Community Council of Idaho reacts to Trump's stance on immigration

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 00:24:17-05

President Trump has taken a hard line stance on immigration from south of the border.  His plans include building a wall and possibly cutting off federal funds to so-called "sanctuary cities."

The Trump administration has not said it intends to deport all illegal immigrants, but it has said it will prioritize criminals. The way the executive order is written, an illegal immigrant who has been accused of a crime, but not convicted, could be deported.

Trump's actions have many Latinos in the Treasure Valley worried about what Trump's immigration plans could mean for them, their friends and their families. One emotion has washed over the clients at the Community Council of Idaho: fear.

"They're fearful of what's to be, and we are as well," said Leticia Ruiz, a spokeswoman for the Community Council of Idaho.

Community Council of Idaho is the largest nonprofit in Idaho that works with Latinos, and they do not ask about their clients' immigration status. The nonprofit, which relies heavily on federal funds, offers a multitude of social services, including medical, housing, work placement and education. Ruiz says many of their clients are worried about their families getting split up because not all of them are here legally. 

"As Americans, we respect our president; we respect the executive order; but we are fearful of what's to come, especially in our state of Idaho," said Ruiz.

For now, the Community Council of Idaho does not know how the Trump administration will affect their social programs, but they are keeping a close eye on Washington. They are also working to offer immigration services in-house, to offer a pathway for citizenship.

"What we're really concerned for is the rights of the individuals that are here and account for their needs," said Ruiz.