Excerpt from article published in Seven Days:
An immigration bust by Vermont State Police on Tuesday, and the subsequent arrest of protesters, is sending shock waves around the state.
Earlier today, two undocumented migrant farm workers — one of them an outspoken critic of a controversial immigration enforcement program — were detained by state police following a routine traffic stop on I-89 in Middlesex and handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol. Brendan O’Neill, an organizer with the VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project, said farm workers Danilo Lopez and Antonio (whose last name is unknown) were racially profiled by state police after a car they were passengers in was pulled over for speeding — a violation of the Vermont State Police’s bias-free policing policy, O’Neill claims.
The situation escalated this afternoon, when activists from the Solidarity Project showed up at the Middlesex state police barracks to protest the farm workers’ expected deportation. When the Border Patrol tried to leave with the handcuffed immigrants in SUVs, five of the protesters locked arms and blocked the government vehicle — provoking a standoff that ended with three of them being carted off and arrested.
Later Tuesday, Gov. Peter Shumlin ordered an investigation into the traffic stop.