In a 3,900 to 2,900 vote over 50% of Fremont, Nebraska residents that voted, passed a controversial law that bans the hiring and renting to illegal immigrants residing in Fremont. Prior attempts to enforce such laws have not been successful with federal courts striking down similar bans in Pennsylvania and Texas. The American Civil Liberty Union is planning a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the Fremont law. It is not clear when Fremont will enact the approved legislation. Upon enactment prospective tenants will have to apply for a license to rent where a background check will be conducted. Employers will be required to use a federal database to ensure employees are legally in the country.
Approximately 10% of the Fremont residents, slightly more than 2,000 individuals, are Hispanic both legal and illegal. It is expected that there will be an exodus of illegal immigrants and legal residents who fear racial profiling and harassment. Residents who voted in favor of the ban feel illegal immigrants are draining community resources and taking jobs away from U.S. citizens. Interestingly, Fremont has a very low unemployment rate at 4.9% much lower than the national rate of 9.7%.