"The only wall we should be building...

...is the wall between the police and Trump’s deportation machine.”

Vermonters who support immigrant rights are making their voices heard. Last week, a dozen towns across the state voted to approve sanctuary resolutions declaring their solidarity with immigrants and refugees. And politicians are paying attention.

Just yesterday, the Vermont House of Representatives voted preliminary approval of Governor Scott’s immigration bill (S.79), legislation already unanimously passed by the Senate. Though backed by a worthy sentiment, the bill is more symbol than substance. It focuses on potential actions that the Trump administration could take but does nothing to stop Vermont police practices of colluding with federal authorities to deport immigrants living and working in the state.


From Coast to Coast: Ready for Milk with Dignity

Migrant Justice hit the road last week, traveling from coast to coast, in response to the fair food movement’s growing hunger for farmworkers' rights. From Stanford University to Vermont’s huge annual Northeast Organic Farmer Association conference the Milk with Dignity (MD) Program was lifted up as an innovative and ready to go 21st century worker-led solution to advance farmworker’s human rights in dairy supply chains.  

Milk with Dignity: From CA to VT!

Migrant Justice is hitting the road this week, traveling from coast to coast, connecting with a rapidly growing fair food movement hungry for the expansion of worker-led solutions to secure human rights in the food system. From Stanford University to the huge annual gathering of the Northeast Organic Farmer Association (NOFA) Vermont conference, Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Program will be showcased over the next couple days as an effective response and solution to the growing realization that any sustainable food system must be built on a firm foundation of farmworkers’ human rights

¡Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos!


Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos.  Migrant Justice leader Enrique Balcazar led a crowd of nearly 1,000 in Burlington on Tuesday night in chanting this refrain.  "We are here, and we're not leaving."

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports, some Vermont agriculture officials are meeting to discuss how to replace deported dairy workers, including by "training inmates to do the work." To this we say: Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos.

Donald Trump's executive orders last week shook us hard but did not break our resolve.  We stand with our Muslim sisters and brothers targeted by Trump's ban, because we won´t be fooled by white nationalism masquerading as national security.  We stand with communities on the Southern border fighting the wall, because we know that the only thing a wall will bring is more death on the border, as the journey north for those fleeing poverty and violence becomes more perilous still.  And we stand against the criminalization and deportation of our community, because we know that migration is a human right, and you can't trump human rights.  Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos.

2016: A year of headlines for human rights

Migrant Justice's groundbreaking organizing for human rights and food justice made headlines time and time again throughout the year.  Both locally and nationally, Vermont immigrant farmworkers shaped the story on worker's rights, deportations, the dairy industry, the election, and sanctuary cities, to name just a few of the issues covered in 2016.  Read more for a selection of headlines that tell the story of Migrant Justice in 2016.


Lessons learned and a path forward following the elections

This essay from Migrant Justice appeared as an op-ed in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and as an opinions column in the VT Digger

Along with many Vermonters, immigrant farmworkers in the Green Mountain state watched with increasing despair on election night, as precincts reported their votes and the sea of red swept westward across the country.  Into the early hours of the morning, in trailers scattered throughout Vermont’s iconic working landscapes, immigrant farmworkers came to grips with the election’s results, a sensation no doubt familiar to many of their blue state neighbors.  Yet for the state´s estimated 1,500 immigrant dairy workers, this sense of dread was far weightier.

Migrant Justice Responds to Burlington Mayor's Commitment to Create a Sanctuary City

The Migrant Justice community is hopeful that Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger follows through on his promise to make Burlington a Sanctuary City by taking the first step, which is for the  Burlington Police Department to fully adopt all elements of the new state-wide Fair and Impartial Policing policy that Migrant Justice helped create.  Any sanctuary city effort must be firmly rooted in a legal framework that defines a policy of no collaboration between local agencies and immigration enforcement efforts. We encourage our allies across the state of Vermont to build a corridor of cities and towns across Vermont that adopt all elements of the state-wide Fair and Impartial Policing Policy. 

As Migrant Justice leader Roger Balcazar told News Channel 5 in a recent interview:

"Our work will be to continue our struggle for our rights, the one that we have been doing for so many years."


Migrant Justice responds to election of Donald Trump

Burlington, VT. Leaders in Vermont’s immigrant farmworker community shared reactions today on yesterday’s election of Donald Trump.

In the face of the unprecedented division, fear, and hatred surrounding the Trump election, Migrant Justiceleaders, like Enrique Balcazar, are calling for unity and solidarity:

Said Enrique Balcazar, former dairy worker and organizer with Migrant Justice: “Our community has always suffered from oppression for the simple act of daring to survive, and we have always fought back.  Trump’s election as President makes this oppression more evident than ever. We are all affected when one community is attacked and criminalized.  It’s time for us all to come together to confront this new reality, united against fear.”

Said David Diaz, dairy worker and member of Migrant Justice’s Farmworker Coordinating Committee: “Now more than ever we must unite in the struggle for justice.  If Trump carries out his election promises, it would forever change the United States.  As a community we have achieved great things.  Together we can fight to achieve much more.”