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Nebraska’s Illegal Immigration News

Fremont Immigration ordinance hearing set

Posted by nebraskaobserver on December 20, 2009 – The Omaha World-Herald: Metro/Region – Immigration ordinance hearing set

Published Thursday December 17, 2009
Immigration ordinance hearing set

By Kevin Cole

The Nebraska Supreme Court will hear arguments Jan. 7 on the legality of Fremont’s proposed illegal immigration ordinance.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m. in the State Capitol.

Fremont is appealing a judge’s ruling that he had no legal authority to block a special election on a measure to bar the hiring of illegal immigrants and the renting of property to them.

Under the ordinance, renters would have to prove their citizenship before signing a lease.

The city contends that the ordinance would supersede federal law, including the Fair Housing Act.

The issue has divided Fremont since July 2008, when the ordinance was voted down by the City Council. Mayor Skip Edwards cast the tie-breaking vote.

Fremont residents Jerry Hart, Wanda Kotas and John Wiegert then circulated a petition calling for a special election to consider the ordinance. Petitioners gathered more than 3,300 valid signatures, enough to force a vote.

Saying such an ordinance would cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend in court, the city asked Dodge County District Judge John Samson if the city could legally approve the measure. Samson ruled that the District Court had no authority to prevent the election.

Fremont will be represented by City Attorney Dean Skokan as well as J.L. Spray and Stephen D. Mossman of Lincoln.

The petitioners are represented by Kris W. Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

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