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Fremont’s illegal immigration re-vote is a re-run

By   /   February 11, 2014  /   No Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

FREMONT— Despite accusations of racism and loss of federal funds, for the second time in four years voters in Fremont have told illegal immigrants they “need not apply.”Ballot Box

Despite being outspent 11-1 those backing a city ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting to illegal immigrants won easily Tuesday, 60 percent to 40 percent (3,850-2,610).

The outcome similar to a 2010 vote which found opponents of illegal immigration winning 57-43 (3,950-2,966).

Turnout was a bit lower this time around, 43 percent compared to 45 percent in 2010.

The Dodge County town of 26,000 is 88 percent white and 12 percent Hispanic, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.

Those pushing to repeal the ordinance raised over $70,000 compared to just $6,000 for the opponents of illegal immigration.

Amy Miller of ACLU Nebraska, which contributed at least $10,000 to the repealers, promised to watch the new law closely.

“If you experience discrimination, we encourage you to contact the ACLU,” said Miller.

Rebecca Gould of Nebraska Appleseed, which contributed over $9,000, issued a statement saying, “We are saddened that Fremont will continue to live with the division and unnecessary costs created by this ordinance.”

Even as voters went to the polls both sides continued a steady drum-beat of radio commercials making their case.

“Rewarding lawbreakers is not the answer…illegal is not OK,” proclaimed an ad backing the “illegal alien” ordinance. Another ad aired concerns about a 93-year-old grandmother who was “beaten, raped and murdered by an illegal alien who was employed by a member of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.”

A repealers’ commercial argued, “Together we can lift a burden off our families and off our children’s future. Help our community focus on things that matter…like jobs and schools.”

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org and listen to Joe every Monday morning at 7:40 on KFAB radio in Omaha.

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Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.