Fremont voters approve illegal immigration ordinance

In a special election, people in Fremont said “yes” to a new immigration ordinance.

57% of voters supported the measure that will now ban hiring or renting to illegal immigrants in Fremont.

With a 45% turnout, Fremont voters decided to go forward with the ordinance.

The election may be over, but people still have very strong opinions about the issue.

Barb Olson is a born and raised Fremont resident.  She supports the ban on hiring or renting to illegal immigrants because she says she's seen Americans lose jobs to illegal immigrants.  “[illegal immigrants] fled to our state so they could get everything for free and I don't think it's fair.”

In the ordinance, businesses are required to check the immigration status of employees with the federal E–Verify system.  Also, anyone wanting to rent property has to apply for a license from the city so officials can check their immigration status.

Just down the street from the polls, bakery owner Carlos Cano says the new rules will be bad for his business.  He feels the ordinance is racist against Hispanic business owners.  “We're just trying to increase sales.  It's bad for us and probably going to be bad for other businesses that have Latino customers.”

Bob Chapman voted against the proposal.  He says he wants immigration reform but doesn't want the burden of a costly court battle on Fremont's shoulders.  “They are illegal so they shouldn't be here but it's the federal government's issue, not just ours.  Also, the lawsuits we've about heard from other cities can be very expensive.”

Again, the ordinance passed 57% to 43%.

The ACLU Nebraska says it will file a lawsuit challenging the law as soon as possible.