From VTDigger.org, Press Release, 18 Nov 2011.
VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project
VT Migrant Farm Worker Solidarity Project Praises Peter Welch for Joining Congressman Serrano from New York to Call Upon Obama Administration to End Obama’s Secure Communities Immigration Enforcement Program
11/17/2011-Burlington, VT. The VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project (VTMFSP) received a call just before a 5pm deadline on Thursday evening from Peter Welch’s Washington desk confirming that Congressman Welch had just signed on to Congressman Serrano’s letter to end the now widely discredited immigration program called “Secure Communities”. The VTMFSP has been calling upon Congressman Welch to do so for over a month rallying members and allies to place phone calls and send emails and ask Peter Welch to:
“Please support Vermont’s farm workers, farmers and all communities of color by working to end the widely discredited Secure Communities immigration enforcement program that will increase racial profiling and sacrifice the public safety and civil rights of all our communities. Please sign on to NY Congressman Serrano’s letter to President Obama asking that the administration end S-Comm. The deadline is this THURSDAY so please act immediately.”
Danilo Lopez, of the Solidarity Project commented, “We are thrilled with Congressman Welch’s decision to stand against ICE’s (in) Secure Communities program that, in practice, makes police do the jobs of immigrant agents. Obama has deported over 1 million hard working people whose supposed ‘crime’ is to work hard to feed their families. He’s broken promise after promise to our communities. But, we’ve seen a lot of change on this issue in Vermont in a little time and thank Vermonters, Governor Shumlin, and Peter Welch for standing with us. We have worked hard to get here and the farm worker community is really building a voice in Vermont. We gathered signatures from Farm workers and Vermonters calling upon Governor Shumlin to opt out of this program. Then, in the middle of this 2 important things happened. Obama said that Vermont can’t opt out of Secure Communities and I was detained by Vermont State Police at a routine traffic stop when they asked for my papers. Since then, though we didn’t stop Secure Communities we did the next best thing. We organized to create a new and improved State Police policy to stop the police ‘show me your papers’ culutre. And now we have a Congressman from Vermont joining Latino and people of color leadership in the House to reject Secure Communities. Vermont is going in a very different direction that Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama on this issue and we are hopeful this is just the beginning!”
For more information on the recent organizing work of the VTMFSP that resulted in the new and improved State Police policy go here:
For a copy of the letter to President Obama from New York Congressman Serrano that Peter Welch singed today you can go here: