Marchers rally for humane immigration policy

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copyright the Chronicle March 8, 2017

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

DERBY LINE — A little before 1 p.m. Saturday a well bundled group of people stood in Baxter Park here, about 150 yards from the Canadian border. Some held signs saying “No Muslim Ban,” “Respect Everybody,” “We Are (Almost All) Immigrants, and “Civility Respect Kindness.”

There were no bystanders and not many passing motorists to hear the group chant “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here,” but one man pulled his pickup over and gleefully informed the demonstrators that Donald Trump is now President of the United States.

After a little while the group walked up the street to the First Universalist Parish of Derby Line, where they were joined by late arrivals and some less hardy souls gathering to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

Between 80 and 100 folks squeezed into the church hall for a short program of speeches, songs, and performances by the Bread and Puppet Theater of Glover.

The theater’s band warmed up the crowd with a song before organizer Aimee Alexander introduced featured speaker Susan-Lynn Johns, formerly the minister of the Derby Line church, who currently is associated with a congregation in St. Johnsbury.

Ms. Johns began by reading the opening words from Charles Dicken’s novel A Tale of Two Cities.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,” she read, comparing the times described by Dickens to the present day.

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Some refugees leaving through Derby Line

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copyright the Chronicle February 22, 2017

 

 

by Joseph Gresser

 

DERBY LINE — In the past few months an increasing number of foreigners have been crossing the U.S. border and seeking refuge in Canada. Canadian authorities say the trend is greatest in Quebec, but they are unwilling to talk about where individuals and families are entering the province.

Some, at least, are walking over the line in Derby Line and Beebe, according to Stephen Henesy, who was recently named Patrol Agent in Charge of the Border Patrol Station in Newport.

Agent Henesy said those crossing are not people who are in the U.S. illegally, but have entered the country on tourist and other visas. Once here, some have made their way north to seek “what Canada has to offer,” he said.

Many of the people he has seen at the border come from South America and Africa, Agent Henesy said Tuesday. At least one came from Eritrea, a multi-ethnic country in the Horn of Africa, he said.

Border Patrol Agents can stop someone heading for the border, he said, but only long enough to make sure the person is not in the U.S. illegally or wanted for criminal activity. If they find no problem, the person is free to go on his way, even if that means crossing into Canada.

The illegality only begins once the person goes over the border and is under Canadian jurisdiction, he explained.

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U.S., Quebec police practice cooperating in emergencies

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State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday.  Photos by Joseph Gresser

State Police Lieutenant Walter Smith, who commands the Derby barracks, offers his thoughts at the fourth annual Quebec-Vermont Cross Border Workshop at Jay Peak Tuesday. Photos by Joseph Gresser

copyright the Chronicle December 3, 2014

by Joseph Gresser

JAY — A bus taking U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to a meeting in Quebec is rammed by a man who committed a robbery in Vermont and escaped by speeding through Canadian customs.

Governor Shumlin is severely injured, the robber and Vermont State Police troopers, acting as security for the Governor, exchange gunfire. One trooper is wounded, and the robber is killed. The incident ends as the Governor is airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center.

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Border Patrol Agents nab two on Derby Road

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U.S. Border Patrol agents and Newport police apprehended two New Hampshire men on the Derby Road in Derby Monday. New Hampshire police sought both men in connection with a shooting in Nashua which it is believed they witnessed. The two were arrested, however, on federal charges unrelated to that shooting, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said. Photo by Cindy Sanville

by Tena Starr

copyright the Chronicle 12-5-2012

DERBY — U.S. Border Patrol agents and local police arrested two men on the Derby Road here Monday who were wanted in New Hampshire in connection with a shooting in Nashua.

Tuesday night, New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said both men have been arrested on federal charges, one of them regarding charges in Vermont.

He said he is not involved in that prosecution and could not say what the charges are.

As far as the New Hampshire shooting goes, the two men were sought only in connection with their possible role as witnesses, he said.

An adult male, whose name was still being withheld as of Tuesday pending notification of all family members, was shot in Nashua Sunday night, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.  The press release says little more about either the incident, or the victim, who is hospitalized.

“Our agents received a lookout from the Nashua PD,” said Melissa Isaquirre at Vermont Border Patrol headquarters in Swanton Tuesday.

She said that, while on patrol, agents saw a vehicle that matched the description they had received — a 1995 Toyota Avalon — and stopped it.  The two men are Daniel DeGrace, 31, and Benjamin Mayberry, 30.

Mr. Hinckley said both men are being held in Vermont.

Cindy Sanville, a real estate agent with Century 21 Farm and Forest Realty, noticed the growing collection of law enforcement officers outside her work office Monday and went out to snap pictures.  She said that, by the time she arrived, Border Patrol agents, who were carrying guns, had both men on the ground.

“Before I realized what was going on there were six vehicles lined up,” she said referring to law enforcement cars.  She said Border Patrol agents were circling her office building.

Newport Police helped apprehend the men.

contact Tena Starr at tena@bartonchronicle.com

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