Immigration

Toby Talbot / AP

It was a different time – June 10, 1940 – when my widowed mother and I, and my brother, walked down the plank of the S.S. Manhattan onto the New York City pier, lined with suitcases and trunks that held the worldly possessions of families fleeing Nazi Europe. 

Sage Van Wing / VPR File

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott says he has become more comfortable with the vetting of Syrian refugees after learning more from state and federal officials about the process.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Since the early 1980s, Vermont has welcomed more than 7,000 refugees fleeing humanitarian crises in their home countries. On Tuesday, some of the newest arrivals got a special visit from Gov. Peter Shumlin, who used their English class as the backdrop for his latest volley in the battle over immigration policy.

Darko Vojinovic / AP

Bruce Lisman and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Vermont's two Republican gubernatorial candidates, say the state should hold off on allowing refugees from Syria to settle in Vermont.

Their comments come in the wake of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s call for the state to welcome the refugees.

Santi Palacios / AP

After a terrorist attack in Paris killed 129 people over the weekend, more than a dozen governors announced Monday that Syrian refugees are not welcome in their states. Gov. Peter Shumlin’s spokesman said Shumlin welcomes the opportunity to accept refugees.

Annie Russell / VPR

A new batch of U.S. citizens were sworn in at a naturalization ceremony in Burlington last week. Nineteen new Americans participated in the ceremony at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington.

Last week, President Barack Obama announced plans to give undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents deportation relief for three years. The plan applies to people who have been in the U.S. for at least five years.
 

The executive order would also have an effect on younger immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

A student from Dartmouth College who came to the United States without citizenship documents says he is both relieved and a little disappointed in the speech President Barack Obama gave on Thursday evening about changes in immigration policy.

Jim Bourg / Reuters Pool/AP

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation strongly support President Obama's new immigration reform plan. The delegation says the president had to act because the U.S. House failed to move an immigration bill. 

Evan Vucci / AP

President Barack Obama says he will be laying out a plan Thursday to improve the immigration system. He says he plans to extend temporary legal status to more than five million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Advocates wonder how the move will help the Vermont's undocumented farmworkers.

The state is home to about 1,500 migrant dairy farmworkers, some undocumented. It's anticipated that they won't be covered under President Obama's plan.

Eric Gay / AP

Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.

The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process. 

The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.

While some states have indicated an unwillingness to participate in this project, Shumlin says he’s ready to help out.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

All three members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation are supporting President Obama’s call for an additional $4 billion in emergency aid to help deal with an immigration crisis in the southwestern part of the United States. 

In recent weeks, more than 50,000 children and families from Central America have entered the U.S. The surge of undocumented people crossing the border has put enormous pressure on the federal government.

Governor Peter Shumlin has signed a bill that will allow immigrant farmworkers who are in the country illegally to drive in Vermont, with a new type of driver's privilege card.

The bill is designed to allow workers who are in the country illegally and providing labor on Vermont's dairy farms to get a new type of state driver's license.

The bill's signing comes nearly two years after the Vermont State Police stopped a car with two passengers who were Mexican immigrant farmworkers in the country illegally and turned them over to the U.S. Border Patrol.

Senator Patrick Leahy’s plan to strengthen an investment visa program has been added to the massive immigration reform bill before the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee.

The committee is in the process of reviewing hundreds of amendments to the bill. Leahy serves as the chairman of the panel.

The EB-5 visa program grants green cards to foreign businesspeople and their families in exchange for a $500,000 investment in a sanctioned economic development project.

As part of the agreement, it must also create at least ten new jobs.

Senator Patrick Leahy says he plans to introduce an amendment to the immigration overhaul bill that would provide new rights for same-sex couples.

Leahy is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, and he expects his panel will consider hundreds of amendments to the immigration bill.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The U.S. Senate on Monday began work on immigration reform with a focus on farm workers.

Sen. Patrick Leahy chairs the Judiciary Committee. He called a witness from Vermont to make the case that farmers need access to foreign workers to harvest crops and milk cows.

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