Vermonters Condemn Obama's Push of Immigration Enforcement's "Secure Communities" Program and Seek Support from Governor and Congressional Delegation

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**************For Immediate Release****************

Brendan O'Neill and Natalia Fajardo, VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project, 802.825.1609
James Haslam, VT Workers’ Center, 802.272.0882
B. Loewe, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, 773.791.4668


Vermonters Condemn Obama 's Push of Immigration Enforcements’ Disastrous “Secure Communities Program” and seek support from Governor and Congressional Delegation

Law Enforcement Experts and Victims of “S-Comm” Conclude Program Should Be Ended

August 16th, Burlington, VT--The Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project and the Vermont Workers’ Center are releasing a new national report condemning the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program and recommending its termination that was published by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and others (download report here:

The report includes testimony from former District Attorney of New York Robert Morgenthau, heads of law enforcement, and victims of Secure Communities. However, this issue also resonates with Vermont farm workers and farmers even though the program is not yet officially set to hit Vermont until 2013. Back in January 2011 a 911 call to VT state police in Franklin County resulted in the state police calling Border Patrol to act as a translator. After translating for the State Police ICE immediately detained and later deported 3 migrant farm workers. “Incidents like these break all trust between our community and Vermont’s police. Secure Communities would only further destroy this trust making everyone less safe because the farm worker community will see that there really is no difference between police and immigration agents,” said Danilo Lopez of VT Migrant Justice.

Lopez has helped gather over 50 signatures from the farm worker community to call upon the Shumlin Administration to not participate in Secure Communities (more information: Additionally, the farm worker community will soon send out an open letter to the Vermont Dairy Farm community seeking their support to stop Secure Communities from coming to Vermont.

This week Vermonters add their voices of opposition to S-Comm to a national week of action (more information here: that includes:
-Monday 8/15-Phone calls to President Obama, Senators Leahy, Sanders and Welch asking them to urge Obama to stop Secure Communities
-Tuesday August 16th-Release of National Report Condemning Secure Communities
-Wednesday August 17th-Distribute open letter to the Dairy Farmers from Farm Worker Community
-Thursday August 18th-10am Press Conference at the State House to seek support from Governor Shumlin to stop S-comm from coming to Vermont

Lopez, explains, “Many of us in the immigrant communities are aware that President Obama campaigned on immigration reform and yet is quickly becoming the Deporter-in-Chief- but we hope Vermont has no interest in being his accomplice. We want to keep our families together. We need to keep police and ICE separate. No to S-Comm!”

An Embargoed copy of the report is available at
Background on the Secure Communities Program is available at and in a press brief at