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Good News from Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project!

“Thursday, December 1- Winooski, VT-- The VT Human Rights Commission held a hearing in Winooski this morning, in which they heard final remarks from Daniel Lopez and the VT Department of Public Safety, before ruling unanimously that the VT State Police discriminated against farm workers' Daniel Lopez and Antonio-Meza Sandoval during a traffic stop on September 13 on I-89 in Middlesex, VT. The Human Rights Commission's preliminary report asserted, ‘The Report makes a preliminary recommendation to the Vermont Human Rights Commission to find that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Department of Public Safety unlawfully discriminated against Daniel Alejandro Lopez-Santiago with respect to national origin, race, and color in violation of Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act.’

After being detained back in September, Lopez, active with the VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project (VTMFSP), contacted the organization setting off a chain of calls and rapid responses eventually leading to the farmworkers release from Border Patrol; the arrest of 3 Vermonters who blocked a Border Patrol Vehicle; and, that evening, the Governor calling for an investigation into the incident. Just a few weeks later five farm workers from the VTMFSP had a meeting with Governor Shumlin, and were extremely pleased when, just weeks later, a new State Police Bias-Free policy was announced directing officers to not use State resources for immigration enforcement. The VTMFSP is also pleased with the efforts of State Police Colonel Tom L'Esperance, who has since reached out to discuss implementation of the policy and collaboration on training.”

If you live in Vermont, find actions you can take about this issue at: vtmfsp.org.


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