To walk the length of Main Street in Fremont Tuesday, it would appear that not much has changed in the community despite a vote that has attracted national attention.
On Monday, by a 57% to 43% margin, Fremont voters approved a city ordinance that seeks to limit the renting of homes and apartments to people who are not in the country legally. It also seeks to require employers to verify the legal residency of people they hire in the city.
Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen, whose district includes Fremont, says he will push for immigration reform at the state level. Janssen says the lopsided vote in favor of the immigration ordinance is a signal that immigration is an important issue that voters want addressed.
The ACLU issued a statement Monday night after the voting was over. It promises a lawsuit just as soon as possible to keep the ordinance from going into effect.
People with whom Channel 6 News spoke remain divided on the issue, as they have been since the ordinance was first proposed in 2008. Supporters say people in the United States should be here legally and follow the rules that have applied to all immigrants. Opponents are concerned it will foster racial profiling and prejudice.
At the International Bakery in Fremont, a Hispanic-owned family business, a cousin to the owner said the bakery's customer base is 75% Hispanic. He's concerned that with the passage of the ordinance some of their customers may move away.
Where does the process go from here? The Dodge County Clerk will present the results of the election to the Fremont City Council. The council will then vote to certify the results.
The City Clerk will publish the results and the ordinance. The ordinance will take effect 15 days after publication.
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