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Idaho State Immigration Laws

Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of immigration laws in Idaho. As you learn about immigration laws, you should know the relationship and tension between state and federal law. This is present in every area of law under the federalism of the United States government. But it's evident in cases where immigration issues are at stake. This article briefly covers that tension.

Some of the topics we'll discuss in this article are:

Law Enforcement and Immigration in Idaho

Federal immigration authorities typically handle immigration and enforcement. Many local and county law enforcement officials are starting to help with these issues. They are also beginning to investigate or pursue suspected immigration-related offenses.

A federal program once required all arrestees' names to enter a database. This program was "Secure Communities." The database checked immigration statuses. Former President Donald Trump renewed the program by executive order in 2017. But President Joe Biden revoked that executive order in 2021.

The new program is the "Criminal Apprehension Program." Under the program, only convicts get checked for immigration violations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have access to information in the database. ICE has access, too. It is essential to know how federal and local law enforcement officials may cooperate in enforcing immigration laws.

Employment Checks

Under federal law, employers should refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules. They should check the requirements for Form I-9.

Idaho E-Verify Requirements

By executive order, Idaho requires government agencies and contractors to use E-Verify. They must verify workers' employment eligibility before they take state contracts. Private employers don't have to use the E-Verify system but may do so voluntarily.

Driver's License/ID Requirements

Applicants for driver's licenses in Idaho must show proof of age, identity, Idaho residency, and U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States. Idaho offers a helpful list of acceptable documents to establish the requirements.

Public Benefits Restrictions

Under federal law, immigrants without proper documents can't get public benefits. But they can get emergency services. They can get health care and other programs that are "necessary to protect life and safety."

Education Restrictions

Idaho law does not allow immigrants living here illegally to pay in-state tuition rates at state schools. This also applies to DACA recipients. Here's a breakdown of DACA:

  • It stands for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals."
  • It protects eligible young adults from deportation after their parents brought them to the United States as children.
  • It also gives these young adults work authorization for limited periods. Those periods of work authorization are renewable.

Voter ID Rules

In Idaho, every voter must present a photo ID to vote. Drivers' licenses, passports, and student IDs are acceptable forms of identification for voting. Voters unable to show photo ID may still vote but must complete an affidavit stating their identity.

Housing Ordinances and Immigration

There are no special ordinances in Idaho about housing and immigration.

Related Resources

  • Legal Aid Idaho —This nonprofit organization offers free and low-cost legal services to eligible people, including people living in Idaho without proper documentation and other migrants and immigrants.
  • Immigrant Justice Idaho — Another of the nonprofit organizations in the state, this group offers various advocacy services to migrants in Idaho. The group also provides many immigration services beyond just legal assistance.
  • University of Idaho College of Law Immigration Law Clinic —This law clinic offers legal advice to migrants and immigrants in Idaho.

Need More Help? Contact an Attorney

The immigration system in the United States is challenging. And it doesn't matter what your unique circumstances are. Whether you're in Boise or elsewhere in Idaho, getting the legal representation you need is crucial. It's essential to know your civil rights. Contact an immigration attorney for more help.

You could be navigating the naturalization process and trying to become a U.S. citizen. You could be appearing before an immigration court. You could be applying for any number of visas for travel to the United States or working on renewing your nonimmigrant visa or those of your family members. An immigration lawyer can help you with any given circumstances with your immigration-related issues in the United States.

If you can't afford an attorney, many work pro bono. Working pro bono means attorneys give legal assistance for free. Noncitizens dealing with many problems related to immigration should know that many legal resources are available regardless of their ability to pay.

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