Immigration Alliance of Idaho

in the news

A selection of articles featuring the Immigration Alliance of Idaho and

highlighting issues for which we have advocated in our community.

 
 
Participants in Saturday’s rally held signs and marched through downtown Ketchum. In the background, legislative candidate Muffy Davis speaks to Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, right, and rally organizer Bena Larkey, left.  Express photos by Roland Lane

Participants in Saturday’s rally held signs and marched through downtown Ketchum. In the background, legislative candidate Muffy Davis speaks to Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, right, and rally organizer Bena Larkey, left.

Express photos by Roland Lane

Residents call for reuniting immigrant families

Mountain Express / by Peter Jensen / July 4th, 2018

Photos showing immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border have sparked a nationwide backlash and intense criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

At a rally in Town Square in Ketchum on Saturday morning, Wood River Valley residents Marsha Takahashi Edwards and Rod Tatsuno said those photos have a personal resonance.

 
“I would be supportive of becoming a sanctuary county.”  Angenie McCleary  Blaine County commissioner

“I would be supportive of becoming a sanctuary county.”

Angenie McCleary

Blaine County commissioner

Blaine County follows controversial immigration policy

Delaying prisoner release for ICE deemed unconstitutional by federal courts

Mountain Express / By Joshua Murdock / July 4th, 2018

Part 2 of a two-part series.

Amid a shifting legal and political backdrop, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office has stood by a longstanding policy of cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspects beyond their scheduled releases upon the agency’s request.

Questioned by the Idaho Mountain Express about why he continues the policy, that was as much justification as Sheriff Steve Harkins would provide.

 

A future in question: Immigration enforcement in Blaine County

Police don’t seek undocumented immigrants; jail reports bookings to ICE

Mountain Express / By Joshua Murdock / June 27th, 2018

Part 1 of a two-part series.

Emerson Edenilson Flores-Minco had a choice: He could participate in the notoriously violent MS-13 gang or flee El Salvador. Two years ago, the 16-year-old chose to flee, eventually settling in Hailey with his father, a longtime Blaine County resident.

 Two years later, Flores-Minco was on a soccer field, overcome by emotion, embracing his father and surrounded by the ecstatic team that had become his family. The Wood River High School varsity boys soccer team had won the 2017 state championship in Flores-Minco’s first season on the team. Adding to the euphoria, the players subsequently voted Flores-Minco as one of two co-MVPs for the game.

 The coach, Luis Monjaras, said Flores-Minco had a “bright future in soccer here,” but a few months later, the 18-year-old high school junior was sitting in Blaine County jail. The charge that landed him there was a first-time DUI, a misdemeanor that was later amended to inattentive or careless driving, a lesser misdemeanor. He was ultimately sentenced to time served—two months, for an offense that typically carries no more than a few nights in jail.


Support network created for Latino community

Immigration Alliance of Idaho hopes to develop model for the state

Mountain Express / By Mark Dee / October 25th, 2017

On a recent Friday afternoon, a woman overheard Sarah Sentilles and Patty Tobin, co-founders of the Immigration Alliance of Idaho, talking over tea in Hailey.

“My uncle has been deported five times, and each time he came back,” she told them. “He grew up here—this is his home.”

“Everywhere you go, you hear stories like that,” Tobin said, scratching the alliance’s phone number onto a torn piece of notebook paper. “Once you start the conversation.”

A year ago, it was a different sort of dialogue that sparked things to begin with, according to Tobin.

“During the election, I heard things said about friends in the community that weren’t true,” she said. “I felt I had to do something about it.”

Then, Tobin, a Ketchum resident, met Sentilles during an event at the Community Campus in Hailey. And again, at a local meeting of Indivisible, a national progressive activism organization.

Together, backed by a core set of members, they gave their new group its name, and established its purpose: The Immigration Alliance of Idaho, a Blaine County-based education, outreach and aid group aimed at supporting immigrants in the Wood River Valley.

Now, after about 10 months, their operation has grown beyond talk. Since January, they’ve worked, as Sentilles said that afternoon, “to pick up some of the pieces, and help with the devastation left behind when people are detained and deported.”

Now, after about 10 months, their operation has grown beyond talk. Since January, they’ve worked, as Sentilles said that afternoon, “to pick up some of the pieces, and help with the devastation left behind when people are detained and deported.”


For valley immigrants, road to citizenship runs through Hailey

Naturalization workshop helps locals apply for status

Mountain Express / Mark Dee / November 15th, 2017

On a recent Saturday in Hailey, a young girl sat before a stack of felt-tip markers in the corner of a well-lit room. All pink and pigtails, she picked one up and wrote “My Family” at the top of a plain white page. Then, she filled it with neon stars.

Her parents sat 15 feet away, waiting in line to start a process that they hope, months from now, will see them standing before a different banner, filled with different stars—red, white and blue.

This was Citizenship Day, one of 10 workshops designed to help immigrants across the state navigate the fraught landscape and bureaucratic hurdles along the road to naturalization.

In all, 18 legal, permanent residents began the process of turning their green cards into full citizenship at the workshop; eight of them left with completed packets easily an inch thick, bound for a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services clearinghouse in Arizona. The rest hit snags somewhere in the six-step process, like documentation or financing. (All in, the application costs $725 to submit.)

But for the people filling the seats Saturday, those short-term delays are slight.

“I know people living in this valley for over 20 years who are still in the process of getting citizenship,” said Patty Tobin, co-founder of the Blaine County-based Immigration Alliance of Idaho, which helped bring the workshop to Blaine County. “Many of them came here as children—this is all they know.”