Vermont Business Magazine Thursday morning in State House Room 10, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a public hearing on the status of the state’s Fair and Impartial Policing policy. Migrant Justice and the ACLU of Vermont will be testifying about problems with the implementation of the law and continuing concerns that the Attorney General and other Vermont leaders are not doing enough to protect the civil rights of Vermont’s immigrant communities.
Will Lambek of Migrant Justice: “Vermont police continue to unnecessarily facilitate Trump’s policy of mass deportation. Police departments are failing to implement, train to, and enforce adequate Fair and Impartial Policing policies. The Attorney General’s office and the Vermont legislature must hold departments accountable to our values.”
The organizations are calling on the legislature and the Attorney General to strengthen the FIP policy and do more to ensure it is being implemented. Despite convening an immigrants’ rights task force and signing on to amicus briefs of other states challenging the Trump administration’s immigration policies, Vermont’s Attorney General has not reviewed all local police FIP policies to ensure they are compliant with state law, has not taken meaningful action to correct those that fall short, and has questioned FIP provisions that provide stronger and more meaningful protections to Vermont residents—provisions long since adopted by other states and localities. Meanwhile, Vermont’s police academy, the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, still has yet to implement training on FIP’s immigration-specific policies.
Lia Ernst of ACLU of Vermont: “Vermont passed this law in 2014, becoming one of dozens of states and localities that sought to disentangle local police from federal immigration enforcement. Three years later, that still has not happened. Immigrants’ rights are under attack and Vermont needs strong leadership now more than ever.”
What: Public hearing hosted by House Judiciary Committee, followed by press conference
Where: Vermont State House, Room 10
When: Thursday, January 24, 2019. Hearing from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m., with press conference to follow
Why: To share information and updates on the status of Vermont’s Fair and Impartial Policing policy
Who: Representatives from Migrant Justice and the ACLU, as well as Immigration Task Force chair Kesha Ram. State legislators have also been invited to speak.
RELATED STORY: Vermont AG calls for more protections for immigrants
Source: ACLU 1.23.2019