Police look to relieve tensions with immigrants

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Advocates for immigrant farm workers are hailing a decision by Vermont State Police not to investigate the immigration status of three farm workers allegedly assaulted and robbed earlier this month.

Colonel James Baker — director of the state police — says it’s the first time his agency had confronted such a situation, and that it was decided solving the robberies was more important than pursuing any possible immigration violations by the victims.

Advocates say that’s a welcome change from just last year, when they criticized the Vermont State Police for tough enforcement of immigration laws.

There are an estimated 2,000 immigrant farm workers in Vermont, most from Mexico and many in the country illegally.

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