On September 13, 201, Danilo Lopez and his cousin, Antonio, were passengers in a car that was stopped for speeding. They were detained by the Vermont State Police and Border Patrol.
"Danilo decided he needed to do something to stop this -- not just for him -- but for everybody. So he worked with Migrant Justice to pass a strong bias-free policing policy that Governor Shumlin passed," said Natalia Fajardo with the group Vermont group, Migrant Justice.
The new state policy prohibits the use of state resources for immigration enforcement. Lopez was also front and center when it came to getting a bill passed this spring to get special drivers licenses for migrant farm workers. It was shortly after that that Danilo was notified he was being deported and had to leave the United States in July.
A rally Monday night is aimed at getting more people involved in fighting Danilo's deportation. "I am really hopeful. We have received a tremendous amount of support -- also from the migrant community, from our allies -- people who believe in the work we do. And I would really like to win this campaign because it would be a powerful example for others in similar situations. This is not an isolated case," Fajardo said.
Lopez's friends and supporters say his case is ripe for "prosecutorial discretion" by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, especially with Danilo's status as a civil rights and human rights champion for immigrants in Vermont.
Members of Vermont's Congressional delegation have written letters backing efforts by Lopez to stay in the United States.
Immigrant and worker's rights organizations throughout New England are leading a "Not One More Deportation" week of action to call on the Obama administration to halt the detention and deportation of undocumented workers who would be eligible for the path to citizenship through passage of the proposed immigration reform legislation.
Danilo and supporters plan to get on a bus to head to the ICE detention center in Burlington, Massachusetts for a rally on Thursday.
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