Immigration

Nebraska Town Votes To Ban Hiring, Renting To Undocumented Immigrants

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A small town in eastern Nebraska voted Tuesday to uphold an ordinance that restricts employers and landlords from hiring, renting to, or otherwise harboring undocumented immigrants.

The town of Fremont, with a population of about 26,000, passed the ordinance in 2010, but it was put on hold pending review from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court upheld the ban.

The ordinance requires renters to sign a declaration stating they are a legal resident of the U.S. Employers and landlords will be responsible for confirming U.S. citizenship.

“If this law goes into effect, it will cause discrimination and racial profiling against Latinos and others who appear to be foreign born, including U.S. citizens,” said Laurel Marsh, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Nebraska.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development officials say the town could lose out of federal funding if they go through with the ban.

Elected officials held a citywide vote Tuesday to make sure residents still want the ordinance. Supporters criticized the move saying the longer it’s held up, the more local costs for public safety, public schools, and other tax-payer funded services are being driven up by undocumented immigrants, of which there are an estimated 1,015 living in Fremont.

If Fremont moves forward, court challenges are expected to continue, leading all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"A Supreme Court ruling on the matter will eliminate the uncertainty," said Kris Kobach, a lawyer representing Fremont.

According to ThinkProgress, Kobach is responsible for strict anti-immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama in 2010.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, ThinkProgress