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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 22, 2012

Nebraska Court Strikes Down Ordinance Banning Renting or Hiring Undocumented in Fremont

Nebraska Court Strikes Down Ordinance Banning Renting or Hiring Undocumented in Fremont

Photo: Fremont Nebraska Immigration Debate

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A federal court struck down part of a Fremont, Nebraska ordinance banning citizens from renting homes to immigrants or hiring them within the city limits.

U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp declared null and void the regulation that prohibits the renting of houses to immigrants who are in the country illegally, ruling that article violates federal laws against discrimination.

While Fremont can still require prospective renters to apply for a $5 permit and swear they are in the country legally, the city cannot revoke permits granted to people who later turn out to be undocumented.

The judge let stand the rest of the ordinance, which bans hiring undocumented workers and makes employers who do so liable to fines.

Fremont has only 25,000 inhabitants, of whom some 2,000 are immigrants, most of them Hispanics.

Inhabitants of the city approved by referendum in June 2010 the controversial ordinance written by Kris Kobach, the same attorney who prepared the anti-immigrant law for the state of Arizona.

The Fremont city ordinance has not yet been enforced, since both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed suits challenging the measure.