present in the United States without lawful status and who are gainfully employed and their immediate family can obtain work authorization or residency status, without a pathway to United States citizenship, provided said persons have no criminal history beyond their immigration-related violations, and provided further that an appropriate fine is assessed and paid in satisfaction of their immigration-related violations….

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session of the Sixty-seventh Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the Idaho Legislature requests and calls upon the President of the United States and the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States to take action with all deliberate speed to adopt and implement targeted immigration reform in a manner consistent with the principles set forth in this Joint Memorial.”


During the Senate floor debate, Senator Chuck Winder (R-District 20) said,

“They’re a huge part of our economy… Who do you see working?…. I don’t see too many of our people, and by ‘our people’ I mean Caucasian people, going out and dealing with the issue of manure, milking cows, trying to raise pigs, trying to work in the orchards, trying to work in the fields when it’s 110 degrees…. and yet we need to feed ourselves and we need food security…”

SJM 101 passed the Idaho Senate by a 25-10 vote.

The Idaho Freedom Caucus put out a press release yesterday calling SJM101 a “dangerous and reckless pay-to-stay amnesty scheme.”

Idaho Freedom Caucus Say No to Pay-to-Stay-Amnesty Scheme

In contrast, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry tweeted their appreciation for the legislation saying,

When SJM 101 was introduced by Senator Guthrie, it was heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee. Senator Brian Lenney (R-District 13) had this to say about the route the legislation was sent in the House of Representatives by House Speaker Mike Moyle:

Senate Joint Memorial 101 is now slated to be heard in the House Agricultural Affairs Committee, possibly this week.

Feature photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


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Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, Brian Lenney, Chuck Winder, IACI, Idaho Economy, Idaho Freedom Caucus, Idaho Senate, Illegal Immigration, Immigration Policy, Immigration Reform, Joe Biden, Migrant Workers, Senate Joint Memorial 101, SJM101, Undocumented Workers, US Congress

13 thoughts on “Idaho Lawmakers Working on Plea to Federal Government to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Stay and Work in Idaho

  1. I wrote Lori McCann’t about this and she thinks it’s only fair that these ILLEGAL aliens be granted this privilege. Then again she also believes that there should be no penalty for libraries that allow access to pornography to minors.

    If you live in district 6, beware of McCann’ts positions.

  2. Just emailed the committee. Not that I expect many, if any, legislators to do the right thing at this point… but I voiced my disdain for Moyle’s tactics the only way I know how at this point. He is clearly using the Agricultural Affairs committee for his nefarious ends. This committee needs to stop this Memorial and quit allowing Moyle to manipulate them. I despise committees… full of elected reps now appointed to smaller groups that impact all citizens but the citizens didn’t assign them to these roles! Also, you cannot legislate your way to freedom. How about we work to strip some laws from the books… get back to the Constitutions.

  3. It is beyond my comprehension that this list of anti-American socialist sympathizers were voted into office at all. Their agenda is as plain as can be…Idaho voters who put them in office should be on the same bus out of Idaho headed to the first available third world country that would accept them.

    VOTE THEM OUT…or kiss our “conservative” state good bye. A good start to bringing about this desperately needed transformation would be in changing the voting laws to prohibit changing parties until the primaries are over and then allowing a change back (Democrat to Republican and back again).

    This whole scenario we’re seeing take place before our apathetic eyes makes me sick…

    1. Tv watchers aren’t the brightest lights on the string. Our politicians, government employed and the military are the enemy of this nation. Pay attention to what they have done to us.

  4. Welcome to the Kalifornication of Idaho. If you need migrant labor to work your farms / orchards… then set up a migrant visa program that benefits the state and the migrant workers. But a working migrant visa program has NOTHING to do with illegal immigrants. If you came here illegally, you need to go… period. NO… you don’t allow them to stay… and HELL NO… you don’t allow them to bring their damned families too. US dollars go exponentially farther in Mexico than they do here. And that’s how migrant labor has worked for decades. Allow the workers you need to come in… pay them a wage that keeps the farms profitable here, but gives them money to send back into their families in Mexico to raise their standard of living there. IF… IF… you have tried hiring American workers unsuccessfully, then I have no problem with a formal work visa program. But that has NOTHING to do with allowing criminals (yes… if you invaded this country illegally… you are a criminal) to stay in this state and then rewarding them with jobs and allowing them to chain migrate their families into Idaho. Do this… and watch your state turn into California.

    1. our politicians, government employed and the miliotary are the crime gangn that has destroyed us . Pay attention to what they have done to us.

  5. What is actually needed is a bounty on all illegals in the state. The amount can be set at a one years welfare equivalency these people would otherwise collect. Throw in asset forfeiture for an extra incentive. These people are criminals and need to be treated as such.

    1. Interesting idea. Now what to do to the politicians that are destroying those state and nation? We seem to keep reelecting them.

  6. I hope these traitors hang from a rope one day, when America collapse what do you think all these illegals are gonna do? Theyre gonna rape and pillage.

  7. Representative Melissa Durrant of district 23 Is a traitor and a prostitute for big business. She needs to be recalled.

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