Sunday, June 23, 2013

Danilo, “Vermont Human Rights Hero” and Immigrant Rights Organizer Facing Deportation on July 5th

June 15, 2013

Please sign the petition here:

Daniel Alejandro Lopez Santiago, (A089-088-623) known as ‘Danilo’ by his friends, is a farm worker and leader with the Vermont community group, Migrant Justice. In 2011, just three weeks after leading the first ever migrant farm worker press conference and rally at the Vermont state house, Danilo was placed in deportation proceedings.

Danilo was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for speeding, and the police officer questioned him about his immigration status, and proceeded to call Border Patrol and place him in removal proceedings.

He was released after community organizing, and continued to stay involved. Just one month after his detention, Danilo led a successful meeting with Governor Peter Shumlin to create a new state policy that prohibits the use of state resources for immigration enforcement. The VT Human Rights Commission investigated the police stop, and found that Danilo was unlawfully discriminated against in violation of Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act.

For this, and his continued activism, Danilo was recognized as the “Vermont Human Rights Hero” of 2011 by the Vermont Workers’ Center at a conference of hundreds of community leaders at the University of Vermont.

Throughout his organizing he has continued to fight his deportation case in court, and has continued to fight for immigrant and farm workers rights, including leading the successful campaign for equal access to Vermont Driver’s Licenses.

However, he has lost his immigration case in court, and his request for prosecutorial discretion has been denied. Danilo was told he must leave the country by July 5, 2013. Please help us tell immigration that Danilo should be able to remain in the country, and continue to be a civil rights leader in Vermont.

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