Migrant Justice members are protesting, yet, again, for the release of one of their own. U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement confirmed ICE officers took 23-year-old Miguel Alcudia into custody Wednesday morning, on charges he overstayed a lawful visit to the U.S.
"Immigrants are welcome here and milking a cow is not a crime," says Migrant Justice Leader Will Lambek.
Lambek was one of about a dozen people protesting peacefully outside Vermont's ICE headquarters Wednesday afternoon in St. Albans. Lambek says Alcudia has lived and worked in Vergennes for the last two years as a dairy farmer. He is originally from Mexico.
"There are over 1,500 immigrants working in the state of Vermont, sustaining our dairy industry, yet they're targeted, harassed, detained, and deported," says Lambek.
"I received dozens of text messages of people asking about him and how he's doing today," says Director of the Vermont Workers' Center Kate Kanelstein. "We're not going anywhere, we're going to be by Miguel's side and work with him so this injustice happens no longer, to anybody."
Alcudia is the second publicized arrest of a migrant worker since April. The other was Victor Diaz, who Lambek says is still going through deportation proceedings.
In a statement. an ICE spokesman says "As a recent immigration violator, Mr. Alcudia is an ICE enforcement priority. He will be entered into removal (deportation) proceedings and will remain in ICE custody, pending the outcome of those proceedings."
Lambek says his group is concerned for Alcudia's family members, who are still in Vermont. He says Migrant Justice is providing them and Alcudia's co-workers who are at risk with information about their rights.
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