Progressives condemn racial profiling and arrest of migrant farmworkers

The undersigned members of the coordinating committee of the Vermont Progressive Party want to express our disdain against any form of racial profiling in Vermont. Article D, Civil Rights, of the Vermont Progressive Party platform articulates that we support Vermonters’ “right to personal privacy, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution” and “a Zero-Tolerance standard state-wide toward all forms of discrimination and harassment.”

On Sept. 13, Danilo, a leader in fighting for the rights of Vermont’s migrant farm workers, and co-worker Antonio were passengers in a car pulled over for speeding on I-89. Although the two did nothing wrong themselves, the trooper who pulled them over almost immediately began questioning them about where they were from and what their immigration status was. The two were then placed under arrest and later given into the custody of border patrol agents.

This is in clear violation of the rights of Danilo and Antonio, as well as of the state police’s own “bias-free-policing” policy. Vermont Progressives join with the Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project, the Vermont Workers’ Center and many others in condemning the actions that led to the arrest of Danilo and Antonio.

We are, however, glad to see that Gov. Shumlin responded quickly to this clear violation of the rights of Danilo and Antonio by asking for a full investigation of the incident and hopeful that the investigation will be as thorough and complete as possible.

Vermont has a long history of being at the forefront of the fight for human rights. We must always be unwavering in our efforts to strengthen and enforce Vermont’s human rights laws for the betterment of our communities and society at large. The alternative is unacceptable.

Martha Abbott, Underhill
Michael Bayer, Rutland
Meg Brook, Burlington
Richard Kemp, Burlington
Traven Leyshon, Montpelier
Lee Madden, Brattleboro
Robert Millar, Winooski
Cindy Humiston Weed, Enosburg
Eli Yoder, Plainfield
David Zuckerman, Hinesburg
And Progressive Party member Vince Brennan, Burlington

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  • Danilo and Antonio did do something wrong; they entered the United States illegally.
    Trooper Hatch started questioning them when the driver gave evasive answers.
    It’s not necessary to have done something wrong to be questioned by police.
    At no time during the traffic stop was race or skin color mentioned.
    How about if you all start defending the U.S.A for a change?

  • Doug Hoffer

    I’m old enough to remember the taunts of those who responded to citizens demonstrating against the Vietnam War. It was not uncommon to hear the phrase “America, love it or leave it.”

    Mr. Herrick’s last line is similar; as if talking about civil rights is anti-American.

    We’ve come such a long way in the last 45 years.

  • Edd Foerster

    Ignoring federal laws you don’t like — and encouraging their non-enforcement by law enforcement agencies, as Shumlin has done — is totally and completely wrong. Shame on Shumlin for telling law enforcement to “look the other way.”

  • Christian Noll

    DID YOU KNOW, that in Vermont the police don’t need a judge to sign a search warrent to track, monitor and listen in to your cell phone transmissions? Just ask the Attorney General.

    4th Amendment? Not in Vermont. It dissapeared with our new battle cry “Post 9/11.”

    Oh, I’m a US citizen by birth by the way, and outside of a speeding ticket from over ten years ago, my only crimes include a BS and a MS in criminal justice. You could add half of my Phd doctoral thesis.

    I am very sad to say, we have no more “Rights to personal privacy as guaranteed in the US Constitution.” I’ve included several accounts of being harrassed and warrentlessly survailed by Burlington and South Burlington police in my book Vermont C.O. The Truth of Attrition depicting the dispicable behaviors of some of our local law enforcement. At one point I had to inform the City’s Attorney of this blaitant unlawful behavior.

    Yes you would think Vermont would treat its citizens better. Its big industry “enforcing the law” and it WILL supercede our former constitutional rights.

    Its sad, our country is changing.

    • debty

      Sadly not for the better Christian, you stated this well. The Judicial system has been outta control for a long time. Our representatives look the other way.People have been crying fowl for a long time, but on deaf ears. The only problem is we are the ones who created the monsters, and because of it we live in fear of what we allowed to spiral outta control.

  • dan osgood sr

    far as i’m concened the police have wvwey rught to ask who you are and where your from and to ask for an id of some sort no matter who you are, the consitution dosen’t give you the right not to be asked.

    • Christian Noll

      Mr Osgood thank you,


      However when the police come into your home without “Probable Cause” or manufacturing it so to speak, OR follow you around town in a blaitantly belligerant fashion, not to mention assasinating your character to the very same intitutions which are here to help us, THEN our Consitutional Rights have been violated.

      Like our military, today’s American law enforcement is politically motivated which means more and more innocent, peaceful tax payers will get sucked into the “Justice Vacume.”

      The police (nor anybody) do not have the right to do that. We should be ashamed.

  • walter carpenter

    “Its big industry “enforcing the law” and it WILL supercede our former constitutional rights.”

    Exactly, Christian. Big business has underwritten so many of our laws, including the immigration law. If they are illegal they are easier to abuse, manipulate, and to underpay. I know. I lived with migrant workers many years ago.

    “the consitution dosen’t give you the right not to be asked.”

    It doesn’t? What about illegal search and seizures? It sounds like you want to live in a police state.

    “It was not uncommon to hear the phrase “America, love it or leave it.””

    Doug, I’m old enough to remember that phrase as well and to have had it thrown at me a number of times. Perhaps we are regressing back to that time.

  • Edd Foerster

    “Yes you would think Vermont would treat its citizens better.”

    Mr. Noll, this thread is about the detention of two illegal immigrants. So if you’re referring in your above statement to that incident, then your comment is off the mark because by definition they are not “citizens.”

    • Christian Noll

      Dear Mr Foerster, I admire a man with spirit so thank you.

      “Mr. Noll, this thread is about the detention of two illegal immigrants.”

      I will advise Mr Foerster to look up the difference between “detention” and “arrest.” There is a sizable difference between the two. I humbly disagree with you Eddy.

      This thread is about the ARREST of two individuals who were in a car driven by a US CITIZEN, who according to the officer was speeding. You should look at the video prior to telling others what this “thread” is about.

      I’d also council Mr. Foerster to read the US Constitution and even the Vermont Constitution. It might do you some good.

      There is this really cool thing called “DUE PROCESS OF LAW.” They even talk about it in our US Constitution.

      You should check it out.

      Believe it or not, its one of the few things that make America “great.”

      This “thread” isn’t about “detaining” illegal immigrants, its about the 4th Amendment to our beloved Constitution.

      Get it straight.

  • edd foerster

    The driver wasn’t speeding “according to the police,” as you say. Rather, the driver was speeding ACCORDING TO THE DRIVER. It appears that you are the one who hasn’t watched the video and read the transcript.

    Your references to the constitutions are irrelevant. Absolutely no one besides you is contending that there was a fourth amendment violation in this 88 mph speeding stop.

    Get it straight.

    PS, I’ve probably read the constitution more times than you have, and I don’t feel the need to brag about my degrees on this thread.

    • Christian Noll

      Who’s “bragging?”

      I’m ashamed.

      Academically, none of my many years studying criminal justice have done me one ounce of good. That’s nothing to be proud of. Humbly I might add that it has little to do with me either.

      Sadly its more of a reflection of whats become of our higher education.

      Individuals who blindly side with the police are a part of the problem. It seems to be the popular thing to do these days. I can see how Mr Hoffer would mention the 1960’s era slogan; “America, love it or leave it.”

      I did leave it for a while, for seven years, and yes I SHOULD have stayed in France. People are nicer, there is equal access to healthcare and higher education is universal, unlike Vermont. The police do their job, but don’t feed off of scaring the public to build BIG BUSINESS.

      You very may well have read the constitution more times than I, however (while not trying to “bragg”) my father and I are both teachers of the US Constitution. And even though I’m not employed as a teacher currently, have spent many years teaching it as well as studying it.

      The industrial complex of Police, Corrections and yes the military have have unquestionably threatened our Bill of Rights. “Post 9/11” is the new American Battle Cry.

      DID YOU KNOW, Vermont has the HIGHEST police misconduct rate in the nation per capita of police officers? (NPMSRP)

      Who would ever think that the state which brought us Bernie Sanders, Civil Unions and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream would earn such an unsavory statistic? We are three and a have times the national average for police misconduct. And guess what? Its from violations of the 4th Amendment. Its from warrentless surveillance. Its from flagrant and blaitant ethics violations. Until you’re a victim of police misconduct, who cares really.

      It used to be that when you saw a police officer in his cruiser you would feel safe. Those days are gone with “Post 9/11.” The kicker is, many police love this. It’s empowering for them. The sad reality is a growing trend of law enforcement which actually impedes the very security they are here to protect.

      HOW we enforce the law SAYS who we are, as a community, as a state and as a nation.

      I think I’ve got it “straight” now. Thanks for your help.

  • edd foerster

    “The industrial complex of Police, Corrections and yes the military have have unquestionably threatened our Bill of Rights. “Post 9/11″ is the new American Battle Cry.”

    You haven’t actually said a thing, except to reveal your own paranoia.

    Good luck.

  • Robert Crouch

    I am wondering, what is the appropriate way to catch illegal aliens? Or immigrants as their is difference?