In A ‘Fishbowl’: Vermont Border Towns Fight Feds’ Push For Surveillance Towers

Federal officials won’t say yet whether they’ll give Vermonters more time to weigh in on a controversial plan to install surveillance towers on the Vermont-Canada border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to erect 199-foot “Remote Video Surveillance Systems” in five northern Vermont communities. Mike Niezgoda, a public affairs officer with the federal agency, says…

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N.H. Advocates: Driver’s Licenses Would Improve Relations Between Undocumented Immigrants And Police

A bill in the New Hampshire State House that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license faces an uphill battle this year. Immigration advocates say the legislation is key to improving relationships they’ve been building with police chiefs across the state’s Southern tier. Aloisio Costa spends a lot of time doing what pastors…

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Pandemic Pushes Debate Over Driver’s Licenses

Hailed as heroes during the pandemic, essential workers have cared for the elderly in nursing homes and kept food supplies going from farms to supermarkets. But thousands of these workers in Massachusetts are also undocumented immigrants facing a hard choice — risk driving illegally to keep these essential jobs, or stop working. With immigrant communities…

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‘They Should Include Us’: Vermont’s Immigrant Farmworkers Push For Coronavirus Aid

Immigrant workers on Vermont’s dairy farms say they want access to the same coronavirus aid programs that have helped other residents weather the unprecedented economic downturn. Vermont’s dairy industry has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and a sudden drop in milk prices due to COVID-19 has forced some farmers to scale back…

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While Others Wait, One Teen In Boston Is Granted Medical Deferred Action

Months after federal immigration officials reinstated deferred action for medical cases, a family in Boston who feared they’d be removed from the U.S. — even as their son continued to need life-saving treatments — now has clarity. Originally from Honduras, the Sanchez family came to Boston three years ago seeking proper health care for their…

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‘Magical Place For Us’: Syrian Family Finds New Home In Rutland

They fled violence in Syria. They moved from place to place for years. And now, Hazar, Hussam and their three kids are finally settling into their new home in Rutland, which they call a “magical place.” Three years ago, Rutland was planning to become Vermont’s newest resettlement community: 100 mostly Syrian refugees were expected to…

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Vermont Officials, Businesses Concerned About Decline In Refugees

Bhuwan Sharma, co-owner of Burlington Employment Agency, at his Old North End office. He said his business has plateaued due in large part to Bhutanese-Nepali refugees moving from Vermont to Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Bayla Metzger for VPR

The Burlington area is a hub for refugees and immigrants in Vermont, but area officials and businesses are concerned about this population shrinking. Recent federal restrictions have limited the number of refugees coming to the state and there’s another problem too: some New Americans are choosing to leave Vermont.

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