Civil Rights + Immigration

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise

Wassmuth Center, BSU to celebrate 75th anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights

BY: - December 7, 2023

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is collaborating with Boise State University’s Stein Luminary to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This Sunday, the Wassmuth Center is inviting the public to an open house to learn more about the declaration and reflect on the state of human rights today, a […]

LGBTQ+ Pride flags in Boise

Man sentenced for federal hate crimes against Idaho LGBTQ+ community

BY: - November 2, 2023

Warning: This story includes descriptions of threats and acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ community. Almost a year ago, Brett Perry and John Michael Schert came to their North End home to discover that their pride flag outside had been burned. On Thursday, the couple saw the perpetrator, Matthew Lehigh, sentenced to prison on federal […]

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise

Boise’s Wassmuth Center for Human Rights invites Idahoans to ‘Cure for Hate’ events

BY: - October 18, 2023

The Boise-based Wassmuth Center for Human Rights is inviting Idahoans to attend events planned throughout the state related to the documentary film “The Cure for Hate.” The film will be screened in Rigby, Rexburg, Boise and Sandpoint, and the events  planned will also include panel discussions and a conference for students and teachers. “‘The Cure […]

Immigrants wait overnight next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence to seek asylum

As backlog of 2.6M immigration cases grows, advocates stress need for independent court system

BY: - October 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — An immigration judge and lawyer told a U.S. Senate Judiciary panel on Wednesday that an independent immigration court would help ease a  backlog of more than 2 million pending cases. Because the immigration court system is an arm of the U.S. Justice Department — the Executive Office for Immigration Review — each presidential […]

immigrants walk toward the southern border

Biden’s go-ahead for added border wall draws criticism from Democrats in Congress 

BY: - October 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. congressional Democrats are frustrated with the White House’s decision to allow for the construction of additional border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “Walls don’t work. It’s that simple,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal of Washington state wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “If we really want to take steps to solve the […]

A gavel and scale

Idaho bathroom law for transgender students set to go into effect, despite court efforts

BY: - October 13, 2023

An Idaho law meant to prevent transgender students from using school facilities that correspond with their gender identity will go into effect despite months of legal efforts to prevent its enforcement.  On Thursday, federal Judge David Nye denied a request for a preliminary injunction for Senate Bill 1100, which requires public schools to maintain two […]

Nearly 20 years later, Boise garden program continues bridging gap for Idaho refugees

BY: - October 13, 2023

Safiya Abdi came to Idaho when she was 19 as a refugee of the Somali civil war in 2005. She had lived most of her life in a refugee camp in Kenya, where she started working from a young age to help support her single mother. Like many Idaho refugees, Abdi found full-time work when […]

Migrants from Haiti stand at a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall

Shutdown would mean even more delays in overwhelmed U.S. immigration courts

BY: - September 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — A looming partial government shutdown will put added pressure on an already strained system — U.S. immigration courts. Canceling or rescheduling court cases that many immigrants have awaited for years will cause even more backlogs, immigration attorneys and judges have warned. “Where we’ll really kind of see the backlog continue to build will […]

The U.S. Capitol on Sept. 28, 2023,

With two days until shutdown, border security package eyed by U.S. Senate GOP

BY: - September 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republican U.S. senators huddled behind closed doors Thursday, attempting to draft an amendment to the short-term government funding bill that would increase spending on border security and make policy changes. The provision could help nudge U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to put the broadly bipartisan measure up for a vote in that chamber, […]

.J. Saldaña (center) poses for a picture with some of the 2023 interns through the Voces Internship of Idaho program

Celebration of life services scheduled for Idaho Latino activist, J.J. Saldaña

BY: - September 28, 2023

Para leer esta historia en español, haga clic aquí. A celebration of life will take place for longtime Idaho Latino advocate J.J. Saldaña, who died Friday at the age of 49. The family of Saldaña invites the community to come together from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Boise State University’s Simplot Ballroom in the Student Union […]

J.J. Saldaña (second from the left in the back row) poses for a picture with the members of the Voces Internship of Idaho

‘A relentless advocate’: Idaho officials mourn death of longtime Latino activist J.J. Saldaña

BY: and - September 25, 2023

Para leer esta historia en español, haga clic aquí. Messages of love and support continue to flood social media as state and local elected officials, as well as leaders from Idaho’s Latino and LGBTQ+ communities, mourn the death of longtime Idaho activist J.J. Saldaña. Saldaña, who served as the community resource development specialist at the Idaho […]

Venezuelan migrants in El Paso, Texas

Biden administration offers temporary protection to Venezuelan migrants 

BY: - September 21, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced late Wednesday that the agency will expand protected status to nearly half a million Venezuelan nationals, allowing them to live and work in the United States. The move comes after multiple requests from cities that have struggled to house asylum seekers and calls from […]