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Rally for migrant workers allegedly detained by federal agents - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rally for migrant workers allegedly detained by federal agents

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

At least 100 people gathered in Burlington Saturday to show support for migrant workers.

Victor Diaz is an undocumented worker who makes his living on a Vermont dairy farm. Around one year ago, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE – sparking an outcry by community members.

He was eventually released and continues to rally for the rights of migrants and the undocumented in Vermont. On Saturday, he shared his feelings with the help of an interpreter.

"That's what we're here for, to find a better life, and this is a country that treats us like cheap labor, like a machine. But when we show the economic power that we have in this country, when we can demonstrate what a day without an immigrant would look like, then this country will see what a powerful force we are," said Diaz.

Diaz and others addressed a large crowd that arrived in Burlington to show support for immigrants. The gathering followed a smaller protest that took place on Friday outside ICE headquarters in St. Albans. Protesters allege that three undocumented workers in Vermont have been detained within the past week.

"Honestly I feel a lot of anguish, and anger, and sadness to see my companions detained, people who I've lived with, shared with – and to see them taken away from me is terrible," said Diaz.

Channel 3 has been unable to confirm with ICE whether the three were arrested this week. Though Saturday's crowd supported the cause, there are many across the country in favor of stricter immigration laws. They argue that people here illegally should not be allowed to stay and that everyone should be required to go through the same legal process for citizenship rights. Protesters marched up and down church street, and staged their final rally outside the Federal Building on Elmwood Ave.

"People come here for one reason. People don't come here just because, 'hey, I wanna go work in the dairy industry and work long hours and hard schedules,' but there's a lot of forces that make people migrate to look for a better life," said Abel Luna, Organizer.

The group plans to hold another rally on May 1st.

WCAX has made multiple attempts to contact ICE officials for additional details but have not heard back

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