Dear Migrant Justice friends,
Last week represented a bittersweet stage for our movement for human rights. While we celebrated the official signing of S.38 into law, Danilo Lopez, our human rights leader who has been instrumental to Migrant Justice’s successes, got news that he is facing deportation on July 5th.
The Obama Administration is deporting 1,100 people per day, many of whom like Danilo, would qualify for immigration reform should it pass!
Read and share this article about the big drivers license victory and Danilo’s story:
We are launching a public campaign to fight this injustice! We call on ICE Director to use prosecutorial discretion to stop this deportation. Not only has Danilo worked tirelessly to make Vermont a better place for everyone, but he would also likely qualify for immigration reform.
In a Burlington Free Press article on June 5, 2013 by Dave Gram, AP Gram writes:
Vamos Ganando (We are winning): Vermont’s Migrant Workers Start to See Dream for Freedom of Movement Materializing
Driver’s License Bill moves to the House after 27-2 Vote in Senate
Montpelier, VT, April 9, 2013-Vermont migrant workers and supporters celebrate a major step forward in the legislative path for drivers licenses regardless of immigration status.
Bill to Extend Access to Driver's Licenses Regardless of Immigration Status Passes Vermont Senate Transportation Committee w/ 4-1 Vote
Immigrant Workers Welcome Springtime Change With A Big Step on the Road to Rights in Vermont
"Whether licenses or citizenship, our drive is not a piece of paper; it's our rights and dignity."
- Alberto Madrigal, Migrant Justice member
February 12, 2013, Washington DC
A delegation of 10 Migrant Justice members and a representative from the Vermont Workers' Center traveled to a groundbreaking gathering of over 300 immigrant worker leaders across the country in Washington, D.C on February 12th and 13th.
The gathering took place under the banner United Workers Congress, which is a national network of grassroots immigrant worker organizations who are excluded from fundamental human and workers' rights.
The mission was to build a more unified movement for immigration reform that creates a path to Citizenship for the entire 11 million undocumented people in this country, and upholds fundamental human rights for all.
Migrant Justice created this photo slideshow to bring you there:
Driving Towards Human Rights in Vermont
SEE THE STORY TOLD THROUGH PICTURES HERE: http://www.flickr.com//photos/migrantjustice/sets/72157632709096043/show/
2/12/13--Our Vermont State Legislature is in session during the winter months, so sunlight slides straight in through the cafeteria mid-day as state senators and representatives meet with folks from around Vermont. The sunshine lights the tops of people’s heads as if to provide additional brainpower through solar gain.
Migrant Justice Takes Huge Step Towards Access to Driver's Licenses in Vermont
Grassroots Campaign Momentum Growing For a Big Victory in 2013
Dec. 14, 2012---After nearly a year of non-stop grassroots organizing, 35 farmworkers took to the State House on Thursday for a final push to successfully move a Legislative Study Committee to an 8-1 vote, recommending that Vermont create a law to allow undocumented residents to access driver's licenses and IDs in 2013! Long time Migrant Justice ally and faith community leader Laura O'Brien was there last Thursday and shares this reflection about the big day below. For a photo essay go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/migrantjustice/sets/72157632274984146/show/
Teacher and writer Parker Palmer talks about harnessing the “creative tension” of the world as a necessity for being an agent of change. That is, finding a way to operate in the world in that space between the way things are and the way we know they can and should be, without becoming so jaded or idealistic that action is impossible.
I would like to think the members of the Driver’s License Study Committee were able to do this on December 13, helped in large part by the imagery surely burned into their mind’s eyes throughout the morning’s proceedings. Around the center table of the House Chamber on Thursday morning this group of power holders was discussing the bureaucratic logistics of what it would mean to grant access to driver’s licenses to people without a Social Security number. And more specifically, how might Vermont’s migrant farmworkers fit into this system.