Farmers and Farmworkers join to say: Make VT State IDs and Drivers Licenses Available to all people Living and Working in VT”
Posted Thu, 03/01/2012 - 8:19am
Vermont Farmers and Farmworkers join to say:
“Make VT State IDs and Drivers Licenses Available to
all people Living and Working in VT”
Wednesday, February 29, Montpelier, VT—Vermont farmers and farmworkers joined once again this Wednesday morning for testimony before the Senate Agricultural Committee regarding new legislation (S-238) that would grant State Identification to noncitizen Vermont community members.
Farmers and farmworkers spoke to the need for including driver’s licenses in the legislation.
Over Lopez, who works at a Vermont plant nursery, says, “Drivers licenses will make life easier for those of us who work in Vermont but have no access to our own transportation. For people working on dairy farms and in other industries, it is vital that we have the ability to take care of our basic needs without relying on our bosses and neighbors to get to the store, the hospital, the clinic, or wherever else we need to go. This is about basic equality. We work hard and have the same needs as anybody else.”
Dairy farmer Ned Branon from Fairfield, VT, added. "My farm worker helps my 8th generation farm stay in business. This people work hard and I think they should be given State IDs and Driver's licenses"
Tim Buskey of the Vermont Farm Bureau, who was at the hearing, emphasizes, “The federal government has let us down on the issue of foreign workers, and we need to step up as a state to address the issue. We need these workers on farms in Vermont, and as the short-term solution being called for is State Identification, that’s what we need to do in Vermont.”
Natalia Fajardo, who testified at the hearing, added, “When someone takes the written test to get a driver’s license, the test does not ask ‘how did you get to the US? What is your immigration status?’ Driving has nothing to do with immigration, it’s about the ability to get around”.
Migrant Justice is a farmworker-led organization that works for Immigrant Rights and Agricultural Justice