Legislation currently under consideration at the Idaho Statehouse would punish employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. On the surface this legislation appears to address a serious problem. We recognize the many societal concerns that illegal immigration presents and we share the frustration that has brought this legislation to the forefront.
Stopping the surge of undocumented aliens into the U.S. will take a unified effort from all 50 states, Congress and the American people. Estimates suggest there are somewhere between eight and 12 million undocumented aliens in the U.S. at the present time. And in spite of millions of dollars of investment to strengthen our borders, they continue to trespass every single day.
This is a land of great opportunity for people coming from the many poverty-stricken regions of Latin America. People who come from poverty are eager for jobs most Americans wouldn’t consider. Many of those jobs are in agriculture and American agriculture needs those workers if we are to continue to produce a healthy, safe, affordable, abundant food supply. However, we want those workers to be here legally and with proper documentation. We support reforming immigration laws that give farm workers the chance to legally enter the U.S. and creation of a guest worker program that works for employers and employees.