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Feds Pay $74K To Settle Case By VT Immigrant Advocacy Group

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has agreed to pay Vermont-based immigrant advocacy organization Migrant Justice $74,000 to settle a lawsuit seeking information on whether advocates have been targeted by immigration agents because of their political activism, reports the Associated Press. The settlement filed in federal court said the advocacy group and DHS have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit filed in 2017. The litigation sought access to government communications to determine whether activists were being targeted. Lia Ernst if the Vermont American Civil Liberties Union said it resulted in a release of 8,000 pages of documents. “The ACLU and our allies will continue fighting for the rights of immigrants in Vermont, and that includes seeking greater transparency and accountability from law enforcement agencies,” Ernst said.

The information in the documents received from the government through the lawsuit helped Migrant Justice reach a settlement in January 2020 with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles not to share information on immigrant farm workers with authorities. The information also helped support another settlement in October 2020 in which the federal government agreed not to deport three immigrant activists. In the original lawsuit, Migrant Justice used the Freedom of Information Act to seek information about whether some activists from their organization were targeted for their political activism for problems affecting immigrants.


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