Immigration

Angela Evancie / VPR File

Since Donald Trump's election as president, four cities in Vermont have taken steps to declare or discuss declaring themselves sanctuary cities, as part of a response by communities nationwide to anticipate Trump's proposed immigration policies. But what does "sanctuary city" mean?

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Activist groups focused on racial justice, climate change, reproductive rights and economic issues are trying to turn the election of Donald Trump into a unifying moment for their various movements.

An acre-and-a-half block is available in downtown Rutland, and that got us thinking: What would people in the area like to see fill the space?
Nina Keck / VPR file

As Rutland prepares to welcome Syrian refugees to its community, some are continuing to voice concerns that there aren’t enough jobs for refugees in the city, or that local residents will lose work — but many local employers disagree.

Luka Lajst / iStock.com

President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to deport millions of illegal immigrants with criminal records. It’s unclear how many people fit this category — but Trump's sweeping statements are already sending shock waves into many undocumented workers' lives.

Nina Keck / VPR

Students at Mill River Union High School in Clarendon will perform a stage version of The Grapes of Wrath this weekend. Theater director Peter Bruno says the Steinbeck classic seems especially relevant with Americans debating refugee resettlement, class inequality and the power of the police.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Burlington mayor Miro Weinberger says he wants to make the city a so-called "sanctuary city" for people who are in the United States illegally. That's even though Republican president-elect Donald Trump has vowed to strip all federal funding from cities that have policies to shelter or protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

Nina Keck / VPR file

With Donald Trump headed for the White House, there's a looming question about how his administration will affect the United States' refugee policy — and what the future holds for Rutland's plans to begin taking in Syrian refugees this year.

Refugees from around the world continue to find homes in Massachusetts. The number of Syrian refugees, in particular, has more than doubled here over the last year, despite heated national rhetoric around immigration.

Before I was born, my Mum, Dad, brother and sister moved across the pond from England to Canada. Both of my Mum’s sisters had married American GIs they’d met during the war, and came to the states with them when they returned home.

America has always had a split personality when it comes to immigration. On the one hand we have Emma Lazurus’ soaring verses on the base of the Statue of Liberty, both words and hands beckoning to those “yearning to be free.”

An acre-and-a-half block is available in downtown Rutland, and that got us thinking: What would people in the area like to see fill the space?
Nina Keck / VPR file

After an often divisive debate here in Vermont, the U.S. State Department has given approval for up to 100 refugees — mostly Syrian — to settle in Rutland over the next year.

Nina Keck / VPR file

The city of Rutland received word on Wednesday that it would be the newest site for refugee resettlement in Vermont. The city is expected to welcome 100 refugees, mostly from Syria, beginning in mid-December or early January.

Nina Keck / VPR file

Rutland will become Vermont’s newest refugee resettlement community - that’s according to the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the organization that will head up the effort in Rutland.

Nina Keck / VPR file

Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras did not violate the city’s charter in his quest to make Rutland the state’s newest refugee resettlement community, according to a 26-page report by Rutland City Attorney Charles Romeo.

The Rutland Board of Aldermen decided in a special meeting last night to wait to publicly release the results of an investigation into whether Mayor Christopher Louras overstepped his authority when he sought to make Rutland an option for refugee resettlement.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras wants members of the city’s Board of Aldermen to make public the results of a formal review of his conduct.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland residents are still waiting to hear if their city will become Vermont’s newest refugee resettlement community. An announcement from the State Department is expected any day.

Meanwhile, both sides of the controversial issue have been hard at work.

A plan to resettle up to 100 Syrian refugees in Rutland continues to draw supporters, detractors and a lot of questions from people who just want to know more about what exactly it would mean for the city.

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has agreed to a $40,000 settlement and a new set of policies after department staff collaborated with federal officials to arrest a resident on immigration charges.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

As debate continues over Syrian refugees resettling in Rutland, we're taking a look at the history of immigration into Vermont. We'll look at waves of immigration into the state throughout the past centuries, and how the pre-existing population has received new Vermonters: Irish, French Canadians, Jews, and more.  And we'll talk about how immigration is tied to internal debates about our identity as a state.

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