Tell ICE to #FreeBeto
On December 31st, Cruz Alberto Sanchez-Perez, known to his friends as Beto, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents during a court appearance in Middlebury, VT. After spending New Year's Day in ICE custody, Beto was transferred to a detention center in New Hampshire where he is being held without bail. This Thursday, Beto is scheduled to appear before an immigration judge.
Beto is a leader within the LGBTQ immigrant farmworker community in Vermont. He came to the United States fleeing persecution based on his sexual orientation in his home country of Mexico. Beto has lived in Vermont for three years, working on dairy farms around the state and becoming involved in Migrant Justice, the Pride Center of Vermont, and other organizations. He has helped to lead a survey of fellow dairy workers on occupational health and safety risks, contributing valuable knowledge about a notoriously dangerous industry. Beto has also been involved in workshops on the needs of the community of LGBTQ immigrant farmworkers.
In December of 2018 Beto was arrested by local police and released with a summons to appear in court for driving under the influence. When he showed up for court, Immigration and Customs Enforcement were there waiting to arrest Beto, and he has been held without bail in federal immigration detention ever since. Beto should be afforded due process for his DUI charge, as any other Vermonter would, instead of being locked up without bail and facing impending deportation.
On January 31st, we will have a chance to tell the immigration judge that Beto poses no threat and is in fact a much loved and integral part of his community, with strong ties in Vermont and beyond. We ask that he be granted bond and freed immediately so that he can return to his community and continue pursuing his case for asylum.
Its important that ICE hears from us before the court date. Take action now and send a letter to ICE to free Beto, so he can be released to his family and community in Vermont!
Photo credit: Q2 Photos