Immigration

Nina Keck / VPR

A turbulent, war torn journey that’s spanned several years and thousands of miles ended Wednesday in Vermont for one Syrian refugee family. A second family is due to arrive Thursday.

Raad Adayleh / AP

Refugee families from Syria, the first of about a hundred individuals who might be resettled in Rutland in the coming year, have begun to arrive. But millions of other displaced Syrians remain behind while they await security approval to be resettled in another country.

Nina Keck / VPR

School officials in Rutland say they’re ready for the arrival of refugee families later this month. But the Rutland County Parent Child Center, which works with younger children and babies, say it's not ready — and it blames a lack of resources.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

In 2014, the Obama administration issued a federal memo aiming to put an end to random deportations of people living illegally in the U.S. who aren't criminals. But a closer look finds that there are still cases where immigration authorities are ignoring these policies, including in Vermont.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

Next month, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont. They’ll be the first of 100 that will be resettled there over the next year. Though there's been loud opposition to the plan in the aging, blue-collar city of 16,000, proponents remain optimistic — and many have been volunteering long hours to ensure the plan succeeds.

New England is an old region, and not just by historical standards.

The population here is aging faster than almost any other place in the country. Fewer people are having children, and many of the states struggle to keep younger generations living and working here.

And as New England's baby boomers grow older, and live longer, the need for health care workers also grows.

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the oldest populations in the country, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts aren't far behind.

Nina Keck / VPR

The Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program oversees hundreds of volunteers in Chittenden County. And now, with a new office opening in Rutland, the organization is recruiting new volunteers.

Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles was breaking Vermont law when it searched its records using facial recognition software, Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan says.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

Vermont officials say immigrants living in the state illegally don’t need to worry that information they gave the Department of Motor Vehicles to get “driver's privilege cards” will cause trouble with federal immigration authorities. But privacy advocates are looking to the state to implement more protections.

Denis Tangney Jr. / iStock

Burlington, Montpelier, and Winooski are all at various points in the process of becoming so-called "sanctuary cities," with South Burlington in discussions as well. So what does that mean?

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.”

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