Immigrant Rights are Human Rights and Health Care is a Human Right!!!
While the federal government continues to fail to create humane and just immigration and food systems we in Vermont are faced with community decisions.
Do we work together to build welcoming, just and humane communities for everyone who lives and works here?
Do we take the path of Arizona and further exclude, discriminate against, and punish a population already living on the margins of our society and yet doing so much to sustain it!
This very issue is being debated right now in the Vermont state house and the Vermont Senate is going the way of Arizona!
But there is still time for ACTION!
Its time to raise our voices loud and clear and let our representatives know:
Immigrant Rights are Human Rights and Health Care is a Human Right!
1. Take Action! in support Vermont's migrant farm workers and family farms!
Yesterday the Vermont Senate Voted 22-8 in support of changing the VT Universal Health Care Bill from something truly universal to a bill that goes out of its way to exclude undocumented workers! There's still time to take action and tell your senate and house representatives to strike the Brock-Sears amendment from H.202, so that our healthcare system can be truly universal and uphold the human rights of ALL those living and working in VT!
2. Join the May 1st Health Care is a Human Right Rally
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT for a Universal Health Care bill in VT that includes everyone living and working in VT! Universal means Everyone! Show your support for immigrant rights this May day by standing up for the Health Care is a Human Right campaign!
Sign up and more information:
3. Please take 1 minute to VOTE (again!) on-line to support a small grant for the Farm Gardens for Dairy Workers Project. You have 3 votes and can cast them all for this project.
4. Get involved! The VTMFSP will be organizing an Open House and Volunteer Training in June in order to get more folks involved with our ongoing work including:
· Our Health Access and Transportation Network
· Campaign for Bias-Free Policing
· Migrant Workers' Rights Support Line (Spanish speakers needed!)
Let us know if you want more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Register AND Support our friends in Arizona at Derechos Humanos organizing the 7th annual Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life!
A 75-mile journey from Sásabe, Sonora Mexico to Tucson, Arizona in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers who have walked this trail and lost their lives. Monday, May 30th, 2:00pm
More on the exclusion of farm workers from Vermont's "Universal" Health Care System:
Just last week the VTMFSP was visiting with 3 farm workers and discussing their low pay and extremely long hours. We asked if it might be time to ask for a raise or a day off.
“No, we can't,” said Leonardo. “The farmer pays us what he can. I know he can’t pay more.” I ask some more questions and Javier responds, "His wife is paralyzed. His son is incapacitated. His bills keep piling up. I couldn’t do what he does. I don’t know how he does it,” shaking his head.
Their empathy with their employer is remarkable considering Javier's experience 3 years ago. “The barn roof caved in that winter,” he explained letting out a deep and raspy chest cough. “We worked in the damp cold all winter and that’s when I got this cough.”
After struggling for months Javier finally went to Fletcher Allen Hospital and has paid well over $1,000 in monthly installments since. And today he says, “I can’t work the way I used to. I get tired just walking up the hill to the barn." He still has a cough and just began paying another round of bills for some recent chest x-rays.
This is the reality of Vermont agriculture not the packaged version in advertisements and tourism campaigns.
Vermont is full of struggling farmers and struggling farm workers.
Family farmers and farm workers need universal health care. We all need universal health care!
However, just yesterday the Vermont Senate voted in support of excluding Vermont's migrant farm workers from the Universal Health Care bill.
What part of Health Care is a HUMAN RIGHT don't the politicians who voted against the inclusion of undocumented workers understand? Aren't Vermont's migrant farm workers human?
What part of 'Universal' don't they understand?
How can a health care system that claims to be universal go out of its way to exclude Vermont's migrant farm workers?
LETS DO THE RIGHT THING IN Vermont!
The good news just in from the state house from the folks at the Health Care is a Human Right Campaign is that it appears that some members on the HOUSE Health Care Committee have voted to not concur with the Amendments to the Universal Health Care bill proposed by the house and they've listed among their issues with the bill:
The exclusion of undocumented workers!
This is GREAT NEWS! Please take action and let your reps know that we need to eliminate this amendment that excludes migrant farm workers from the "Universal" Health Care Bill! Lets work together to do the right thing in Vermont!