Immigration | Off Message | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Immigration

Monday, May 8, 2017

Migrant Justice Advocate Accepts 'Voluntary Departure' to Mexico

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 10:31 PM

Cesar Alex Carrillo, left, with his young daughter and wife, leading a 2016 march to urge the release of a migrant worker. - COURTESY OF MIGRANT JUSTICE
  • Courtesy of Migrant Justice
  • Cesar Alex Carrillo, left, with his young daughter and wife, leading a 2016 march to urge the release of a migrant worker.
An undocumented Migrant Justice advocate arrested in Burlington has been sent back to Mexico. Cesar Alex Carrillo, 23, accepted a "voluntary departure order" and took a plane out of the U.S. on Monday, according to his attorney, Matt Cameron.

Carrillo, who was arrested by ICE agents in March, fought to get a voluntary departure in lieu of formal deportation as a way of maximizing his chances of returning to the U.S., Cameron told Seven Days. A judge approved the agreement May 1, said Migrant Justice spokesperson Will Lambek.*

It made for "the best possible scenario," Cameron said, because a voluntary departure does not carry the tarnish of a deportation. Carrillo hopes to get legal clearance to return to Vermont by the end of the year — though the process may take longer, Cameron added.

Carrillo's wife, Lymarie Deida, 21,
 and his 4-year-old daughter Solmarie, are both U.S. citizens. They are scraping together money to join Carrillo in Mexico in the coming weeks, said Lambek. Carrillo hails from the Mexican city of Tabasco, though Lambek said he did not know where the family would live.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, April 13, 2017

'Rutland Welcomes' Applauds News That More Refugees Are Expected

Posted By on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 12:06 PM

A rally supporting refugee resettlement in Rutland on January 28 - KYMELYA SARI
  • Kymelya Sari
  • A rally supporting refugee resettlement in Rutland on January 28
More Syrian families are expected to arrive in Rutland, a member of the local grassroots refugee resettlement group told Seven Days on Wednesday evening.

"We are excited," said Hunter Berryhill, a member of the Rutland Welcomes steering committee and a teacher at Rutland High School.

The group met with Amila Merdzanovic, director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, a couple of weeks ago and received the news, he said.

"We were never told it was a secret," Berryhill added. "[But] we hadn't been necessarily broadcasting it [and we were] waiting for them to publicize it."

Nina Keck at Vermont Public Radio first reported the news Wednesday. The refugee resettlement agency could not be reached for comment.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Opinion
Walters: Senate Panel Quizzes DMV Chief Over ICE Contacts

Posted By on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 at 11:32 PM

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Robert Ide and Col. Jake Elovirta - JOHN WALTERS
  • John Walters
  • Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Robert Ide and Col. Jake Elovirta
Top officials from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles testified before a state Senate committee Wednesday, offering a blend of bureaucratic rationalizations and promises to do better in managing DMV contacts with federal immigration authorities.

DMV Commissioner Robert Ide and Col. Jake Elovirta, the department’s director of enforcement and safety, were called by the Senate Government Operations Committee to respond to a Seven Days story outlining numerous contacts between DMV agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — in apparent violation of departmental policy.  Public records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont revealed routine collaboration throughout 2016 between the DMV and ICE. Internal emails showed that DMV agents regularly gave the feds unsolicited information about those applying for driver’s privilege cards, which are available to noncitizens. This, despite the fact that the DMV had agreed last summer to strictly limit the sharing of such data with ICE.

“The reason for driver’s privilege cards in the first place was primarily the protection of undocumented, well, dairy workers primarily,” the committee’s chair, Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham), said of the three-year-old program. Senators expressed concern that it may have had the opposite impact — exposing applicants to immigration enforcement — due to the actions of DMV staffers.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Scott Struggles to Articulate Immigrant Deportation Stance

Posted By on Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 7:26 PM

Gov. Phil Scott at a Thursday press conference - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Gov. Phil Scott at a Thursday press conference
Gov. Phil Scott was trying Thursday afternoon, he said, to clarify his position on undocumented immigrants when he proceeded to do exactly the opposite.

At his weekly press conference in his ceremonial Statehouse office, Vermont's Republican governor made clear he believed that undocumented immigrants convicted of a crime should be deported. He was less clear about what he meant by the word "crime."

The subject came up when WCAX-TV reporter Kyle Midura questioned Scott about public records revealed in this week's Seven Days. The story showed that, in 2016, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles regularly shared information with federal immigration enforcement officials about suspected undocumented immigrants. It also described an incident last September when the Vermont State Police arrested a Honduran national for drunk driving and then turned him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What ensued at the press conference was a surreal display. Scott declined to address the question that was asked — instead providing an answer that ended up confusing himself.

“Do you see a distinction between state police reporting someone suspected of drunk driving at more than two times the legal limit to [federal authorities] and someone who is simply applying for a license here in the state?” Midura asked. Three years ago, the state enacted a law allowing undocumented immigrants to legally seek a driver's license without granting the recipient legal immigration status.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, April 3, 2017

Weinberger Discusses Refugees and Plans in State of the City Address

Posted By on Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 11:40 PM

Miro Weinberger - KATIE JICKLING
  • Katie Jickling
  • Miro Weinberger
Mayor Miro Weinberger said a reduced number of refugees will be moving to Burlington in the coming months, and that the change isn't good for the city.

During his State of the City address Monday, he said Burlington will welcome just 15 refugees by September. "For more than 30 years, Burlington has welcomed approximately 300 New Americans each year — immigration that has made us much more diverse and culturally rich, and has been part of Chittenden County's economic success," Weinberger told the city council and about 100 residents who filled the seats at Burlington City Hall Auditorium.

He blamed the policies of President Donald Trump for the change. But Weinberger vowed to keep Burlington advancing forward. He introduced a young Sudanese couple, Samya and Salah, who were reunited in February when Samya was able to come to America and join Salah, after Trump's travel ban was lifted.

"At a time when the federal government is trying to close doors and turn its back on our most pressing challenges, we here in Burlington must continue to work harder than ever to keep our doors open, and to keep advancing," he said.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Monday, March 27, 2017

Migrant Justice Cases Spark Protest at Boston Immigration Court

Posted By on Mon, Mar 27, 2017 at 6:47 PM

Lymarie Deida holds her daughter, Solmarie Carrillo, as she speaks about her husband, Alex Carrillo, at a rally outside a Boston court on Monday. - ELISE AMENDOLA/AP
  • Elise Amendola/AP
  • Lymarie Deida holds her daughter, Solmarie Carrillo, as she speaks about her husband, Alex Carrillo, at a rally outside a Boston court on Monday.
A crowd of activists protested outside a federal courthouse in Boston on Monday as a judge considered setting bail for three detainees associated with Burlington-based Migrant Justice.

Protesters sang and chanted in gloomy weather. Their voices could be heard inside the courtroom in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building where Judge Paul Gagnon presided.

Gagnon set bail for two of the defendants, Enrique Balcazar, 24, and Zully Palacios, 23, at $2,500. They were expected to post bail and be released on Tuesday morning.

Boston immigration attorney Matt Cameron, who represented the three detainees, argued that their ties to the community, activism work and lack of a criminal record made them eligible for minimal bond.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Wife Vows to Fight Her Husband's Deportation

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 7:26 PM

Cesar Alex Carrillo, left, with his young daughter, Solmarie, and wife, Lymarie Deida, leading a 2016 march to urge the release of an immigrant worker - COURTESY: MIGRANT JUSTICE
  • Courtesy: Migrant Justice
  • Cesar Alex Carrillo, left, with his young daughter, Solmarie, and wife, Lymarie Deida, leading a 2016 march to urge the release of an immigrant worker
Cesar Alex Carrillo pulled up at the McDonald's in Colchester early on March 15. Carrillo, 23, and his wife, Lymarie Deida, 21, were on their way to the Chittenden County courthouse. Carrillo faced a DUI case, but they weren't worried. The couple already knew from a previous hearing that Carrillo's misdemeanor DUI charge would be dismissed.

They ate a leisurely meal as snow fell outside. Carrillo paid for a homeless man's breakfast, Deida said. Afterward, Deida lay her head on her husband's chest as they sat in the car. The previous Sunday, they had found out that Deida was pregnant.

"He said, 'This year's going to be a good year,'" she recounted in an interview Wednesday with Seven Days.

Just hours later, at 9 a.m., Carrillo was pulled over by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and arrested.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

After Arrests, Attorney Says ICE is Targeting Migrant Justice

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 3:24 PM

Activists rally to release Migrant Justice activists Saturday. - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Activists rally to release Migrant Justice activists Saturday.
The detention of three immigrant advocates last week points to a systematic targeting of Migrant Justice workers, according to their immigration attorney.

Matt Cameron, a Boston-based immigration attorney, has agreed to represent Cesar Alex Carrillo, Enrique Balcazar and Zully Palacios pro bono. He called the arrests a "clear, simple case of retaliation" and painted a picture of a vindictive, overreaching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in Vermont.

"There's nowhere else where they would surveil people like [them]," Cameron said in a phone interview with Seven Days on Tuesday.

He called the Vermont office "over-resourced" and contended that the three most recent arrests, coupled with the arrests of Victor Diaz and Miguel Alcudia last year, point to a broader trend. "Why are we wasting resources on thoroughly decent people like Zully and Enrique who are doing really important work for their communities?" he said.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Monday, March 20, 2017

Vermont's Congressional Delegation Joins the Criticism of ICE Arrests

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 9:00 PM

Protesters marching on Saturday - SASHA GOLDSTEIN
  • Sasha Goldstein
  • Protesters marching on Saturday
The members of Vermont's congressional delegation on Monday evening said they have expressed "serious concerns" to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement about the recent arrests of Migrant Justice activists.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) questioned ICE's actions and the potential impact on a crucial state industry. Their statement says: "Instead of focusing on removing those people who pose a threat to public safety or national security, the Trump administration is targeting all undocumented persons, including the people that help keep our dairy farms and rural economy afloat."

It also says, "Instead of common sense reform, we now have a divisive and xenophobic executive order issued unilaterally by President Trump that is tearing families and communities apart, and endangering our dairy farms here in Vermont."

Activists took to Twitter and the streets Friday and Saturday to denounce the arrests of Enrique Balcazar, Zully Palacios and Cesar Alex Carrillo, who were all detained within a three-day period in Burlington.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, March 17, 2017

ICE Arrests Two More Immigration Advocates in Burlington

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 8:37 PM

Zully Palacios and Enrique Balcazar - COURTESY OF MIGRANT JUSTICE
  • Courtesy of Migrant Justice
  • Zully Palacios and Enrique Balcazar
Updated March 18, 2017 at 1:55 p.m.

Immigration officials arrested two more undocumented Migrant Justice advocates Friday afternoon, leading to protests that drew hundreds of people.

Enrique Balcazar, 24, and Zully Palacios, 23, were arrested and detained by undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents during a traffic stop on Shelburne Road in Burlington, said Will Lambek, a spokesman for the Vermont-based human rights organization.

Migrant Justice members arrived on the scene to see both Balcazar and Palacios being loaded into an ICE van. Neither had a criminal record, according to Lambek.

The incident marks the third ICE arrest in three days. On Wednesday, 23-year-old Cesar Alex Carrillo was detained on his way to a Burlington courthouse to respond to a misdemeanor DUI charge. The charge was later dismissed, though Carrillo was not present at the hearing.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation