CONGRATULATIONS FREMONT CITIZENS AND LEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!
10pm KMTV3 reported 2610 (40%) voted yes to repeal
3850 (59%) voted to keep housing ban.
Nebraska Appleseed issued a press release admitting defeat.
Voters in an eastern Nebraska city again backed a local ordinance cracking down on illegal immigrants, continuing a long-running battle that thrust the community of 26,000 into the national debate over immigration enforcement.
On Tuesday, residents of Fremont, which is 35 miles northwest of Omaha, upheld the housing sections of the city ordinance, which prohibits harboring, hiring or renting to undocumented immigrants. First approved in a 2010 citywide vote, the law faced a lengthy legal challenge, with the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually upholding it. Still, a U.S. Supreme Court appeal is likely for the ordinance set to go into effect next month.
Although the measure won approval more than three years ago, elected officials held another city wide vote on the housing sections, which require residents to receive an occupancy license from police.
The second vote was driven by growing information on the costs of the ordinance to the community, from the loss of federal housing and redevelopment money, to challenges in attracting students to a local university, said Jennifer Bixby, City Council president.
“It has definitely divided the town,” said Ms. Bixby. “We have some great things to offer, and unfortunately we’re known for one thing.”
Supporters of the ordinance said officials ignored the results of the 2010 referendum. They also contend the federal government hasn’t acted to enforce immigration laws even as undocumented residents continue to drive up costs for schools and other taxpayer-funded services.
“This is about an elected body not listening to its constituents,” said Charlie Janssen, a Republican state senator from Fremont, who supports the ordinance. Nearly 60% of those voting Tuesday backed the ordinance, according to unofficial results in the meatpacking town that has seen an increase in the number of Hispanic residents.
The ordinance in Fremont was part of a larger push in recent years in some parts of the country by state and local governments to crack down on illegal immigrants, with supporters saying the federal government failed to take action.
The most prominent of those efforts came on the state level in Arizona and Alabama, but the ordinance in Fremont mirrored efforts at the local level in such places as Hazleton, Pa., and the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch.
Two federal circuit courts, in response to challenges in Hazleton and Farmers Branch, struck down the local rules on grounds they usurped the federal government’s authority over immigration. But in the case of Fremont, the 8th circuit court sided with the city. Plaintiffs in Fremont are expected to take their case to the Supreme Court now that voters have again backed the ordinance.
Court challenges to local ordinances cracking down on illegal immigrants have contributed to a slowdown in the number of communities looking to pass them. Kris Kobach, a lawyer representing Fremont and other communities, said that could change if the Supreme Court eventually weighs in and backs the ordinances, clearing the way for more municipalities to take steps.
“A Supreme Court ruling on the matter will eliminate the uncertainty,” said Mr. Kobach, who also serves as the Kansas secretary of state.
Residents of a small city in Nebraska voted on Tuesday to keep a controversial measure they approved in 2010 to ban illegal immigrants from renting homes.
Almost 60 percent of voters supported upholding the ordinance in a special election in Fremont, Neb.
About 3,800 residents voted to keep the housing measure, while 2,600 voted to drop it, according to unofficial election results from the Dodge County Election Commissioner.
The meatpacking town of about 25,000 people became a central front in the debate over immigration when it approved the ordinance almost four years ago. The measure prohibits landlords from renting to illegal immigrants and requires renters to apply for a permit from the police and to declare that they are in the country legally.
Support for the measure was slightly stronger now than in the previous vote on the issue. In 2010, about 57 percent of voters approved the referendum.
“We are saddened by the result of today’s vote, and will stand with those residents of Fremont who will be harmed by the unfortunate decision to allow a discriminatory housing ordinance to be implemented,” the group said in a statement.
The city’s mayor, Scott Getzschman, and the local Chamber of Commerce supported amending the law to remove the housing provision because they said it was bringing negative attention to the city, which is about 30 miles northwest of Omaha. City officials have said that at least one business decided not to move to the community because of the ordinance.
But those supporting the housing provision say that having more illegal immigrants in the city has caused the costs of education, hospitals and law enforcement to rise. They have expressed anger with local officials for trying to reverse the decision by voters.
The ordinance also had a provision requiring Fremont businesses to use a federal database, E-Verify, to check new employees’ information. That part is already being enforced.
But the housing measure has been stuck in limbo for years because of legal challenges. After the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld most of the ordinance last year, local officials decided to schedule another vote.
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Tagged: ALIPAC, Amnesty, Eyes Wide Open, FAIR, Fremont, Illegal Alien Ordinance, illegal immigration, Immigration Reform, Ne, Nebraska, Nebraska Taxpayers For Freedom, NumbersUSA, Pro-amnesty, Susan Smith, The Susan Smith Show