Immigration

Francisco Rodriguez wore a white prison uniform with the letters “ICE” — U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement — emblazoned in black across his back. He had a weary smile on his face as we sat down in a family meeting room at the Suffolk County House of Corrections on a recent afternoon. There were games and puzzles stocked on shelves and Sesame Street posters lining the walls. Rodriguez’s family, though, hasn’t been able to visit him since he was arrested on July 13.

“I miss everything. Honestly, I miss everything,” he said.

What can educators do to help integrate refugees into their new communities? An associate professor at the University of Vermont will lead an effort to find out, thanks to a Fulbright award to conduct research on refugee integration in western Canada.

To accommodate the rising number of people illegally crossing the border from the United States into Canada in order to seek asylum, Montreal has had to set up Olympic Stadium as a temporary shelter.

Shown here in 1976, the year Montreal hosted the summer Olympics, this stadium will house the overflow of asylum-seekers.
AP

Quebec continues to be inundated with asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. to reach Canada. In order to house the influx of people, the government has opened the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Juan De La Cruz comforts his youngest daughter, Isabella, at their home in Vergennes.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

A Vergennes father of six is facing deportation to Mexico in a case that highlights shifting federal immigration enforcement priorities.

Abel Luna leads protestors in a chant outside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility where one of the dairy workers is being held.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Activists gathered outside the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility Monday morning to protest the arrest of two Vermont dairy farmworkers originally from Mexico.

In recent months, the number of refugees fleeing the U.S. for Canada has increased.  The majority of the illegal crossings are people traveling through rural New York State — and occasionally Vermont — into Quebec. 

Angela Evancie / VPR File

Burlington’s city council approved a new Fair and Impartial Policing Policy Monday, completing a process that began just after Donald Trump was elected president.

The arrival last week of a Syrian couple with three children bring the total of refugee families in Rutland to three. It's far lower than the 20 to 25 refugee families the city had been expecting.
Nina Keck / VPR

It’s taken months, but another Syrian refugee family has arrived in Rutland. The newest family, a married couple with three children, arrived last Thursday, said Amila Merdzanovic, Executive Director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program.

Angela Evancie / VPR

If you drink Vermont milk, or eat Vermont apples or vegetables, it's likely that you have foreign workers to thank. But do you know any?

A man arrested by federal immigration officials after a workers’ compensation meeting is out of federal custody after more than a month in jail.

Thirty-seven-year-old Jose Flores was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents immediately following a meeting arranged by his employer. Flores’ lawyers question whether his arrest was retaliation by the employer, looking to get out of the workers’ comp claim. Advocates fear his arrest could prevent other workers in the country illegally from reporting workplace accidents.

Nine months ago, Joyce Chance left a refugee camp in Uganda where she had spent the last eleven years. Chance, who was born in Congo, boarded a plane with her two kids, and came to the United States.

A refugee resettlement agency in Concord, New Hampshire picked them up at the airport, and moved them into a one-room apartment.

The police department in Lebanon, New Hampshire, will not be making changes to its immigration policies, despite changes on the federal level.

Under President Trump, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are casting a broader net when it comes to who they’re prioritizing for arrest. According to ICE data, the focus in New England appears to be on immigrants with no criminal record.

ICE arrests of non-criminal immigrants living in New England without authorization have more than tripled so far this year.

Thirty-eight-year-old Jose Flores and his longtime partner, Rosa Benitez, have been living in Massachusetts for almost seven years. The Honduran nationals both entered the United States by illegally crossing the Southern border.

Benitez, 40 and with tired eyes, says she and Flores had to leave Honduras because of the violence.

‘I Came Here To Fight For My Family’

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

What happens to the Vermont dairy industry if migrant workers are deported? That was the question being answered at a community forum in Hardwick on Wednesday night.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says that after 100 days in office, he’s already transforming culture in state government and bringing needed fiscal restraint to the state budget. But the new Republican executive is still struggling to bring the Legislature on board with some of his most sweeping proposals.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott made headlines when he signed a bill designed to limited Vermont's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. Still, some advocates in Vermont say the bill doesn't go far enough in preventing state agencies from helping out U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Nina Keck / VPR file

Members of Rutland Welcomes, a grassroots organization that’s been assisting with resettlement efforts, say four more Syrian families are expected to arrive in Rutland before Sept. 30, 2017.

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

Protesters with Migrant Justice confronted Ben & Jerry's board members outside the South Burlington office Tuesday morning, aiming to pressure the company to wrap up negotiations on an agreement that would outline minimum wages and labor conditions for dairy workers.

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