As a result of the family separation policies that were implemented at the southern border of the United States this summer, public attention turned to draconian federal practices that criminalize, imprison, and harm unauthorized immigrants. In Upstate New York, by contrast, the immigrant rights movement is focused on a state level policy that would protect immigrant families from the separations that occur when immigrants who lack a driver's license are turned over by state and local law enforcement to federal immigration authorities. This article highlights the reasons why one grassroots organization of Latin American dairy farmworkers is campaigning for a humane driver's license policy and why they see this as the best route to protect against family separations. We highlight the motivations members of the group express and discuss how our research and advocacy with this organization follows a model of engaged anthropology in which directly-affected people take the lead.

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