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Department

Political Science

Disciplines

Political Science

Abstract

Idaho’s agricultural industries depend on Mexican and Mexican-American farmworkers for labor to maintain farms, crops, and livestock. Despite their important role in Idaho’s economy, many farmworkers are undocumented and live with the fear of deportation. This study explores Idaho’s Latino migration patterns since the railroad companies recruited Mexican immigrants in the early 1900s through today’s Mexican population residing in Idaho. Overall, this paper strives to explain why undocumented immigrants are planning to remain in the U.S. permanently. In an effort to collect data and understand, a survey was administered in Spanish to 102 seasonal farmworkers who had a residency of more than two years in Idaho. The study finds that 83% of undocumented immigrants would remain in the United States rather than return to Mexico. In a previous study (2003), Wampler et al. found that 52% of undocumented immigrants preferred to stay. The percentage increase will be explained through social factors, rather than economic. Ultimately, this research hopes to inform on the large undocumented Latino population. It is pivotal for Idaho’s lawmakers to make adequate policy implementations to keep a population that has always been crucial to the economic growth of the Gem State.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brian Wampler