Nebraska Says No to Arizona-Style Law

Unity RallyOn Wednesday, the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee announced that it will not advance an Arizona-style bill or other unworkable state-level proposals to regulate immigration. (Other state-level immigration proposals before the committee included LB 569, a bill to require E-Verify for all Nebraska employers, and LR 28, a resolution to encourage all Nebraska law enforcement to enroll in the “Secure Communities” local police and immigration enforcement program.)

Nebraska’s Judiciary Committee has taken the wise position that workable immigration reform must come from the federal level.  Last week’s hearing on an Arizona-style bill brought an overwhelming show of concern from a wide array of Nebraska institutions and perspectives, including local police, the League of Nebraska Municipalities, the University of Nebraska, theCenter for Rural Affairs, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, numerous other faith groups, the Latino American Commission, the NAACP, the ACLU and other legal opinions, the Nebraska State Education Association, the League of Women Voters, the Anti-Defamation League, business groups, and many others who also testified in support of Senator Council’s resolution for common-sense federal immigration reform (LR 39).

It was clear from last week’s testimony that Nebraska values do not support an Arizona-style law in our state.

Unity RallyIt was also clear from the testimony that LB 48 would bring costly litigation to Nebraska during a budget deficit, create a very serious unfunded mandate on cities and police, undermine community policing and law enforcement’s ability to fight crime, increase the likelihood of discrimination against many Nebraska residents, and harm our state’s reputation. Appleseed Testimony

Arizona’s law SB1070 has created steep costs to its economy and reputation, and after an initial flood of copycat proposals in other states, momentum has slowed to a halt as states question the costs and consequences. Nebraska is just one of many states that has now declined to advance an Arizona-style approach.
People in Nebraska want common-sense, workable immigration reform at the federal level, and they want our legislators to focus on policies that promote strong families and build strong, vibrant, integrated communities. The Judiciary Committee’s decision protects our state’s best interests.
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