Nebraska City To Vote On Immigration Policy

Friday, June 18, 2010

Following on the heels of Arizona's harsh new law on undocumented immigrants, some residents of Fremont, Nebraska, want to essentially make it impossible for paperless immigrants to live or work within city-limits.

On Monday, Fremont voters will decide in a special election if businesses will be baned from hiring undocumented immigrants and landlords prohibited from renting to them, reports The New York Times.

Though the city only has an estimated 2,000 undocumented immigrants--about 10 percent of Fremont's population--they've set off a passionate battle that is dividing the city. Some residents allege that immigrants are stealing jobs and causing crime to rise in the small town of 25,000.

Fremont's political leaders refused to approve the law, saying it would be too costly to pay for litigation, but residents forced it all the way up to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

The ability of states and localities to take immigration policy into their own hands without stepping within the jurisdiction of the Federal government is questionable. Arizona's new law requiring state and local police to arrest undocumented immigrants already has at least 4 court challenges.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaked that the Justice Department is planning to sue Arizona on the law. The Obama administration has not confirmed this statement.

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