Victor Diaz, center, after discussing the “Milk With Dignity” campaign with a Ben & Jerry’s representative.
Addison County farmworker and activist Victor Diaz will be released from custody after federal immigration officials detained him, the organization Migrant Justice said on Wednesday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers took Diaz into custody on April 21 and placed him in a prison in Dover, N.H. ICE subsequently released a statement that described Diaz as a citizen of Mexico and said he became an “enforcement priority” after he was convicted of DUI last November.
Diaz is still facing deportation, but he can return to Vermont while the legal process plays out. He is 24, and has worked on Vermont dairy farms for about six years.
At a hearing this Wednesday at the Boston Immigration Court, a judge set bond for Diaz at $1,500 — the lowest amount allowed under law.
Matt Cameron, a Boston-based immigration attorney who is representing Diaz, presented the presiding judge with 30 letters and a petition with roughly 2,000 signatures of support for Diaz. Cameron said in a written statement that the decision to release Diaz was a “direct result of the immense groundswell of support he has received from across the country in the past week. His strong community ties and recognized leadership on behalf of his fellow workers truly made the difference here.”
Diaz is a member of Migrant Justice, and the organization is urging ICE to drop the case. Fellow Vermont farmworkers raised the money for his release, according to Will Lambek of Migrant Justice. Lambek said Diaz plans to continue to advocate for farmworkers’ rights upon his return to Vermont.