cpb-logo

Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

Migrant Activists Question Why Feds Were Called After Farmworker’s Arrest

Will Lambek of Migrant Justice says a state police call to immigration agents after the arrest of a farmworker runs counter to the state's fair and impartial policing policy. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Will Lambek of Migrant Justice says a state police call to immigration agents after the arrest of a farmworker runs counter to the state’s fair and impartial policing policy. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

A recent case shows that when undocumented immigrants encounter local law enforcement, they may still run the risk of being turned over to federal immigration authorities. This happened despite a fair and impartial policing policy that discourages authorities from doing so.

The case shows that police and advocates for migrant farmworkers interpret the policy very differently.

Olman Lopez was due to be arraigned Monday in the criminal division of Addison Superior Court. But the 47-year-old farmworker didn’t show up to answer charges of driving while drunk and leaving the scene of an accident back in October.

The reason: Lopez was already in custody.

He’s in a federal detention center in New Hampshire, awaiting deportation back to his native Costa Rica.

Visit VPR for the full story.