Author: Norm Pflanz

Appleseed Testimony Opposing LB 48

March 2, 2011 Senator Brad Ashford Chairman, Judiciary Committee Room 1103, State Capitol Lincoln, Nebraska 68509 RE: Opposition to LB 48 Dear Chairman Ashford and Committee Members, My name is Norman Pflanz and I am a staff attorney with Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest. We are a non-partisan, non-profit, public interest law project dedicated to equal justice and… Read more →

Court Strikes Down City Anti-Immigrant Law

A federal appeals court has blocked Hazleton, Pennsylvania’s anti-immigration ordinance, which is very similar to the one in Fremont. Both ordinances were drafted and are being defended by the same attorney, Kris Kobach, who is Of Counsel to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has been designated a hate group… Read more →

Nebraska Youth Take Positive Action After “Green Card” Incident

Last Tuesday, a deeply unfortunate event cast a shadow over the Nebraska state boys’ soccer championship – one that might serve as a reminder to us all. Following Lincoln East High School’s win over Omaha South High School, a cascade of homemade “green cards” were thrown onto the soccer field. About 60 percent of the students at Omaha South are… Read more →

Arizona Boycott & Nebraska Voices Increase Urgency for Immigration Reform

Across the country last week, a growing list of entities began to announce boycotts against the state of Arizona in protest of the recently passed anti-immigrant law SB 1070. These organizations include the Asian American Justice Center, the Service Employees International Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the League of United… Read more →

Hundreds of Thousands March Nationwide for Immigration Reform

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people marched in communities large and small across the United States to call for immediate action to create a workable immigration system that upholds our values and moves us forward together. This urgent need for the federal government to fix our broken immigration system has become painfully clear in the wake of a new… Read more →

Secret Deportation Quotas and Shocking Tactics In Arizona Show Current Immigration Policies Are In a Tailspin

Recent reports and shockingly heavy-handed tactics in Arizona earlier this month are showing an immigration enforcement regime in a tailspin. Hundreds of armed agents and helicopters descended upon four Arizona communities in the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation since the Obama Administration took office. This followed a trail of recent reports exposing failures and the high costs of… Read more →

Federal Government Officials Pledge Reforms to Protect Latino Workers’ Health and Safety

I had the exciting opportunity last week to attend the historic National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health and Safety, cosponsored by OSHA/U.S. Department of Labor and the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), in Houston, Texas.  Following the summit, I participated in a 3-day immigrant workers’ gathering where I had the chance to share the safety concerns… Read more →

“9500 Liberty” Screening at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Student Union University of Nebraska at Lincoln 14th & R Street Lincoln, NE 68588 9500 Liberty reveals the startling vulnerability of Prince William County, Virginia, targeted by national anti-immigration networks using the internet to frighten and intimidate lawmakers and citizens. After the film there will be a discussion with Norman Pflanz… Read more →

Landmark Supreme Court Decision Protects the Due Process Rights of Immigrants

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court announced a landmark decision that upholds due process rights for immigrant Americans. The Court held in a 7-2 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky that immigrant defendants have a right to be informed by their counsel about the possible immigration consequences of a guilty plea prior to that client entering a plea. In this case,… Read more →

Marching Toward Immigration Reform

On Sunday, I joined fellow Nebraskans and over 200,000 people on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to march for common sense and humane immigration reform. The Nebraska delegation consisted of immigrants, faith leaders, businesspersons, students, educators, and community leaders from towns large and small across the state. Representatives from the League of Nebraska Municipalities, many churches, the Hispanic… Read more →

OSHA Hears the Voices of Meatpacking Workers

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened its doors to stakeholders from around the country for an all-day “OSHA Listens” event in its Washington, DC headquarters. The purpose of the event was for OSHA to receive comments and suggestions on key issues facing the agency in order to improve OSHA’s efforts to protect the safety and health… Read more →

Two Important Child Welfare Bills Need Our Support

Last month, the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee heard testimony on two important child welfare bills that Nebraska Appleseed strongly supports. LB 971, introduced by Sen. Kathy Campbell, would implement several key provisions of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 into Nebraska statute. Specifically, the bill requires the state to place siblings together or to provide… Read more →

Report Documents Immigration Enforcement’s Harmful Effects on Children

While our country is engaged in an intense debate about immigration policy, largely absent from the discussion is the impact of our nation’s policies on the children of immigrants. Today, there are an estimated 5.5 million children with unauthorized immigrant parents, about three-quarters of whom are U.S.-born citizens. Last week, the Urban Institute released a major report, “Facing Our Future:… Read more →

Putting Nebraska Students First

Educational opportunity for all Nebraska students was the focus of a committee hearing at the State Capitol last week. The Education Committee heard testimony on LB 1001, which would repeal Nebraska’s in-state tuition law—an important educational policy for Nebraska’s future. This law allows Nebraska students who are undocumented to pay in-state tuition rates if they resided in and attended school… Read more →

Thousands of Families Call for Immigration Reform

I just returned from an inspiring march on Washington, D.C., where thousands of families gathered on Tuesday to call for action to fix our broken immigration system. At the event, Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) – who earlier this year hosted a Families United interfaith tour to help educate members of Congress about the effect of the current system on families… Read more →

Special Visas Available to Abused and Neglected Foreign-Born Children

An increasing number of children and families find themselves caught in the intersection of our country’s complex – and broken – immigration and child welfare systems.  The first goal in these cases should be for the state to provide culturally appropriate services to reunify the family when that is appropriate and can be done safely.  In situations in which reunification… Read more →

Immigration Court Craps Shoot

Just over a year ago, images from the Postville, Iowa, immigration raid shocked Americans and caused many to question how this could possibly be coming out of the American legal system. We saw large groups of detainees shackled together in the National Cattle Congress livestock fairground, denied access to legal advice, and processed in group proceedings. These judicial proceedings violated… Read more →

Nebraska Immigrant Family Bonds Protected by State Supreme Court

Since the formation of the our Child Welfare System Accountability Program in 2003, Nebraska Appleseed has been dedicated to enforce constitutional, federal, and state statutory requirements for providing adequate child welfare services in the State of Nebraska, and using legal advocacy to support needed policy reform initiatives. In particular, we are committed to working on issues at the intersection of… Read more →

Safe Food Comes from a Safe Workplace

Every day, meatpacking workers in the U.S. face brutal working conditions in one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Injury rates are startlingly high – more than double that of U.S. manufacturing as a whole – and a 2005 GAO report found that even these government statistics undercount true injury rates. The industry’s massive disassembly lines can slaughter and… Read more →