Idaho Anxious to Watch Obama Immigration Reform Message Tonight

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Idaho immigration reform advocates will be among the millions of Americans who will be watching closely tonight as President Barack Obama reminds the nation that many of his presidential predecessors have taken executive actions regarding immigrants. This morning, The Hill reports that Obama approached an immigration lawyer at the White House Wednesday evening and told her, "I had promised. I had promised."

"He was actually very proud that he's been able to keep his word," Margaret Wong told The Hill

Also late Wednesday, United Farm Workers union President Arturo Rodriguez said that at least 250,000 unionized farm workers would be eligible for deportation relief. The president's orders, to be unveiled this evening, are expected to protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.

The Coalition for Immigration Reform, led by the Idaho Community Action Network, says it will host a watch party this evening at the Hispanic Cultural Center in Nampa to "celebrate a historic victory that will ensure millions of immigrant families and workers can live, work and stay in the country they've called home for years."

In the current issue of Boise Weekly, we chronicle how Idaho has nothing to lose and possibly much to gain from allowing undocumented immigrants to come forward and work legally on renewable five-year permits.

"Right now in the Magic Valley there are proposals out there for new dairies, but we don't have the work force—there are permits for another 30,000-40,000 head of cows, but there's nobody to milk the cows or work the dairies," Brent Olmstead, executive director for Milk Producers of Idaho, told BW. "The whole country is suffering. The Cato Institute has done studies... they all come to the same conclusion: Immigration is good for the economy."