Protesters push Burlington City Council to protect undocumented immigrants

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 1:02 AM EST
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Nearly 100 protesters turned out at Tuesday's Burlington City Council meeting demanding the city take action to end what they say is a collaboration between police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A resolution before the council but then taken off the agenda calls for making it unlawful for police to share information with ICE regarding an immigrant's citizenship status. It also seeks to close any loopholes that would let officers share that information.

Protesters accused the City Council of being complicit in systemic racism and profiling by delaying this vote that protesters say would protect immigrants in Burlington and allow them to live freely without fear of deportation.

"We don't feel comfortable as a community coming to this city knowing that the city police could be collaborating or working arm in arm with immigration agents," said Enrique Balcazar with Migrant Justice.

"We're rallying tonight to build support for a resolution that was submitted to the City Council. We thought that it was going to be voted on tonight but it's been delayed and bumped from the agenda," said Ashley Smith with Community Voices for Immigrant Rights.

The agenda item will be taken up at the City Council meeting on March 9. Protesters left the room chanting "We'll be back on March 9th."

Acting Burlington Police Chief Jennifer Morrison and Deputy Chief Jon Murad were at the meeting for a different agenda item regarding the special committee to review community policing practices. We asked to talk to them but Murad said they were only at the meeting to talk about the special committee.