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  1. #1
    Senior Member American-ized's Avatar
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    NE: Illegal Immigration Crackdown Leader Ready for More

    Illegal Immigration Crackdown Leader Ready for More

    Lincoln Star-Journal
    By Art Hovey
    February 22, 2012

    A leader of the citizen-initiated crackdown on illegal immigration in Fremont has vowed to use Monday's court outcome to expand the law to Dodge County and put pressure on state lawmakers.


    "What we've done in Fremont is kind of a foothold," said John Wiegert, a member of the core group that got employment and landlord-tenant sanctions on the ballot in 2010.


    Much of that agenda -- including tenant permits that require proof of legal residency -- stood up to the scrutiny of Laurie Smith Camp, chief U.S. district judge in Omaha. She issued a summary judgment on the President's Day holiday.


    "Obviously, we're done with what we started in Fremont," Wiegert said. "Now what we'll do, hopefully, is take it to Dodge County and beyond and have them implement it."


    He also has his eye on the efforts of state Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont to begin and get Arizona-style immigration laws enacted, including using "reasonable suspicion" of unlawful status in the United States as a reason for police officers to stop vehicles.


    The City Council in Fremont, county seat for Dodge County, will meet next week to decide how to proceed with its local ordinance.

    Wiegert said he wants to see new immigration laws enforced, "because, several years ago, when voters voted for this, they voted overwhelmingly. And basically they said they don't want any illegal aliens working in our town."


    As Wiegert laid out broader ambitions, The New York Times unloaded on Kris Kobach, the attorney representing local crackdown proponents, in its lead editorial Tuesday as "the mastermind of a host of crackdowns" across the United States.
    The Times called the results "deplorable."


    And Jonathan Benjamin-Alvardo, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said those seeking aggressive enforcement in Fremont should be careful what they wish for.


    The UNO faculty member cited studies that show some economic damage in other cities across the United States that have pursued similar strategies against local illegal residents.


    "Basically, it's hanging a shingle out there saying they're not welcome," Benjamin-Alvardo said.


    One 2011 study on his mind, "The Economic Impact of Immigrant-Related Local Ordinances," was done by the New York-based Americas Society, a self-avowed champion of "diverse cultural heritage."


    The Americas Society examined the impact of immigration-related ordinances put in place in communities in more than two dozen states and cited a shrinking labor pool as a common result.


    "Ultimately, that community will end up paying a price for it," Benjamin-Alvardo said of Fremont. "These are things that do not come without a cost."


    Sought out later Tuesday, Ron Tillery, executive director of the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, said his organization remains opposed to the ordinance.


    What's ahead, in terms of impact, will be a learning experience, Tillery said.


    "But I think the essence of the chamber opposition has been that the ordinance places a burden on private businesses and individuals. And it puts them in a position of questionable liability with an ordinance that, in our view, doesn't have the ability to produce the desired effects."


    Most bigger employers in and around Fremont already use the same federal E-Verify system, on a voluntary basis, to check immigration status that will now become compulsory, he said.


    Wiegert is not prepared to cut any slack to people who crossed the border illegally, even if they've been in Fremont for many years holding steady jobs, paying taxes and staying out of trouble.


    "There's thousands of people here doing it the legal way," he said, "and the ones that are here illegally need to go to the very back of the line."


    Attorney Kobach, sought out on Tuesday in Kansas, where he's the secretary of state, was not in a conciliatory mood toward The New York Times.


    He noted that new illegal immigration enforcement measures in Fremont start taking effect March 5.


    "Reasonable people see this as a very good thing," he said. "Should we be surprised that The New York Times sees it differently?"

    The Times has never supported effective illegal immigration enforcement, he said.


    "Fremont is leading the way to more effective illegal immigration enforcement in America. Voters in Fremont took a very strong stand, and I was honored to help them."


  2. #2
    Senior Member ReggieMay's Avatar
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    The Americas Society examined the impact of immigration-related ordinances put in place in communities in more than two dozen states and cited a shrinking labor pool as a common result.
    Alabama is experiencing quite a different outcome, with unemployment going down after illegals leave.
    Newmexican likes this.
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    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
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    Wiegert said he wants to see new immigration laws enforced, "because, several years ago, when voters voted for this, they voted overwhelmingly. And basically they said they don't want any illegal aliens working in our town."
    I've always said that this should be put up to voters! Then we'd see just how much support enforcement gets!

    "Basically, it's hanging a shingle out there saying they're not welcome," Benjamin-Alvardo said.
    In my fondest dream!

    "Fremont is leading the way to more effective illegal immigration enforcement in America. Voters in Fremont took a very strong stand, and I was honored to help them."
    My hat is off to you Fremont, YOU ROCK!

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