Trump Administration Settles with Migrant Justice Activists Targeted over Political Work

The Trump Administration has settled a lawsuit with three Migrant Justice activists who sued the Department of Homeland Security after being targeted and arrested for deportation because of their work in organizing other farmworkers for better working and living conditions on Vermont dairy farms.

The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to pay $100,000 to the three activists and to Migrant Justice and to grant the activists deferred action, thus stopping their deportation cases and allowing them to obtain work permits.

The agency must also distribute a memo about the First Amendment, which protects undocumented workers from being targeted for political speech, to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Vermont.

The government settlement includes a stipulation that the move is not “an admission of liability or fault on the part of the United States of America.” ┬áBut one of the plaintiffs, former dairy worker Jose Enrique Balcazar Sanchez, 27, said in an interview, “We know what they’re going to say. ┬áBut we’ve exposed, through this action and through this lawsuit, the abuses they committed: retaliatory arrests against community leaders.”

So far DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have not commented.