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14 Undocumented Workers Arrested By ICE At Colchester Hotel

A man cups his hands around his mouth at a protest.
Kathleen Masterson
In June, about 25 protesters showed up at the detention facility in South Burlington where Yesenia Hernández is being held for ICE. On Thursday, ICE arrested 14 undocumented workers at a hotel in Colchester."

On Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 14 undocumented workers who were part of a construction crew staying at the Days Inn in Colchester.

The raid took place at 5 a.m. as the workers were leaving to go to their shift working in the area, said Will Lambek, a staff member at the advocacy group Migrant Justice.

The arrests were first reported by VTDigger.

The assistant general manager at the Days Inn, who declined to provide her full name, said no one at the hotel contacted ICE and the hotel did not provide the agency with the hotel’s guest list.

Washington state is suing Motel 6, after it was reported they had shared guest lists with immigration agents.

Lambek said other workers, who were part of the construction crew but not detained, told Migrant Justice about the arrests. He said Migrant Justice has not been directly in touch with anyone who was detained.

“Normally though they are supposed to be given a call immediately after being booked,” Lambek said. “It’s been our experience that often people are held for a couple days out of communication.”

He said most of the workers were moved to detention centers outside of Vermont, though several are still being detained in state.

“They’ve been placed into removal proceedings and we’re working with others to connect them with legal resources so they can fight to remain in the county,” Lambek said.

Lambek declined to share the name of the company that employed the workers.

As for the scale of the raid, Lambek said it’s larger than what usually happens in the state.

“That’s not to say that this is the first immigration arrest in the state,” he said. “It’s just that normally ICE operates by arresting people in the ones and twos rather than 14 at a time.”

ICE did not comment on the arrests. A spokesman for the agency said he couldn’t respond to any questions until the government shutdown was over.

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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