100 firmas alcanzadas
To: Boston ICE Field Office
Why is ICE arresting farmworker organizers in Vermont?
Immediately release Miguel Alcudia from the Strafford County facility where he is being detained and close the deportation case against him.
Why is this important?
Miguel Alcudia is a dairy worker and leader of the Vermont based human rights organization Migrant Justice. Miguel became a community leader after his wages were stolen on a Vermont dairy farm where he lived and worked. He organized his co-workers to stand up to their abusive employer–and got involved with Migrant Justice.
This experience inspired Miguel to be a leader in the Milk with Dignity campaign calling on large corporations to source their milk in compliance with the human rights of farmworkers.
Miguel participated in the campaign to successfully secure a commitment from Ben & Jerry’s to join the Milk with Dignity Program. He has played a crucial role, as a farmworker spokesperson on Migrant Justice’s education team, educating other workers about their rights and raising awareness of the public at large about the plight of immigrant workers. Miguel has also participated in region-wide efforts to build connections between immigrant rights and racial justice movements. He is now an active leader of Migrant Justice’s farmworker Coordinating Committee--its main leadership body.
But on September 22, as Miguel was leaving his farm his co-worker tipped him off that he was being followed by an unmarked police car. When he arrived in the town of Vergennes, VT, undercover agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested him and took him into custody. Allegedly, Miguel came to the attention of ICE because his visa expired. In a conversation with Miguel’s attorney yesterday, an agent claimed that Mr. Alcudia had been targeted for arrest as a “2D priority” (“aliens who … have significantly abused the visa or visa waiver program”). However, under any reasonable interpretation, overstaying a visa should not be considered “significant abuse.” Miguel is currently detained at Strafford County House of Correction in New Hampshire with $21,000 bail.
This is the second detention of a Migrant Justice leader in recent months. Both Victor Diaz and Miguel Alcudia are public leaders of Migrant Justice, a fact that was commented upon by ICE agents during both arrests. Furthermore, during yesterday’s arrest, ICE agents told Mr. Alcudia that another community leader, mentioning them by name, would be their next arrest. This clear and direct threat against a community leader on the basis of their public activities advocating for human rights is extremely troubling.
Miguel has already received the support of pastors, labor leaders, university students, and hundreds of his fellow farmworkers. He is an important figure in his community and his continued detention does harm not only to Miguel but to the farmworker movement for human rights that he has led.
How it will be delivered
To be presented to ICE prosecutor and immigration judge at Miguel's bail hearing