The Impact of Changes in Immigration Policy on Idaho's Agricultural Workers

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Brian Wampler


The United State’s agricultural system has consistently relied on the labor of people who lack political power, labor protections, voting rights, and the full benefits of citizenship. Moreover, they have been separated from loved ones by immigration policies that endure many challenges farmworkers face today. 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, these farmworkers find it difficult to improve their socioeconomic and social/cultural acceptance in the United States. This study explores how laws since the Bracero Program (1946-1964) up to President Obama’s current executive order on immigration (Jan 2015) impact the socioeconomic and social/cultural acceptance of Mexican and Mexican - American migrant/seasonal farmworkers. This qualitative research will conduct interviews with Mexican and Mexican-American farmworkers and examine primary and secondary sources for understanding the laws. Through these interviews, I hope to discover how farmworkers’ documentation status affects their socioeconomic and social acceptance in the U.S. Ultimately, this research hopes to discover how and if immigration policies elevate farmworker socioeconomic and social/cultural acceptance status, as a way to inform lawmakers considering future legislation.

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