Immigration

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.

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.

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