Idaho Community Action Network and Coalition of Immigrant Rights of Idaho Are Confident US Fifth Court of Appeals Will Reject Politically-Motivated Lawsuit by Anti-Immigrant Politicians

Undeterred by the political attacks, Idaho immigrants continue to prepare for new immigration programs and will fight on for a path to citizenship

Boise – Today, a G.W. Bush-appointed district court judge in Brownsville, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation process of the new immigrant deferred action programs. The ruling possibly pushes back the start date for millions of immigrants workers to come forward, register, and apply for work permits, which is planned to begin as soon as February 18, 2015.

“Immigrants in Idaho are moving forward regardless of today’s ruling, and will continue getting ready for the deferred action programs that will give 28,000 of Idaho immigrants the chance to live, work, and stay in America with their families.” said Cristina Medrano, a Master’s student at Boise State University.

“We’ve always said that this lawsuit is just a political stunt by out of touch anti-immigrant Attorneys General and governors, including our very own Governor Butch Otter, and is meant to scare away eligible immigrants from applying for DACA/DAPA,” said Ruby Mendez, Senior Policy fellow of Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN), “They seem to have forgotten that we fought hard for this victory, and we’re not going to let anyone take it away from us. We’re still fighting for a permanent solution that includes a path to citizenship for all 11 million.”

“This is just the first round in a long, drawn out legal process. Hundreds of legal scholars agree that the President’s executive action on immigration are constitutional and within his authority. We are confident that the court system will eventually reject this merit less lawsuit that only wastes taxpayer dollars, disenfranchises immigrant workers and families, and robs much needed revenue from state economies.” said Krista Bustamante, Organizing Director of the Idaho Community Action Network.

There are at least 50,000 undocumented immigrants living in Idaho, and approximately 62% would be eligible for one of the deferred action programs. Enabling these immigrants to register with the government, request a reprieve from removal, and apply for a temporary work permit which would increase Idaho tax revenues and lead to a cascade of economic benefits across the state.

The Idaho Community Action Network urges the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to take up this case immediately because millions of real people like Vicente Valentin that want to come forward to live and work in the only country they call home.

Vicente is a parent that migrated to the United states looking for a better life for his family and also has been a long time member of the Idaho Community Action Network. He along with his wife will getting ready to apply for, and receive protection under the new DAPA program.

In the meantime ICAN will be hosting a community meeting for an information session with immigrant families to clarify misunderstandings and myths of what this lawsuit means in the state of Idaho and a call to Action to our Governor.

When: Feb. 19th 2015

Where: Hispanic Cultural Center, 315 Stampede Dr. Nampa, ID

Time: 6:30 pm

What: Information Session and Action Prep

The Idaho Community Action Network is a state-wide membership based non-profit that works for social, racial, and economic justice. The fundamental mission of ICAN is to provide a voice for Idahoans committed to progressive social change and to develop the power necessary to create those changes. We have been working on immigration reform for ten years.

It’s a Healthy Heart Attack!

To keep America’s children healthy, a program known as CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) was enacted in 1997. This federal program provided states with a large “block grant” to fund a state managed health care program designed to cover children of the working poor. Federal funding currently covers 70% of money needed to run the program and the states cover the other 30%.

The federal funding for this program is set to end in September 2015 and without a reauthorization of the funds by Congress:

  • States will be left scrambling to cover all of the costs until the program expires in 2019.
  • Millions of children could lose the comprehensive health care necessary to grow and learn and become the next generation of healthy and productive citizens.
  • Lives will be lost! Without access to care, our children could die.
  • Good paying healthcare jobs will disappear.

We need to send a loud and clear message to Congress, to keep our children healthy with continued funding for CHIP!

Critical Need: Expanding Medicaid in Idaho, #3

photo of a man smilingDave Lounsberry, Lewiston. A little more than 10 years ago, when I had a good, steady mill job here in Lewiston, I was definitely one of those “doing fine.” After losing that great job and piecing together a living with part-time work, I am now one of those treading the “fine line.”

What scares me most, at age 59, besides watching my friends die, is going without access to health care. I don’t earn enough to qualify for the health care exchange. I would be eligible for coverage under expanded Medicaid – and so would more than 78,000 Idaho residents – but our Idaho governor and lawmakers have remained hesitant about the risk of accepting federal money.

I can tell them a little bit about risk. As a former U.S. Marine, I try to keep myself in good health. But at my age, I know the possibility of getting sick or injured is very real. I could lose everything I have struggled for. Providing health care to people in need is not a risk. By accepting the federal funds we are simply saying yes to bringing our own federal tax dollars back here to Idaho where it belongs. This money will save lives and create new living wage jobs. That is called common sense.