Nate: Idaho Senate Passes “Pay-to-Stay-Amnesty” Scheme – Idahoans Must Reject

Op-Ed by Maria Nate

The Idaho Senate recently passed SJM 101, a “memorial” on immigration. The memorial is a wolf in sheep’s clothing disguised as a benign measure to help Idaho agriculture and industry. It’s a dangerous and reckless “pay-to-stay-amnesty” scheme pushed by the state’s most coercive lobby groups to import and keep cheap, illegal foreign labor. This will be a massive mistake for Idaho, as it will incentivize illegal immigration and further exacerbate the crisis at our border.

The “pay-to-stay-amnesty” scheme outlined in the memorial will embolden illegal immigrants by giving them the freedom to stay and work in the U.S. without consequences by simply paying a fine. Amnesty in any form is not fair and not a solution.

Supporting this memorial is a betrayal of the Republican party’s core values and principles. Instead, Idaho should send the message that Congress build the wall to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants and fentanyl into our country. With our southern border resembling a war zone, granting amnesty worsens the situation by attracting more immigrants, drugs, and criminals to flood our states.

“Pay-to-stay-amnesty” is a policy from the playbook of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and AOC – politicians known for prioritizing open borders over national security. We must do everything we can to protect our borders and uphold the rule of law; anything less is a betrayal of our values and threatens our nation’s security.

The Idaho Freedom Caucus opposes any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it. The SJM101 memorial sends the wrong message to Washington, and our legislators should defeat it.


Maria Nate is the Idaho Director for the State Freedom Caucus Network.

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