Nebraska Town Votes to Ban Hiring or Renting to Illegal Immigrants

The city of Fremont, Nebraska voted on Monday to bar businesses from hiring and landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. The ACLU is already suing. This will definitely end well!

Don't worry: It has nothing to do with being racist. "It has nothing to do with being racist," says Fremont native Clint Walraven. "We all have to play by the same rules. ... If you want to stay here, get legal." I'm not completely sure how singling out an entire class of people, nearly all of whom belong to the same ethnic group, means that we're all "play[ing] by the same rules," but I'm willing to take Mr. Walraven's word for it!

In any event, some 57 per cent of voters in Fremont approved the measure, apparently because "residents worry that jobs are going to illegal immigrants who they fear could drain community resources." Which is "funny" for two reasons (note: not actually funny): One, as The New York Times points out, the area's largest employer and biggest draw for immigrants—the Hormel meatpacking plant—is outside city limits, and therefore not affected by the new law; and two, those "community resources" will now be drained as the city diverts most of its money toward the court battle it will now have to fight with the ACLU. And, thanks to the legal challenge, it will probably never actually be enforced:

Communities that have passed such laws have faced costly legal bills and struggled to enforce them because of legal challenges. Hazleton, Pa., passed an ordinance in 2006 to fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and deny permits to businesses hiring them. The Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch also has tried for years to enforce a ban on landlords renting to illegal immigrants. Federal judges struck down both ordinances, but both are on appeal.

Good luck, Fremont! Maybe someday you will be free of the scourge of people from other countries hoping to exchange services for money.

[AP; NYT]