Thursday, April 11, 2024

Unity Rally to Take Place in Response to Neb. Lawmaker’s Proposed Measure

Hundreds of people from central Nebraska and Omaha are expected to gather at the state Capitol on Wednesday to show their opposition to an Arizona-style immigration proposal.

The protest called the “Unity Rally for the Good Life” is being organized by the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights.

“Such a law is unconstitutional and runs counter to our values. It would divide our communities, drain our resources, and diminish public safety” reads the organizations website.

Last week, state Sen. Charlie Janssen (R) of Fremont, introduced an illegal immigration bill similar to SB 1070 that requires police officers, when enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.

Janssen has dismissed concerns from critics who say the law would encourage racial profiling. In July, a federal judge blocked sections of the law of Arizona’s law, including provisions calling for police to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and requiring immigrants to prove they are in the United States legally.

Janssen says his bill would vary from the Arizona law.

“I’ve been working with the attorney general’s office on it,” Janssen said. “I want to get something out there that will pass and will be upheld.”

Several Democrats serving on the committee, however, are likely to oppose Janssen’s measure.

“This is a federal issue, and it should be left to federal officials to take care of it,” said state Sen. Brenda Council (D), of Omaha.

Janssen’s district includes Mayor Donald B. Edwards’ Fremont, where voters in June approved an ordinance barring landlords from renting to illegal immigrants and businesses from hiring them.

As previously reported by La Plaza, Mayor Edwards recently ended his 22 years in office after voters approved a controversial anti-immigrant law in last July.

A report produced by the Nebraska Appleseed, a non-profit, nonpartisan public interest law firm, also details what the high costs and impacts associated with an Arizona-style law in the Cornhusker state would entail.

Mid West Human Rights

NE Appleseed