Immigration

Nina Keck / VPR File

Those who have lived nearly exclusively in Vermont are less likely to support refugee resettlement in their community than those who have lived a significant part of their lives elsewhere.

Nina Keck / VPR file

A new VPR poll shows Vermonters are divided over resettling refugees here, with significant numbers on both sides of the issue. It's the first time a VPR poll has surveyed residents on the issue.

Nina Keck / VPR

Efforts to create a new refugee resettlement community in Rutland have stirred up passionate debate. While many want to welcome Syrians into the city, others fear Muslim refugees won’t assimilate, will become a threat or burden taxpayers.

For a Syrian couple who are raising their children in Rutland this debate has hit especially close to home.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

A debate in Congress over the term "illegal alien" has its roots at the campus of Dartmouth College. It all began when a group of students in 2014 petitioned the Library of Congress to abolish the term.

Throughout the history of immigration, people have raised concerns about waves of new immigrants bringing disease with them into the country. It's true that new populations have sometimes introduced illness into the population, but this argument has also been frequently used as a weapon to stir opposition to immigration.

Nina Keck / VPR

Voters in Rutland will not get the chance to weigh in on whether to bring in 100 Syrian refugees. A 6-4 vote by members of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen fell one short of the seven needed to put it on the ballot.

Melody Bodette / VPR

Vermont's immigrant farm workers experience hunger and food insecurity at a higher rate than the rest of the population. That’s especially true in Franklin County near the Canadian border, where many still avoid leaving their farms because of the presence of federal immigration enforcement agents.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, gave a shout out to Rutland during a speech Wednesday on the global refugee crisis.

Nina Keck / VPR file

In Rutland, residents and city officials are divided over whether to allow voters to weigh in on a proposal to bring in 100 Syrian refugees.

ACLU-VT

James Lyall, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Arizona, has been named the new executive director of the ACLU of Vermont.

Nina Keck / VPR

Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras says his efforts to create a refugee resettlement community in Rutland are morally and economically based. Rutland's population is declining and aging and Louras says young refugee families are hard working, entrepreneurial and will bring much needed diversity to the city.  

Critics aren't convinced and many worry that refugees will end up being a burden on taxpayers. A good place to examine those concerns is Winooski, which has a large concentration of foreign-born residents.

Nina Keck / VPR file

In the weeks since Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras announced the city had applied to become a refugee resettlement community and take in 100 Syrian refugees this fall, people in Rutland have been quickly taking sides on the issue.

Last week, Rutland Mayor Chris Louras announced about 100 refugees would be arriving in the city starting in October. The announcement came as a surprise to local lawmakers and residents, who up until that point had not been told anything about the plan.

Earlier this week Mayor Christopher Louras announced the city of Rutland will take in 100 Syrian refugees starting in October. Louras says he’s been working closely with state and federal refugee agencies to create Vermont’s first relocation community for Syrians.

Nina Keck / VPR

Officials in Rutland say the city will take in 100 Syrian refugees beginning in October. Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras said he’s been working closely with state and federal refugee agencies to create Vermont’s first relocation community for Syrians.

Melody Bodette / VPR

It’s been over 10 years since migrant workers began arriving on Vermont’s dairy farms. Most of the workers have been young men who work for a few years and then return home to Mexico. But there are a number of families of farmworkers here in Vermont, and some, especially those with U.S. born children would like to stay. 

Melody Bodette / VPR

It’s been over ten years since migrant workers, mostly from Mexico, started making the long trip north to work on Vermont’s dairy farms. While many stay only a few years to earn money and then return home, some have decided to stay and make a life here in Vermont.

Annie Russell / VPR

The resettling of Syrian refugees in the U.S. has become a national debate: While many governors have tried to block Syrians from entering their states, Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged to continue to accept Syrian refugees.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Since the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino there has been a fresh wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric across much of the United States.

Yet the reaction in Vermont has largely been marked by acceptance of the Muslim community. Many Vermonters have expressed their support to the Islamic Society of Vermont, where about 200 people worship each week. 

Charles Krupa / AP

Police officers in the Town of Shelburne are represented by the New England Police Benevolent Association, a law enforcement union that endorsed Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump after he proposed a ban on all Muslim immigrants.

Shelburne Police Officer Josh Flore said that while the officers are represented by the union, its endorsement of Trump does not translate to an endorsement from Shelburne police.

"As far as questions about supporting Mr. Trump, I would suggest contacting the NEPBA," Flore wrote in response to an inquiry.

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