After five years of litigation, the ACLU of Vermont successfully settled a case on behalf of Migrant Justice, an organization advocating for the farmworker community in Vermont.
Since April 2016, several leaders of Migrant Justice have been arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol. The location and timing of the arrests, comments made by the officers, and other actions by the agencies involved led Migrant Justice to suspect that the arrests were retaliatory, improperly targeting members of Migrant Justice for their activism and exercise of free speech.
Migrant Justice subsequently submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to learn more about the arrests, but the government agencies involved failed to produce any documents. The ACLU of Vermont, joined by the National Immigration Law Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, filed suit to compel the release of the documents.
In November 2022, the government agencies released nearly 8,000 pages of responsive records that were crucial in supporting Migrant Justice’s claims in Migrant Justice v. Wolf that these arrests had been carried out in violation of Migrant Justice’s and its members’ First Amendment rights. In addition, the government agreed to pay $74,000 in costs and attorney’s fees incurred in the FOIA litigation.
Learn more here about Migrant Justice's discrimination lawsuit, settled in 2020, against the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.