Category: Immigrants & Communities

Take Action Against Indefinite Child Detention

Families seeking safety and asylum at our southern border are currently being separated. While that is horrible enough, the White House is seeking to implement an even-worse plan. The Trump Administration is currently attempting to replace a family-separation policy rejected nationwide with indefinite child and family detention, which would subject children to further trauma and abuse. Take Action! You can… Read more →

Refugees Welcome in Nebraska

We have seen national outcry since the Trump Administration announced earlier this month that it would cut refugee admissions next year from an already-low 45,000 to 30,000. It is the lowest ceiling on refugee admissions in the nearly 40 years since the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program began. Previous administrations viewed the ceiling as a goal and often approached the ceiling… Read more →

Take Action – Reject White House’s latest cruel, anti-immigrant plan

Last week, the Trump Administration announced a proposal that would radically alter immigration law and undermine our nation’s long-standing commitment to welcoming immigrants. The proposal would stop many aspiring Americans from being able to become lawful permanent residents if they have used certain work-support programs or temporary safety nets that help many hard-working families continue their jobs and move out… Read more →

Nebraska to celebrate biggest National Welcoming Week yet in 2018

Mark your calendar for upcoming local events across Nebraska celebrating this year’s National Welcoming Week! This month, towns in Nebraska and nationwide celebrate how our communities are strongest when everyone feels welcome during the 7th annual National Welcoming Week September 14-23. In 2017, there were more than 700 events around the country. Nebraska communities are excited to make this year… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska community leaders demand Congressional action in wake of devastating ICE raids

***For Immediate Release*** August 15, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska civic, community, business, faith leaders call for updated immigration laws Leaders demand Congressional action in wake of communities devastated by ICE raids Wednesday, more than 80 Nebraska civic, community, business, and faith leaders urged Nebraska’s members… Read more →

Things you can do right now to help the O’Neill community devastated by ICE raids

So many of you have reached out asking how you can help the community of O’Neill following last week’s devastating ICE raids that shattered hard-working families and left many people in dire financial circumstances. Here are a couple ways you can take action today to make a big difference. Make a Donation Local organizations have set up ways to make a financial… Read more →

STATEMENT – O’Neill ICE Raids Impose Destruction and Fear on Peaceful Families

(Espanol abajo) ***For Immediate Release*** August 8, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   O’Neill ICE Raids Impose Destruction and Fear on Peaceful Families NE members of Congress now have a front-row seat to the damage caused by cruel anti-immigrant policies   LINCOLN — Wednesday morning, reports indicated Immigration… Read more →

2018 Mid-Year Review – All the ways you’ve stood up for justice!

The actions you’ve taken in 2018 have renewed the fight for a more-just society, building a Nebraska where everyone can have the justice and opportunity they need to get ahead.   Health Care for Every Nebraskan You astounded us. Thousands of Nebraskans have contacted their elected officials, made office visits, signed petitions and taken other actions to protect access to… Read more →

Nebraska Supreme Court ruling should help more young Nebraskans become healthy adults

Some big news came out from the Nebraska Supreme Court last week that we hope leads to more young Nebraskans staying in safe and permanent family situations. In the case In re Guardianship of Carlos D. the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that county courts can decide whether or not young immigrant Nebraskans are eligible to apply for what’s known as… Read more →

Statement – Supreme Court upholding White House Muslim ban allows legalized discrimination that ignores American values

***For Immediate Release*** June 26, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Supreme Court decision on Trump v. Hawaii High court decision allows legalized discrimination that ignores American values   LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its decision in Trump v. Hawaii,… Read more →

Nebraskans condemn inhumane treatment of families, rally at upcoming public events

We all have looked on in horror at the recent images and sounds of children and families being torn apart and locked in cages after arriving in the U.S. to seek a safe home. Nebraskans are ready to stand together to denounce family imprisonment because families belong in communities, not cages. Many Nebraskans raised their voices in local newspapers to… Read more →

STATEMENT – President’s Executive Order on Child Detention does nothing to fix self-imposed humanitarian crisis

***For Immediate Release*** June 20, 2018 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Statement on President’s Executive Order on Child Detention Locking up families who are seeking asylum does nothing to end humanitarian crisis the White House has chosen to create   LINCOLN — Today, the President signed an executive order that… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Congress to put a stop to inhumane family separation

Nebraskans agree that strong, united families are the foundation of successful communities. And for generations, our immigration laws reflected those values. But now, cruel and inhumane new policies are threatening families who are seeking safety in the U.S. from danger. The White House has announced a new plan to separate children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and warehouse kids… Read more →

Statement – Inhumane White House decision to tear apart families will do lasting, far-reaching damage

***For Immediate Release*** May 30, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Statement on Trump Administration policy of separating families seeking asylum Cruel, inhumane choice to tear children from parents will cause lasting trauma, violates American values of decency and humanity   LINCOLN — Wednesday, Nebraska Appleseed joined the… Read more →

RELEASE – Appleseed, Nebraska workers oppose dangerous USDA plan to increase pork line speeds

***For Immediate Release*** May 9, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Advocates, Workers formally oppose dangerous USDA pork plan Increasing already high processing line speeds pose greater risk to food and worker safety   LINCOLN — Last week, Nebraska Appleseed joined current and former Nebraska pork processing plant employees,… Read more →

STATEMENT – Ending Temporary Protected Status for Hondurans endangers long-time Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** May 4, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Statement on ending Temporary Protected Status for Hondurans Decision cruelly endangers lives of families and children who have long-standing ties to Nebraska communities   LINCOLN — Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would end… Read more →

STATEMENT: Nebraska AG continues to needlessly target young Nebraskans and their families

***For Immediate Release*** May 2, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Attorney General continues to target valuable young Nebraskans and their families DACA a successful measure of security until Congress updates immigration laws   LINCOLN — Monday, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson attempted to justify his decision… Read more →

Dreamers Speak Out

When the White House announced the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5th, 2017, Nebraskan DACA recipients felt concern, sadness, and uncertainty. In response, remarkable young people like Joseline, Armando, and Alejandra bravely shared their stories with their lawmakers and communities with the hope that their efforts would allow them to continue to live,… Read more →

Taste of 27th Street the latest business tour to sample new flavors and build new friendships

Local business tours are an excellent way to introduce community members to the people behind the storefronts they pass every day. Through the door of each restaurant, market, insurance office, or repair shop, lies the stories of the people who work hard to serve the needs of the people in their towns. At “Taste of 27th Street,” on March 22,… Read more →

Nebraskans demand Congress protect immigrant families, communities during nationwide day of action

***For Immediate Release*** March 5, 2018   Contact, Cooper Christiancy President, Define American-UNL Chapter Cell: (402) 419-6972 cochristiancy@gmail.com Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Cell: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraskans demand Congress protect immigrant families, communities during nationwide day of action As DACA deadline arrives, nationwide and statewide actions will urge Congress “Stop Playing Games”   LINCOLN — On Monday, the day… Read more →

Take Action – March 5 Nebraska events on Dreamer deadline

In the months since the President announced he would end DACA on March 5, Congress has failed to protect hard-working young Nebraskans, their families, and the communities who count on them. Join local efforts to tell Congress “Stop playing games: Protect Immigrant Youth & Families Now.”  Our communities are strongest with the contributions of hard-working young Nebraskans, families with Temporary… Read more →

Take Action – For DREAMers and our communities, time is running out

We’re asking for you to take a minute today to stand with DREAMers, their families, and strong Nebraska communities. Call our members of Congress. Tell them they must pass a clean version of the bipartisan “DREAM Act of 2017” this week and avoid potentially another costly government shutdown. Our communities are stronger with Nebraska Dreamers in the picture! Sen. Deb… Read more →

Update after federal court ruling on DACA renewals

Late Tuesday a federal judge in California temporarily blocked President Trump’s efforts to end DACA renewals. However, nothing has been solved yet, and it’s important to understand we still need the DREAM Act.  So keep calling Congress! The ruling instructs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to resume receiving DACA renewal applications, however it does not allow for new… Read more →

Appleseed condemns decision to end protections for people from El Salvador

***For Immediate Release*** January 8, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on ending Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador Decision cruelly endangers lives of families and children who have long-standing ties to U.S. communities   LINCOLN — Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced… Read more →

New research: Dream Act would have $247 Million economic impact for Nebraska

A new study released in December confirms passing the Dream Act of 2017 would be an enormous economic stimulus across Nebraska. According to new data compiled jointly by the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and the Center for American Progress, Nebraska would see an economic boost of more than $247 million. This is the… Read more →

STATEMENT: Ending protections for Haitians will put families in unnecessary danger

***For Immediate Release*** November 21, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on ending Temporary Protected Status for Haitians Decision cruelly endangers lives of families and children who bring value to U.S. communities   LINCOLN — Monday night, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it… Read more →

Immigrant Advocacy Organizations Launch “We Are All Dreamers” with U2’s Bono

OMAHA — A coalition of immigrant-serving organizations in Nebraska have partnered to launch “We Are All Dreamers,” a campaign created in response to President Trump’s September 5th decision to terminate the DACA program. The campaign – housed online and on social media platforms – was created to show support for “Dreamers,” immigrant youth eligible for the 2017 DREAM Act. We… Read more →

Seeds of Justice Award – Ross Pesek, J.D.

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize phenomenal advocates who have made contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2017 Good Apple Awards: Root Down, Rise Up on October 19th in Omaha. The Seeds of Justice Award recognizes individuals and organizations for outstanding work in the field of public interest law. This year, Nebraska Appleseed has… Read more →

Roots of Justice Award – Define American Chapter at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize advocates who have made outstanding contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2017 Good Apple Awards on October 19th in Omaha. The Roots of Justice Award recognizes grassroots advocates who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all and have helped build a stronger community. This… Read more →

Nebraska Events to celebrate National Welcoming Week

National Welcoming Week, September 2017   The momentum in local communities is real! This annual event is a week when communities across the country and across Nebraska bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone. We invite you to join in one of these events or create your own! The Quilted Conscience… Read more →

Take Action – We must stand with DREAMers now

On September 5, the Trump Administration announced that over the next six months it will end the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed Nebraska to benefit from skills, talents, passions, and energy of over 3,000 hard-working young people. We know Nebraskans stand with DREAMers. We saw it today when nearly 500 of you stood in… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska civic leaders, organizations support DREAMers

***For Immediate Release*** September 5, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org     Nebraska civic leaders, organizations support DREAMers Leaders call for urgent Congressional action to protect hard-working young immigrant Nebraskans   LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska civic, business, and faith leaders joined Nebraska DREAMers at a State Capitol press… Read more →

STATEMENT: Ending DACA will devastate families, communities, and economies

Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: 402-438-8853 Mobile: 402-840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Ending DACA will have devastating impact on Nebraska families, communities and economy Removing opportunity for hardworking young people only does harm to our state, nation   LINCOLN – Today, the White House announced the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a decision that will… Read more →

Midwest Academy Training unites advocates from across Nebraska

Last weekend, Nebraska Appleseed brought together Nebraskans from across the state for a Midwest Academy training focused on how to effectively organize to create positive change. Participants connected with various local leaders and organizations from diverse professional and personal backgrounds. At the end of the training, participants put their acting hats on and put their new skills to the test… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes organizer Valeria Rodriguez

Valeria Rodriguez has walked in the shoes of many immigrant Nebraskans, and as Appleseed’s newest Field Organizer, she is looking forward to empowering leaders in communities across the state to work for positive change in their towns. “I am excited to join Nebraska Appleseed as a Field Organizer because I get the opportunity to work with six great communities to… Read more →

STATEMENT: Nebraska Attorney General continues to target young Nebraskans and their families

***For Immediate Release*** August 1, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Attorney General continues to target valuable young Nebraskans and their families DACA a necessary measure of security until Congress updates immigration laws   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson attempted to justify his decision… Read more →

STATEMENT: Appleseed applauds introduction of bipartisan Senate DREAM Act

***For Immediate Release*** July 20, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on introduction of Senate’s Dream Act Bipartisan bill would provide long-overdue process for young Nebraska immigrants to become citizens   LINCOLN — This morning, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina) and Dick… Read more →

RELEASE: Appleseed Statement on Attorney General’s Call for End of DACA Program

Removing opportunity for hardworking young people only does harm to our state, nation. LINCOLN – Yesterday, Nebraska’s Attorney General, Doug Peterson, joined nine other state Attorneys General in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The letter threatened to file a lawsuit to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program if the Administration does not end the program within… Read more →

STATEMENT: Legislature shows strong support for immigrant and refugee Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** May 15, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Legislature adopts resolutions supporting DREAMers and refugees Lawmakers recognize valuable contributions immigrants and refugees make to Nebraska   LINCOLN — Today, the Legislature voted to adopt Legislative Resolutions 26 and 27. LR 26 stated the Legislature’s support for… Read more →

Take Action – Support strong, united communities!

For generations, immigrants and refugee Nebraskans have made valuable contributions to our state – and are an important part of strong communities, local businesses, and Nebraska families. But recent harmful and divisive policies in Washington, D.C. have created fear and uncertainty in many local communities. We have a chance now to show Nebraskans stand with immigrant and refugee neighbors. Early… Read more →

Nebraskans urge unifying immigration policies with “We Belong Together”

Strong, united families and communities are the building blocks of Nebraska. But presently, certain harmful policies threaten to tear apart our families and separate loved ones. Nebraskans across the state are invited today to showcase their images representing why unified families and neighborhoods are vital to a healthy future for everyone in the “We Belong Together” campaign. Participants are invited… Read more →

Public pressure leads Tyson Foods to announce intent to improve work conditions

For many years, meat and poultry workers, together with a broad coalition of workers’ rights and civil rights groups from across the country, have continued a concerted effort to highlight the industry’s dangerous conditions and the all-too-common permanently disabling injuries that come from crippling work speeds. Oxfam America – together with these allies – began a poultry worker justice campaign… Read more →

Legislative Update – March 20, 2017

This is the final week for committee hearings, and it includes hearings on two important Legislative Resolutions that impact immigrant Nebraskans. See below on how to take action today!   Nebraskans support our immigrant and refugee neighbors Today, we’re asking you to take action in support of two Legislative Resolutions that will have hearings this week in front of the… Read more →

Statement on Executive Order halting Refugees

***For Immediate Release*** March 6, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Executive Order halting Refugees New order built on same destructive ideas that contradict Nebraskan and American values   LINCOLN — Today, President Trump issued a new executive order placing a ban on the… Read more →

National day of action on immigration. Make your call!

Now is an uncertain time for many Nebraska families because of recent, destructive policy announcements on immigration and refugee resettlement.  Yesterday, the White House released its plans for the recent immigration executive orders. The plans describe a harmful approach that would end longstanding protections for children, promote a massive expansion of detention, and bypass courts and due process. Will you… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Congress “I support refugees and immigrants”

Late Friday, President Trump added to last week’s anti-immigrant and refugee executive orders with an order that indefinitely bans refugees from Syria, and severely restricts immigration from several other Muslim-majority countries. These executive orders do not reflect America’s strongly held values that insist that we create safe homes for those escaping violence and persecution. And judging potential immigrants based on… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Executive Order halting Refugees

***For Immediate Release*** January 27, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Executive Order halting Refugees Turning away refugees prevents us from living up to the promise of America   LINCOLN — Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order regarding the long-standing American practice… Read more →

TAKE ACTION – Say “No” to destructive anti-immigrant orders

Nebraska’s values call us to welcome new neighbors, and for generations, people who have moved here from other countries have made invaluable contributions to our state. But today, President Trump issued a package of destructive executive orders that would have us turn our backs on those Nebraska values of community and inclusivity. These orders would increase imprisonment of families with… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders

***For Immediate Release*** January 25, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders Discriminatory actions will undermine community safety, are unworthy of American values of hope, justice, and freedom   LINCOLN — Today, President Donald Trump issued a package of harsh anti-immigrant executive orders… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraskans support immigrants, refugees at Lincoln vigil

***For Immediate Release*** January 12, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   “Light The Future” community vigil unites 300 Nebraskans in support of immigrants, refugees Vigil powerfully demonstrates Nebraska values of united families, strong communities   LINCOLN — Thursday night, a crowd of nearly 300 people withstood frigid temperatures to… Read more →

RELEASE: Over 60 Nebraska business, faith, civic organizations urge immigrant protections

***For Immediate Release*** January 10, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   More than 60 Nebraska leaders urge Congress to protect immigrants Statewide business, faith, civic leaders and organizations sign letter to Congress requesting bill to protect DACA youth and their families   LINCOLN – Today, more than 60… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on BRIDGE Act

December 12, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on BRIDGE Act U.S. Senate bill a welcome, but temporary solution for hard-working young Nebraskans   On Friday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) introduced the “Bar Removal of Immigrants who Dream… Read more →

Post-Election Resource Guide for Immigrants, Refugees, DACAmented, and Advocates

This resource guide contains information for DACAmented, schools, churches and for people who would like to know how to help. Reporting hate incidents, scams, fraud, etc. Southern Poverty Law Center: Report a Hate Incident Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights- OCR’s mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous… Read more →

Standing up for justice

Every day when we come to work at Nebraska Appleseed, we walk through a door that reads “Stand Up For Justice.” It’s our daily reminder that Appleseed was created to fight against the largest, most-formidable forms of systemic injustice in our state. The big problems that keep our poorest neighbors poor and put barriers right in the middle of the… Read more →

Roots of Justice Award – Crete Welcoming Community

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize phenomenal advocates who have made contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2016 Good Apple Awards on October 13 in Omaha. This year, we present the Roots of Justice Award to the Crete Welcoming Community in honor of their outstanding welcoming and inclusion practices for recent immigrants and… Read more →

The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award – Meet Alejandra Ayotitla Cortez

Nebraska Appleseed is thrilled to honor a truly phenomenal young Nebraska leader with this year’s Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader award at the 2016 Good Apple Awards on October 13 in Omaha. Alejandra Ayotitla Cortez has already impacted the lives of hundreds of Nebraskans through her dedication to community and building the leadership of those around her. Currently a senior at University… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – September 2016

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2016   Join us for the 2016 Good Apple Awards! Join us on Thursday, October 13, for the 2016 Good Apple Awards to honor folks who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all in Nebraska! Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S 30th St, Omaha, NE 6pm-8pm Click here to… Read more →

“Diapers In Detention” calls for end of treating asylum-seeking mothers and children like criminals

People who come to the United States seeking safety from violence should not be treated as criminals. But, many people seeking asylum – including women with their young children – are being held in for-profit, jail-like facilities surrounded by walls that separate them from both safety and human dignity. On September 1, Nebraska faith and community leaders gathered in Omaha… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska business leaders call for new federal immigration laws

For Immediate Release August 3, 2016 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Reason for Reform Campaign Highlights New Data Showing Economic Contributions of Immigrant Nebraskans Local leaders call for common-sense immigration laws in nationwide campaign launch   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska business, faith, and community leaders came together to showcase new… Read more →

Agency cites poultry processor for worker safety violations

Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued over 20 citations to Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the largest poultry processors in the country, for violations of health and safety standards. Notably, OSHA took an important step to address the shoddy and dangerous medical treatment of poultry workers by citing Pilgrim’s Pride for failing to provide appropriate medical care… Read more →

Supreme Court deadlock endangers unity of thousands of Nebraska families

Families and advocates vow to keep fighting in face of continued limbo for DAPA program Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 ruling in United States v. Texas, a case regarding President Obama’s temporary administrative relief programs to keep immigrant families together. The ruling affirms the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the preliminary injunction against the two programs… Read more →

Harvest Public Media series details dangerous slaughterhouse conditions

This week, Harvest Public Media produced a series on the brutally dangerous working conditions faced by workers in meatpacking and poultry plants called “Dangerous Jobs, Cheap Meat.” This series does an excellent job highlighting the high rate of crippling, permanent injuries these workers are exposed to — as well as a lack of accountability for the plants who continue to… Read more →

RELEASE – Government report confirms high injury rates in meat and poultry plants

***For Immediate Release*** May 25, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Government report confirms high injury rates in meat and poultry plants Workers denied treatment, are punished for seeking medical care for chronic, crippling injuries   LINCOLN – For more than a decade, medical studies and reports have proven… Read more →

No Relief: New Study shows Poultry Workers regularly denied Bathroom Breaks

While meatpacking and poultry workers have to deal with crippling work speeds every day that cause high rates of devastating and permanent injuries, they also suffer other abuses and indignities at work which undermine their safety and health. One of the most common issues that workers consistently point to as a serious safety risk is that employers routinely deny workers… Read more →

First Lincoln Unites! festival celebrates strength of diversity

Lincoln did indeed unite this past weekend in a new festival celebrating the city’s vibrant mix of cultures with activities for all ages. If you missed the day’s African drumming, henna tattoos, delicious food, and moving citizenship ceremony, read on for a vicarious experience and mark your calendar to watch for the 2nd annual event next spring! The day began… Read more →

STATEMENT – Appleseed praises Legislature vote to override veto of LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 20, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on vote to Override veto of LB 947 Vote allows Nebraska economy, communities to benefit from hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the Legislature’s vote… Read more →

RELEASE – Supreme Court case argued Monday impacts thousands of Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** April 18, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Supreme Court hears Arguments in Administrative Relief Case U.S. v. Texas decision will impact safety, unity of thousands of Nebraska families   LINCOLN – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. Texas,… Read more →

TAKE ACTION – Urge your State Senator to override veto of DREAMers professional license bill

Friday, Governor Ricketts announced he had vetoed LB 947, the bill that would ensure hard-working young immigrant Nebraskans can obtain their professional licenses and fully contribute their skills to Nebraska’s future. We are deeply disappointed in the Governor’s decision, which lets the skills and talents of thousands of hard-working, work-authorized young Nebraskans go to waste. But there’s still time for… Read more →

Statement on Governor Ricketts veto of LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Governor’s veto of LB 947 Needless veto wastes skills, talent of thousands of hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on Governor Ricketts’ veto… Read more →

Scholarships available to undocumented and DACA students

Nebraska has long benefitted from the hard work and leadership of Nebraskans from all backgrounds. Ensuring more young Nebraskans have the opportunity to further their education means our communities will be able to receive contributions from young people who grew up calling Nebraska home. There are a number of scholarship opportunities that are available to young Nebraskans regardless of their… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on Legislature passing LB 947

***For Immediate Release*** April 13, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature passing LB 947 Bill will allow Nebraska to gain much from the skills and talents in our state   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement on the… Read more →

STATEMENT – Appleseed applauds vote moving LB 947 to Final Reading

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on LB 947 Debate Advancing the bill to Final Reading puts us one step closer to fully utilizing the skills and talents in our state   Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the… Read more →

RELEASE – High rate of meatpacking worker injuries lead to new enforcement efforts

***For Immediate Release*** March 21, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   High rate of meatpacking worker injuries lead to new OSHA education, enforcement efforts New program to focus on reducing unsafe conditions for workers   LINCOLN – Workers in meatpacking and poultry plants continue to work in some of… Read more →

2016 International Women’s Day shows event vibrant and growing in Omaha

March 8th, International Women’s Day, has long been celebrated by the global community as a day to honor women for their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. On this day, women, communities, and countries the world over enjoy the day with events that range from festivals to tea parties. Three years ago, a group of refugee women in Omaha came… Read more →

RELEASE – Appleseed joins Supreme Court amicus brief in deferred action case

***For Immediate Release*** March 9, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed joins amicus brief in Supreme Court deferred action case More than 300 organizations urge Supreme Court to lift injunction in case of U.S. v. Texas   LINCOLN – Today, Nebraska Appleseed signed onto an amicus brief… Read more →

Take Action – Let young Nebraskans work for their dreams

One of the best resources Nebraska has for a bright future is hard-working young people who want to follow their career dreams and practice their chosen professions right here in our state. We’re asking you to take action today to help more of these bright young Nebraskans reach their career goals and be part of the next generation of Nebraska… Read more →

Yet another worker survey reveals crippling conditions and abuse in poultry plants

The Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center (NWAWJC) recently released a superb report on Arkansas’ poultry industry called “Wages and Working Conditions in Arkansas Poultry Plants.” The report, which examines a large industry in Arkansas – the state ranks second in the U.S. for broiler production– comes soon after an excellent report on the poultry industry from Oxfam America. NWAWJC surveyed an… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraskans Call on President Obama to End Deportation Raids

***For Immediate Release*** January 13, 2016   Contact: Charles Shane Ellison, Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska (402) 898-1349 charles@jfon-ne.org   Jeff Sheldon, Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraskans Call on President Obama to End Deportation Raids Groups condemn raids on vulnerable Central American families   As President Obama visits Nebraska today, Nebraska… Read more →

Appleseed joins Supreme Court brief on deferred action

Earlier this week, Nebraska Appleseed joined a coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups to file an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court. The brief urged the Court to review Texas v. United States, a case that has temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief programs for those who qualify for expanded Deferred… Read more →

A week of overwhelming support for Syrian refugees in Nebraska

In recent weeks, a national conversation was sparked around refugees from Syria. Nebraska has long been a safe and welcoming home for those escaping violence throughout the world, and on November 17, Nebraska Appleseed issued a statement urging our elected leaders to welcome refugees in keeping with our state’s values of compassion and humanity. In the week before the Thanksgiving… Read more →

RELEASE – Faith and community organizations’ letter to Gov. Ricketts urges compassion for refugees

***For Immediate Release***                           November 24, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org Faith and community organizations send letter to Gov. Ricketts urging compassion for Refugees Letter asks Governor to rescind request not to settle Syrian refugees in Nebraska   LINCOLN – Today, a group of 31 Nebraska community and faith… Read more →

RELEASE – Nearing Thanksgiving, poultry workers, advocates demand safer work conditions

For Immediate Release November 19, 2015   Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director Nebraska Appleseed Office: 402-438-8853 Mobile: 402-840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Thanksgiving places the Human Cost of our food Front and Center Poultry and meat workers call for safe working conditions, fair wages, and increased worker voice   As millions of Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving meal next week, most don’t think about… Read more →

Tell large chicken companies that workers deserve safe conditions, fair pay

Oxfam America has recently released an expansive and troubling report on America’s poultry industry entitled “Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Cheap Chicken”. (you can also read a pdf version of the report here) The report’s immersive website contains many eye-opening and informative web graphics and videos. The excellent report documents many personal stories from workers, unpacks the… Read more →

TAKE ACTION – Tell Congress & Governor Ricketts to welcome Syrian refugees!

As people across the United States are volunteering to welcome Syrian refugees in their communities, a number of Governors recently announced that they want to stop their states from resettling Syrian refugees. Some Members of Congress have even introduced legislation that would stop refugee resettlement altogether. It is critical that public officials hear from their constituents NOW as decisions are… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on re-settlement of Syrian refugees

***For Immediate Release*** November 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Re-Settlement of Syrian Refugees Nebraska must live up to values of humanity, State has role to play in refugee crisis   LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following… Read more →

Shocking safety violations in pork plant show dangers of brutally fast line speeds

Yesterday, video evidence surfaced of shocking safety violations at a pork plant in Minnesota that supplies Hormel, the nation’s largest pork company that also operates a large plant in Fremont, Nebraska. The conditions exposed by the advocacy group Compassion Over Killing constitute extreme dangers to food and workers’ safety as well as grotesque cases of animal cruelty. You can view… Read more →

RELEASE – Court decision continues to harm Nebraska families and communities

***For Immediate Release*** November 10, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Circuit Court of Appeals decision continues to harm Nebraska families and communities Court ruling out-of-step with past legal precedents. Supreme Court appeal expected.   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska Communities Honored at White House Welcoming Summit

***For Immediate Release*** October 7, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Communities Honored at National Welcoming Summit White House recognizes Nebraska towns for efforts to build more welcoming, inclusive, communities   WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Nebraska communities were among a group of cities and towns from across the… Read more →

Nebraskans celebrate Welcoming Week 2015

Welcoming Week 2015 was the biggest ever, marking a significant moment for the Welcoming movement from September 12-20. People across the United States joined in by participating in Welcoming Week, a national movement  that aims to celebrate and honor the contributions that immigrants make to our local communities every day. This fourth annual event that included more than 245 events… Read more →

Study shows immigrants today integrating as quickly as previous generations

Tuesday’s Omaha World-Herald carried an important story as the topic of immigration continues to be part of the national debate — both about U.S. actions to accept refugees seeking safety as well as Congress’ continued inaction to modernize our out-of-date immigration system. The story highlighted a new national study that confirms the enormous contributions immigrants make to Nebraska and the… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2015

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Tell Congress to fight child hunger Many Nebraska families report facing food hardship Newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid Local leaders attend grassroots leadership workshop Tickets now available for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Tell Congress to reauthorize funding for child nutrition programs… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Chuck Smart

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Chuck Smart is putting his talents and passion to work at Nebraska Appleseed. Though Chuck is in his… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Gloria Kimbulu

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Appleseed intern Gloria Kimbulu is passionate about immigration law because, well, she is an immigrant herself. Gloria’s parents are from the Democratic… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Melissa Bumanglag

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Melissa Bumanglag traded in gorgeous beaches of Hawaii for the not-so-beautiful Nebraska winters. Hailing from beautiful Mililani, Hawaii… Read more →

Cookies with a purpose

Note: This is a guest post from Immigrants & Communities intern Lee Kreimer. I must admit, I’ve always been a sucker for baked goods. Still, there’s something special about the banana bread filled with chocolate chips baked by Delores de la Torre. After sitting in her kitchen for an hour and hearing her story, I know why it tastes so… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Olivia Rask

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities, Administration, and Jane-of-all-trades intern Olivia Rask is starting off her fight for justice early and in a forceful way.… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2015

In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Celebrating Medicaid’s 50th birthday Improving access to children’s behavioral health treatment New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day Introducing 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees Appleseed is hiring Fall interns Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Celebrating Medicaid on its 50th Birthday One of the cornerstones of our American… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet David Pontier

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Most people decide right after their undergraduate career if they want to pursue a law degree, but for Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities… Read more →

World Refugee Day opens eyes to refugee stories

Meeting neighbors, finding shared values, and learning about the richness of the combined cultures of all of the people who are proud to call Nebraska home is exciting and can help us to overcome what often divides us. Here, Olivia Rask, an Appleseed intern, shares her experience at the recent World Refugee Day Celebration in Omaha. There are many opportunities… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Ashley Kunz

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Ashley Kunz has begun the long trek to law school, and hopes that Nebraska Appleseed will be a… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Lee Kreimer

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants & Communities intern Lee Kreimer may be a Lincoln native, but her journey to Nebraska Appleseed wasn’t just a drive across… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Federico Vicente

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Immigrants and Communities intern Federico Vicente is using his well-traveled experience with different cultures to pursue law. Federico could easily call himself… Read more →

New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day 2015

Note: This is a guest post from Appleseed intern Lee Kreimer. I could list many things that I love about Nebraska. The beautiful countryside, the bike paths, and the friendly neighbors are just a few. After attending Omaha Benson High School’s World Refugee Day Celebration last week, it reaffirmed another thing that I love about my state: diversity. Many may not… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Taryn Zastrow

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Immigrants & Communities Intern Taryn Zastrow is taking her longtime passion for social justice and combining it with her newfound love… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2015

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”:   Supreme Court upholds health coverage in King v. Burwell Legal victory to protect children’s rights to behavioral health treatments Tell Congress to support Child Nutrition bills Save the date for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Capitol Rally to Close the Coverage Gap Urban Abbey Events Meet our 2015 Clerks and Interns… Read more →

Statewide wave of support carries DREAMers driver’s licenses bill to passage

You Did It! On May 28, the Nebraska Legislature voted 34-10 to pass LB 623 and override the Governor’s veto. Passing this bill makes Nebraska the final state to allow young “DREAMers” – immigrants who grew up in Nebraska after being brought to this country as children – to apply for driver’s licenses. Watch video of final vote But, the bill… Read more →

Take Action – Thank the Legislature for voting to give DREAMers driver’s licenses

Congratulations! You helped make history! On May 28, the Nebraska Legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto of LB 623! With an overwhelming vote of 34-10, the Legislature stood strong and reaffirmed their commitment to these talented, hard-working young Nebraskans. It’s time to say “thank you” to those who supported DREAMers and recognized their contributions to Nebraska. Please contact these… Read more →

STATEMENT – Veto override vote the right choice for Nebraska

***For Immediate Release*** May 28, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s override of Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill Vote shows overwhelming support to let talented young Nebraskans contribute to their communities   LINCOLN — Thursday, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued… Read more →

Take Action – Tell Legislature to override veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill

We need you to stand up TONIGHT for young immigrant Nebraskans! Wednesday night, the Governor vetoed LB 623 — the bill that would allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses — despite the bill being passed with overwhelming 34-9 support by the Legislature last week. TAKE ACTION We need you to contact your State Senator… Read more →

STATEMENT – Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill hurts young Nebraskans integral to communities

***For Immediate Release*** May 27, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on Governor’s veto of DREAMers driver’s license bill Veto unnecessarily harms young Nebraskans who want to contribute more fully to their communities   LINCOLN — Wednesday night, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following… Read more →

STATEMENT – Court decision to delay DAPA/DACA puts families in jeopardy

***For Immediate Release*** May 27, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling delaying DAPA/DACA Delay of program puts families in jeopardy, limits economic contributions   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser issued the following statement on the… Read more →

Take Action – Urge Governor to sign DREAMers driver’s license bill

You did it! Today, the Nebraska Legislature voted 34-9 on Final Reading to pass LB 623, the bill that will allow young immigrant Nebraskans known as “DREAMers” to apply for driver’s licenses. But, there’s one more step you need to take. Please contact Governor Ricketts and urge him to sign the bill so Nebraska can become the final state to… Read more →

RELEASE – Final passage of bills will help DREAMers, foster youth, and working families

***For Immediate Release*** May 21, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed praises Legislative votes on Final Reading Friday Bills passing final vote will improve lives of Nebraska DREAMers, children, and working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statements on bills that were passed on… Read more →

STATEMENT – DREAMers driver’s license bill one round from passage

***For Immediate Release*** May 19, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on DREAMers driver’s license bill LB 623 one more vote from passage, allowing young immigrants to contribute more fully to Nebraska   LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on… Read more →

Legislative Update – May 18

Last week was one of the most noteworthy weeks in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session with several of Appleseed’s priority bills coming before the body.   DREAMers driver’s license bill advances on General File On May 14, the Legislature overwhelmingly voted 37-8 to advance LB 623 from General File. The bill would make Nebraska the final state in the country… Read more →

STATEMENT – Appleseed praises Legislature for advancing DREAMers driver’s license bill

***For Immediate Release*** May 14, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on DREAMers driver’s license bill Advancing LB 623 is another step forward for young immigrant Nebraskans   LINCOLN — This morning, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s vote to advance… Read more →

More evidence work speed takes crippling toll on meatpacking and poultry workers

Earlier this month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a study of a Maryland poultry plant which found that 34 percent of workers had carpal tunnel syndrome while an alarming 76 percent exhibited signs of nerve damage. As NIOSH noted in a blog post accompanying the release of its report, more than half of the positions… Read more →

New study shows immigration is linked to rural economic gains

Last week, we posted about a 50-state study that showed the significant tax contributions made by undocumented immigrants in Nebraska. Another study released this week has more good economic news for Nebraska’s rural counties with large immigrant populations. The study, published on the Daily Yonder, shows that rural counties with more immigrants also tend to be performing better economically. Study:… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 20, 2015

Two bills to help working families advanced to Final Reading last week, highlighting a busy week in the Legislature. Here is your Legislative Update for the week of April 20. Working families bills pass Select File It was a good start to last week when two bills to help hard-working families moved to Final Reading on Monday, April 13. LB… Read more →

RELEASE – Undocumented immigrants pay $44 million in Nebraska taxes, new report shows

***For Immediate Release*** April 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Abbie Kretz Senior Organizer, Heartland Workers Center Office: (402) 933-6095 abbie@heartlandworkerscenter.org     New Analysis: Nebraska undocumented immigrants pay more than $44 Million in state and local taxes Contributions would substantially increase with new federal immigration laws   A new… Read more →

RELEASE – White House policy report encourages proactive integration of immigrants

***For Immediate Release*** April 15, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   White House policy report encourages proactive integration of immigrants Plan is a historic step toward creating the nation’s first federal integration strategy   Tuesday, the White House Task Force on New Americans announced a historic step toward creating the… Read more →

Appleseed joins legal support for administrative relief to keep families together

This week, Nebraska Appleseed joined more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups in an amicus brief urging the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a harmful decision that temporarily blocked implementation of the President’s administrative relief program to keep families together. The brief highlights the benefits of administrative relief for our economy and the value to… Read more →

RELEASE – OSHA denies workplace protections to meatpacking, poultry workers

***For Immediate Release*** March 18, 2015   CONTACT Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Emma Weinstein-Levey Southern Poverty Law Center (334) 324-6580 emma.levey@splcenter.org     Meat and Poultry Workers Denied Better Workplace Protections by Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA: Lack of Resources Preventing Action to Protect Workers   MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The U.S.… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on Sen. Sasse’s anti-immigrant bill

***For Immediate Release*** March 17, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed questions unnecessary bill targeting hard-working Nebraska families Bill would hurt state and local economies Tuesday, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statement on S. 748 introduced by Nebraska’s U.S. Senator Ben Sasse.   “This bill would leave hard-working immigrant Nebraskans… Read more →

Free Omaha tours of The Quilted Conscience project this weekend

This weekend in Omaha, you have another chance to see a pair of powerful, colorful exhibits of memories-and-dreams quilts from Nebraska immigrant and refugee youth (The Quilted Conscience), as well as a rare opportunity to see Fabric of Survival, a stunning series of quilts telling the story of a Holocaust survivor from her village in Poland through Nazi occupation and… Read more →

TAKE ACTION – Support DREAMers driver’s license bill

Today is a very important moment to support a bill that affects young immigrant Nebraskans and their ability to contribute to their communities. We’re asking you to contact members of the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and urge their support for LB 623. LB 623 would allow young immigrant Nebraskans who qualify for DACA to apply for driver’s licenses. (DACA… Read more →

Young immigrant driver’s license bill draws statewide support

***For Immediate Release*** March 3, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Young immigrants driver’s license bill draws statewide support LB 623 would allow DACA recipients to contribute more to their communities LINCOLN — Tuesday, Nebraska agricultural, safety, youth, and immigrant leaders issued statements of support for LB 623 in advance… Read more →

Legislature votes down Voter ID bill. Thank State Senators for protecting voting rights

Today, the Nebraska Legislature voted down LB 111 – an unnecessary and harmful voter suppression bill that would have been a barrier to vote for many eligible Nebraska voters. This action will protect the right to vote for many of our friends and neighbors including people with low incomes, people who move frequently, college students, and people with disabilities. Please… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Texas v. U.S. immigration case ruling

For Immediate Release February 17, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org  Community advocates to keep fighting for Nebraska families after Texas v. U.S. ruling  Monday night, a federal judge in Texas went outside the legal mainstream and issued a temporary injunction in the case of Texas v. U.S. The ruling… Read more →

Legislative Update

This is your weekly Nebraska Legislature update. Committee Hearings last week Appleseed testified on several bills during Legislature committee hearings last week. LB 12 – A bill to streamline the Medicaid process for eligible Nebraskans who enter and leave the criminal justice system. This bill will improve health care access while saving costs in the corrections system. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

ACTION ALERT: We can’t move backwards on immigration

Nebraskans have been saying for a long time that Congress must move us forward with up-to-date immigration laws that keep families united, boost our economy, and create a strong foundation for our future. But, harmful new legislation is threatening to drag us backwards into more pitfalls that mean more broken families and more needless deportations. Take action today! Call or… Read more →

Civil rights groups demand formal OSHA response on worker protections

For Immediate Release December 17, 2014 Contact: Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Kyleah Starling, Southern Poverty Law Center Phone: (334) 956-8420 kyleah.starling@splcenter.org Civil rights groups demand formal OSHA response on worker protections Letter requests written response to 2013 petition demanding safeguards from crippling injuries LINCOLN — Today, a coalition of civil… Read more →

President Obama recognizes welcoming efforts and creates White House Task Force

A growing number of communities here in Nebraska and across the nation are recognizing that our cities and towns thrive when diverse people from around the world feel valued and want to put down roots. Tuesday in Nashville, President Obama recognized Welcoming America founder and Executive Director David Lubell and the community of Nashville as one such community at a town… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – December 2014 – Keeping Nebraska families together

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – December 2014 12/3/2014 In this December edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Nebraskans support President’s Administrative Relief Enroll Nebraska launches 500 By the 15th campaign Report shows working Nebraskans fall in coverage gap Nebraska Supreme Court decides important ICWA case Support our fight for justice for families facing hunger President’s Administrative Relief a good… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraskans call Administrative Relief a good first step on immigration

***For Immediate Release*** November 24, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraskans call President’s Administrative Relief a good first step on immigration Immigrant, faith, & community leaders now urge Congress to take action for long-term, common-sense laws LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska faith, immigrant, and community leaders gathered to support the… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on President’s Administrative Action on Immigration

For Immediate Release November 20, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on President’s Administrative Relief for Immigrants Tonight, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following statement on President Obama’s announcement of temporary administrative relief from deportation for some immigrants in the United… Read more →

Executive Action a wise first step on fixing Immigration

Today, we learned that President Obama will announce his intention to take executive action as a first-step, temporary solution to our outdated immigration system. The announcement will be made during a televised address Thursday at 7 p.m Central with a detailed speech on the plan coming Friday in Las Vegas. Post by The White House.   Administrative relief granted by the President… Read more →

Appleseed proud to receive award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch

Last weekend, Nebraska Appleseed was profoundly honored to receive the 2014 Leola Bullock Community Service Award from NAACP – Lincoln Branch during the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet. It is a great honor to receive this award from an organization that has done so much in the pursuit of civil rights and social justice and to receive this award named after… Read more →

The Nation highlights the costs of massive work speed ups

For those following the longstanding problems of high injury rates and relentless work speeds in meat and poultry processing, this may sound familiar. An important new article from The Nation, “Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People,” outlines how “the jobless recovery means massive speedups for many workers you depend on.” In industries as varied as nursing, meatpacking,… Read more →

Rural immigrant and Latino leaders celebrate nonpartisan election work

Immigrant and Latino leaders in six Nebraska counties celebrated an election season filled with new outreach to voters of color this year. Community volunteers in six counties reached more than 9,600 voters with basic information about the voting process through door-knocking, phone-banking, and mail. “We were excited to reach out with information about where and when people could vote,” said… Read more →

Federal investigation reveals plant routinely exposed workers to serious injuries

Yesterday, OSHA issued 11 serious safety and health citations to Wayne Farms, resulting in fines over $100,000. The agency found that one of Wayne Farms’ poultry plants in Alabama exposed workers to dangerous musculoskeletal hazards and serious injuries, and failed to accurately record and manage injuries suffered by workers. OSHA documented what medical evidence, reports, and surveys have shown for… Read more →

RELEASE – Feds issue historic fine to poultry plant for injuries and abuses

For Immediate Release October 30, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   OSHA issues noteworthy fine to poultry plant for injuries and abuses Violations echo concerns of Nebraska meatpacking and poultry workers Yesterday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a fine of more than $100,000 to an Alabama… Read more →

Join us at the National Immigrant Integration Conference

Travel to Los Angeles this December for the National Immigrant Integration Conference 2014! This year, the National Partnership for New Americans is co-hosting NIIC 2014 with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), to be held in Los Angeles from December 14-16, 2014. NIIC 2014 offers the best annual opportunity for advocates, educators, policymakers, and service providers… Read more →

Every U.S. President since Eisenhower has taken Executive Action on Immigration

According to a new report by the American Immigration Council (AIC), ever since the United States Congress first passed a comprehensive immigration law in 1952, every one of the 11 U.S. Presidents since have used their legal authority to take executive action on immigration. This report — as well as a handy “By the Numbers” summary from the Center for… Read more →

Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards honorees – Jan Gradwohl

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Jan Gradwohl – Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who… Read more →

Meet the 2014 Good Apple Awards honorees – Beth Riley

On October 2nd, we will be honoring people and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2014 Good Apple Awards. Leading up to the event, we will introduce you to the 2014 award recipients. Beth Riley – Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award is named after Nebraska… Read more →

RELEASE – Organizations call on Crime Commission to curb racial profiling

For Immediate Release September 17, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Tyler Richard ACLU of Nebraska Phone: (402) 476-8091 x104 Email: trichard@aclunebraska.org   Organizations present recommendations to Nebraska Crime Commission to curb racial profiling LINCOLN — Today, a group of 25 Nebraska organizations and concerned citizens presented a letter to the… Read more →

Welcoming Week 2014 celebrates diversity in Nebraska communities

September 13-21 will be celebrated as National Welcoming Week, a nationwide event that highlights the contributions of immigrant Americans and the strength of inclusive communities across the country. Throughout the country, and right here in Nebraska, there are many events where you can join the celebration. We invite you to attend one of these events in your community! “I Learn… Read more →

Appleseed statement on President’s delay of immigration action

September 6, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on President Obama’s Delay of Action on Immigration Several major outlets have reported that President Obama will delay making any decisions about administrative changes to immigration policy until after the November 2014 elections. Below is a statement from Darcy Tromanhauser, director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants… Read more →

Welcoming America receives award from United Nations

We are excited to announce that Welcoming America is one of 11 organizations worldwide to receive the 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award, granted by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)! The Intercultural Innovation Award is given to the most innovative projects around the world that are working to build intercultural cooperation and dialogue, and Welcoming America was selected from a… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Selina Martinez

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences.   Sometimes dreams change for the better. “I’ve always wanted to help people. Since I was a little girl I told everyone… Read more →

STATEMENT – Nebraska faith leaders urge compassion for child immigrants fleeing violence

For Immediate Release August 2, 2014 Contact, Jeanne Schuler Omaha Together One Community (402) 344-4401 omahatogether@otoc.org   Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska faith leaders urge values of compassion, humanity for children fleeing violence Today, a collection of more than 90 Nebraska faith and community leaders released a statement calling for Nebraska to act in… Read more →

RELEASE – Final approval given to dangerous USDA Poultry Rule

***For Immediate Release*** Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Obama Administration Approves Dangerous USDA Poultry Rule Advocate coalition decries regulation as harmful to food and worker safety LINCOLN — Today, despite the opposition of hundreds of thousands of consumers, dozens of Members of Congress, and more than 100 food and worker safety… Read more →

Call your Congressman NOW to protect children fleeing violence

Crucial House votes coming today. Make your voice heard! We’re asking you to make a quick phone call right away to protect children seeking safe refuge in the United States. This morning, the House is expected to vote on a bill, H.R. 5230, known as the “Secure the Southwest Border Act of 2014.” We strongly oppose this bill because it… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska groups urge Congress to protect children seeking safety

For Immediate Release Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Dawn Bashara Justice For Our Neighbors – Nebraska Office: 402-898-1349 Mobile: 402-215-1498 dawn@jfon-ne.org Nebraska Groups Urge Members of Congress To Protect Children Seeking Safety Today, a group of more than a dozen Nebraska organizations released a set of principles that they hope the… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Megan Miller

“I’ve always been interested in how people affect events, and inversely, how events affect people,” Nebraska Appleseed intern Megan Miller said. “At Appleseed, we are experiencing this firsthand.” One of Megan’s sociology professors at Wayne State College, where she is currently an undergraduate student, suggested an internship at Nebraska Appleseed. “My professor is so amazing, and I value her opinion… Read more →

Organizations call on Obama administration to reveal changes to USDA proposed poultry rule, and open for comment

***For Immediate Release*** July 16, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org  New poultry industry standards threaten to endanger workers’ health, food safety, and animal welfare On July 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget a final version of a new rule… Read more →

Children fleeing violence need a compassionate response

Over the last decade, escalating violence in much of Central America has reached unimaginable levels.  As the drug trade has grown, local gangs have taken more-brutal steps to assert control of cities and neighborhoods, ruling the streets in many areas with murder, rape, and intimidation. As a result, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador now have among the highest murder rates… Read more →

Humanitarian crisis requires acting in children’s best interests

Note: This post by Appleseed Child Welfare Director Sarah Helvey and Immigrants & Communities staff attorney Omaid Zabih addresses the recent humanitarian crisis in Central America that has resulted in children seeking asylum in the U.S. Tens of thousands of children from Central America have been forced to flee from their home countries to the border due to unimaginable violence.… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Kseniya Ruzanova

Math and science have their allure, but for Nebraska Appleseed intern Kseniya Ruzanova, it was nothing compared to the excitement she found on the debate team. “I hated math and science and realized my passion for law after I joined the debate team.” Kseniya said. “Seeing so many immigrants going through really rough times right now inspires me to one… Read more →

Pursuing The American Dream

Freedom, opportunity are hard-won concepts.  You can help protect them for all. Each Fourth of July provides us with the opportunity to celebrate a uniquely American holiday. With family, friends, food, and fireworks, we raise up the strengths and ideals that create our American identity.  We are a country built on the premise of freedom and opportunity, justice, hard work,… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Conner Kozisek

  Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed intern Conner Kozisek, already had a good idea about his future plans from the time he was in Kindergarten.… Read more →

More than 50 Nebraska Organizations Urge House Action for Common-Sense Immigration Laws

Organizations Send Letter to Nebraska Delegation Urging House Action Today a diverse group of more than 50 Nebraska organizations representing thousands of Nebraskans again called upon Congress to enact common-sense immigration laws.  In a letter sent to the Nebraska Congressional delegation and released to the press, the groups reminded our Congressmen of the strong support for immigration reform in our… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Carissa Hernandes

A perfect day for Nebraska Appleseed intern Carissa Hernandes would probably involve dancing the tango, ceviche with tortilla chips and working with people. “I love learning about different cultures and forming relationships with people,” Carissa said. “I want to have a career where I can do that.” A resident of Papillion, NE, and currently a senior international relations major at… Read more →

A Window of Opportunity for Common-Sense Immigration Laws

Take Action for Common-Sense Immigration Laws! This month marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Senate passing a bipartisan immigration bill, yet we’re still waiting for the House of Representatives to act. Today, add your voice to a nationwide call to action! Call your representative and urge him to fix our outdated immigration laws to stop separating families and to create… Read more →

USDA questioned about line speed impact on worker, food safety

As the USDA continues to push its proposal to allow increased line speeds in poultry plants – with dangerous implications for food and worker safety – a Washington Post article raises new questions: Did USDA mislead the public, Congress about risks for poultry workers? Just the week before, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued an unusually… Read more →

A failed deportation policy: Breaking up families for minor offenses

We’ve reached an unfortunate milestone under the Obama Administration – 2 million people have been deported from the U.S. under outdated policies, taking a devastating human and economic toll. Last week, The New York Times published a study that shows two-thirds of those people deported have committed only minor infractions such as traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.… Read more →

Teresa’s Story: Crippling work speeds lead to permanent pain and injuries

Note: As we reported last week, meatpacking and poultry workers, Nebraska Appleseed, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, and Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 25. The Commission is investigating crippling injuries and human rights abuses in U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities. Petitioners called for better U.S. government policies to protect… Read more →

Four surgeries and disabled after 8 years working in meatpacking plants

Note: As we reported earlier this week, meatpacking and poultry workers, Nebraska Appleseed, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, and Southern Poverty Law Center testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 25. The Commission is investigating crippling injuries and human rights abuses in U.S. meat and poultry processing facilities. Petitioners called for better U.S. government policies to… Read more →

Quilt of Dreams and Memories

Lincoln High School students told the stories of their memories and journeys to Lincoln from Myanmar and Thailand, as well as the stories of their dreams for the future through quilting when the new exhibit “Quilt of Dreams and Memories” opened Sunday at the Sheldon Museum of Art. As the quilt was unveiled, students described their rural homes in Myanmar… Read more →

Commission investigates human rights violations in meatpacking, poultry plants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 25, 2013 Contact: Apreill Hartsfield Southern Poverty Law Center (334) 782-6624 apreill.hartsfield@splcenter.org Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hears Testimony About Worker Abuse in U.S. Meatpacking, Poultry Plants  WASHINGTON – Civil rights groups and meat and poultry workers testified before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today, describing how the… Read more →

Nebraska Workers to Testify to International Human Rights Commission

Over the last couple of years we have kept you informed on the high rates of crippling injuries in meatpacking and poultry processing and our fight against the USDA’s dangerous Poultry Rule, which will further increase work speeds and remove federal food safety inspectors, posing great dangers to food and workers’ safety. Washington Post: “Poultry workers take fight to Capitol… Read more →

ADVISORY: Human rights advocates, former meatpacking, poultry workers to testify on human rights abuses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2014 Contact: Apreill Hartsfield, Southern Poverty Law Center, (334) 782-6624; apreill.hartsfield@splcenter.org Jeff Sheldon, Nebraska Appleseed, (402) 438-8853, (402) 840-7289; jsheldon@neappleseed.org Meat and Poultry Workers to Testify at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hearing Tuesday, March 25 – A coalition of civil rights groups and meat and poultry workers will testify before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to describe how… Read more →

Congressmen, Workers, and Advocates ask USDA to pluck the Poultry Rule

Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Bennie Thompson (Mississippi), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), and Shelia Jackson-Lee (Texas), along Hilary O. Shelton, the NAACP’s senior vice president for policy and advocacy, joined poultry workers in Washington, D.C., to strongly urge the Obama Administration to stop the USDA’s proposed poultry rule. This proposal would permit poultry processing plants to increase the speed of the processing line,… Read more →

RELEASE: Congressional Leaders, Poultry Workers Urge the Administration to Take Action to stop harmful USDA Poultry Rule

WASHINGTON – Congressman Bennie Thompson and other congressional leaders joined poultry workers today urging the Administration to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from allowing poultry plants to increase processing line speeds – a decision likely to lead to more worker injuries and threaten food safety in Nebraska and across the country. The USDA plans to enact new regulations… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LR 399 to recommend supporting new, common-sense immigration laws

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Immigrants & Communities Director Darcy Tromanhauser released the following statement on LR 399, which was heard Wednesday afternoon by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. “Fixing our outdated immigration system is long overdue. Our antiquated immigration laws needlessly separate thousands of Nebraska families and prevent many people who already work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to our communities from… Read more →

House takes steps toward new immigration laws

Last week, the House Republican leadership released a set of principles for updating our country’s immigration laws. We were encouraged to see the release of these principles as an indication that this year’s legislative agenda will include immigration reform, which unfortunately stalled in the House after the Senate passed a historic bipartisan bill last year. This inaction – in the… Read more →

“Warning horns should blast full force” about proposed Poultry Rule

The Charlotte Observer has published two strong pieces in the past few days that address the risks of the USDA’s proposed poultry rule — a rule that would increase line speeds to a punishing 175 birds per minute and decrease the number of federal inspectors in favor of company-trained (or not trained) employees. These changes would considerably increase the risk… Read more →

A long and earned path to citizenship

One of the mistaken sentiments expressed by opponents of updating our immigration laws is that creating a clear process for citizenship somehow moves undocumented immigrants “to the front of the line” ahead of people who already have taken steps in the citizenship process. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Immigrants currently stuck in backlogs would be processed first, and… Read more →

Increased line speeds means more risk to food and worker safety

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has published a compelling piece today by Ted Genoways who examines the work and food safety issues of five U.S. pork plants that have been participating in a pilot program that increases the processing line’s work speed and reduces the number of federal inspectors, including the Hormel plant in Fremont, Nebraska. This pilot program is identical to the… Read more →

Interfaith candlelight vigil brings Nebraskans together to call for updated immigration laws

Tuesday evening, a crowd of around 100 faith, family, and community leaders joined immigration reform supporters for a candlelight vigil outside the Roman Hruska Federal Courthouse in downtown Omaha to support common-sense U.S. immigration laws being passed before the end of the year. The candlelight vigil, held in conjunction with the 7th night of Hanukkah, was held to lift up… Read more →

Thanksgiving draws attention to poultry workers’ safety

Today, as the Thanksgiving turkey gets pardoned by the President and as Americans get ready to spend time with their families for the holiday, we would like to highlight some excellent blog posts and articles that call attention to how a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be harmful to consumer and worker safety. These posts clearly… Read more →

Free screening of “I Learn America” film in Omaha

The children of immigration, here to stay, are the new Americans. How we fare in welcoming them will determine the nature of this country in the 21st century and beyond. Schools have a unique role in bridging divides between newcomer and longer term students and families and helping all students succeed. You’re invited to a special screening of “I Learn… Read more →

Lincoln leaders hold prayer vigil for updated immigration laws

As the holiday season approaches, Lincoln-area faith, youth, civil rights, and family leaders came together outside Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s office today for a prayer vigil expressing the urgency of updating federal immigration laws this year to stop the separation of Nebraska families. The group gathered around a dinner table with one place setting missing to symbolize the many Nebraska families… Read more →

USDA continues to push for dangerous poultry rule in spite of mounting evidence

Dr.Celeste Monforton, a health and safety expert who writes at The Pump Handle, a health and safety blog, wrote a superb post last week that expresses disbelief at the USDA’s insistence – in the face of extensive and contradictory evidence – that the poultry rule will improve food safety. Dr. Monforton lists all of the evidence that has piled up… Read more →

Nebraskans hold vigils, events to urge House action on immigration this year

The four-person dinner table contained settings for only three.  The head of the table sat empty, its absence most conspicuous. The symbol was a powerful one.  Representing Nebraska families who are missing a loved one because of detention or deportation, this dinner scene was not whole, incomplete. Thursday, Nebraskans in several cities gathered together to urge our state’s House of… Read more →

Updating immigration laws would boost U.S. economy

We know updating our immigration laws to include a pathway to citizenship for people living in the U.S. would go a long way toward keeping families together, improving health outcomes for Nebraska children, and reflect our state’s values of compassion and dignity. But, there are bottom-line, dollar-and-cents reasons to fix our outdated immigration system as well.  This article from “Immigration… Read more →

Take Action – Prayer vigil for new immigration law Thursday

This year, thousands of Nebraskans have shown their support for Congress to pass updated immigration laws that keep families together, make our economy stronger, and move us forward as a state and country. Join us Thursday, November 7, for a prayer vigil for immigration reform outside Congressman Lee Terry’s Omaha office.  A host of Omaha faith leaders will lead supporters… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement on fixing outdated U.S. immigration system

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the effort to pass updated immigration laws to fix the outdated U.S. immigration system: “There is broad consensus in Nebraska and across the country that now is the time to update our immigration laws,” Gould said. “This morning, President Obama reiterated that Americans all over the country from… Read more →

Columbus business tour celebrates diversity of locally owned businesses

An article in Thursday’s Columbus Telegram highlighted a recent small-business tour that invited residents to get to know some of the diverse local businesses that help Columbus’ community thrive. From the article: “From long-standing businesses to newly opened stores, a tour through Columbus showcased a diversity among establishments in the city. A group of about 20 people went on the… Read more →

Crowd of 2,000 Nebraskans march and rally for common-sense immigration laws

Saturday, an estimated 2,000 Nebraskans from across the state gathered in Omaha to urge Nebraska’s members of Congress to pass updated immigration laws in 2013 that strengthen families, businesses, communities, and the future of our state. The “Families’ March and Rally for Dignity and Respect” was part of a nationwide push for immigration reform this week in which tens of… Read more →

March and rally in Omaha Saturday for updated immigration laws

Saturday is a huge day for Nebraskans who think NOW is the time to fix our outdated immigration system! We want you to join hundreds of Nebraskans from across the state in Omaha Saturday afternoon as we march and gather to tell Congress now is the time to pass updated immigration laws that strengthen families, businesses, communities, and the future… Read more →

New USDA poultry rule poses great risk to food and workers’ safety

Last week, a coalition of worker and food safety advocates and allies gathered in front of the White House and rolled out a petition that contained over 500,000 names of people from all over the country who strongly oppose the USDA’s proposed poultry rule. This dangerous rule would increase the already high speed of the production line to an unfathomable… Read more →

Immigration Reform Summer: Now it’s time for House action

This was the summer of immigration reform in Nebraska and around the country. While our congressmen were back in Nebraska during the August recess, they heard loud and clear across the state Nebraskans are tired of seeing our families and communities harmed by outdated immigration laws. Community, faith, business, youth, and immigrant leaders attended town halls and held dozens of… Read more →

Nebraskans to celebrate National Welcoming Week

A new and growing chorus of voices across the country – from mayors to business owners to everyday residents – recognize the contributions that immigrants bring to our communities and are developing comprehensive efforts to welcome them. This week, from September 15th to the 22nd, this chorus will grow as immigrants and U.S.-born individuals come together across the the U.S.… Read more →

Civil Rights Groups Urge OSHA, USDA to Protect Poultry, Meatpacking Plant Workers

Workers Suffer Injuries, Illnesses Due to Punishing Processing Line Speeds A coalition of civil rights groups filed a formal petition today urging the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to better protect workers in poultry and meatpacking plants where federal policies allow workers to operate in hazardous conditions that often leave them… Read more →

Take Action – Support path to citizenship at immigration events in Omaha

Our country’s outdated immigration laws are separating Nebraska families while creating instability and uncertainty for businesses and communities. Next week is the last week of recess and an important time to take action as our members of Congress get ready to return to Washington. Take action next week by attending several events in Omaha. Lend your voice to the conversation… Read more →

Nebraska youth and families ask Rep. Lee Terry “Keep Nebraska families together.”

OMAHA — One of the most damaging consequences of our outdated immigration system is the havoc it wreaks on families.  Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens have a parent without immigration papers, including thousands here in Nebraska. Today, Nebraska families, youth, and faith leaders delivered children’s drawings and constituent postcards calling on Rep. Lee Terry to… Read more →

“Bibles, Badges, and Business” brings diverse perspectives to immigration discussion

Wednesday morning, a crowd of attendees in Omaha was treated to a well-informed discussion of how fixing our outdated immigration system would strengthen Nebraska’s communities and businesses. Faith, legal, and business leaders took part in a community forum organized by Bibles, Badges, and Business For Immigration Reform – a nationwide network of leaders from a variety of perspectives that support… Read more →

Nebraskans support fixing immigration system at Maha Music Festival

Saturday, Appleseed was proud to take part in the Maha Music Festival Community Campus for the second straight year. The Community Campus gives Nebraska nonprofits a chance to meet festival goers and educate them on the important work being done in the state. At Appleseed’s table, concert goers were able to play our immigration board game, which shows people the… Read more →

You’re Invited – Bibles, Badges, and Business Immigration Talk

August is a crucial month for fixing our country’s antiquated immigration system in a way that’s best for Nebraska’s families, communities, economy, and future!   You’re invited this Wednesday, August 21 to attend an immigration roundtable discussion in Omaha held by the Bibles, Badges, and Business for Immigration Reform (BBB) Network.  BBB is a nationwide network of faith, law enforcement… Read more →

Brief filed to 8th Circuit Court to reconsider Fremont anti-immigrant ordinance

Earlier this week, an amicus brief written by Jenner & Block and Latino Justice on behalf of a number of national Latino organizations and Nebraska Appleseed, was filed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to reconsider its ruling on Fremont’s anti-immigrant ordinance. The brief details the discriminatory and devastating effects the ordinance has on the community… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Sheila Soto

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Sheila Soto Position: Immigrants & Communities Intern Hometown: Glenns Ferry, Idaho About me: I am the first in my family to… Read more →

Young Nebraska immigration advocates ask Rep. Jeff Fortenberry “Keep our Nebraska families together.”

One of the most damaging consequences of our outdated immigration system is the havoc it wreaks on families.  Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens have a parent without immigration papers, including thousands here in Nebraska. Today, Nebraska families, youth, and faith leaders delivered children’s drawings and constituent postcards calling on Rep. Jeff Fortenberry to support common-sense… Read more →

Nebraska children ask Congressmen “Keep Our Families Together”

One of the most damaging consequences of our outdated immigration system is the havoc it wreaks on families.  Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens have a parent without immigration status, including thousands here in Nebraska. Kids are more likely to suffer physical and emotional health problems and not do as well in school when separated from… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Brenda Maldonado

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Brenda Maldonado Position: Public Interest Intern – Immigrants & Communities program Hometown: Sargent, Nebraska About Me: I am a junior Political… Read more →

TAKE ACTION – Support immigration reform at Town Hall meetings with Nebraska congressional delegation

Now is the time to make your voice heard on a common-sense immigration system that keeps Nebraska families together, strengthens our economy, and reflects our values! Our members of Congress are back in Nebraska for five weeks of recess starting this week.  They are holding a series of town hall meetings throughout August to hear from people like you on… Read more →

Federal courts strike down discriminatory, anti-immigrant laws

Last week, we were pleased to see that two federal courts of appeals — the Fifth and Third Circuit — ruled that discriminatory, anti-immigrant ordinances in Farmers Branch, Texas, and Hazleton, Pennsylvania, were unconstitutional. Both circuit courts found that the ordinance was preempted (overridden) by federal law because they were aimed at excluding immigrants within the cities of Farmers Branch… Read more →

Meet the Clerks and Interns – Christopher Preston

Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Christopher Preston Position: Law Clerk Hometown: Freeburg, Illinois About Me: “I went to college at the University of Illinois. Now, I’m… Read more →

Eleven Brothers helped immigrant children form new family on soccer field

Eleven Brothers was more than the name of their soccer team.  “We are all brothers,” the coach says. “We are all one. We respect each other. We love each other as brothers.” The Lincoln Journal Star tells the inspiring story of how these young soccer players who came to Nebraska from Vietnam, Cambodia, Kosovo, Sudan, Nigeria, Bosnia, Iraq and Mexico… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Chino Betita

Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Ronald ‘Chino’ Betita Position: Law Clerk Hometown:  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Born in the Philippines). About Chino:  Chino is a second-year… Read more →

You’re Invited – Omaha Welcoming Community Dialogue

Omaha is a stronger, safer, and better community when we welcome people from all backgrounds and places of origin. You are invited Monday evening to join Nebraska Appleseed, Inclusive Communities, and You’re Welcome in Omaha for a dialogue about making Omaha a more welcoming community for all people. What: You’re Welcome In Omaha Community Dialogue Where: Urban Abbey coffee shop… Read more →

Immigrants breathe new life into communities

A recent article by Immigration Impact gives a telling portrayal of the benefits that immigrants bring to their new homes – while highlighting new local efforts across the country to focus on “welcoming” initiatives that create strong communities. New immigrants “breathe new life into communities” and help create a vibrant social, economic, and cultural environment.  They diversify neighborhoods and open… Read more →

Nebraskans show passion for Immigration Reform at Urban Abbey

Appleseed is always striving to engage people to take action in their community to make Nebraska a better and stronger place to live. We know many Nebraskans are passionate in their support of immigration reform to fix our outdated immigration laws, but it was exciting to see the enthusiasm at our recent Immigration Reform Advocacy Night last week at Urban… Read more →

Join us for an Immigration Reform Advocacy Night Thursday in Omaha

The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill to fix our outdated immigration system and create a clear process for citizenship for aspiring Americans. Debate now moves to the House of Representatives, which is expected to unveil its own bill this summer.  We’re closer than ever to creating a workable immigration system. But we need your support. Join Appleseed for an… Read more →

Picnics, Fireworks and Phone calls: This Independence Day, Stand Up For Justice

Like many of you, Nebraska Appleseed is taking this Independence Day to celebrate our country with our friends and family. There will be picnics, enjoying the outdoors, and fireworks.  We will be taking time to remember what makes the United States a great place to live: the freedom and opportunity afforded to us, the sacrifices countless men and women have… Read more →

Supreme Court recognizes importance of diversity in Fisher ruling

Last week, in its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the critical principle that universities may use racial and ethnic diversity as one factor of many to select qualified candidates as part of a carefully crafted admissions policy. This ruling is a victory for diversity, equal opportunity, and the future of our… Read more →

Take Action: Senate passes immigration reform bill. Now, it’s the House’s turn.

The U.S. Senate took a great step toward fixing our outdated immigration laws last week when it voted overwhelmingly to pass a historic immigration bill with a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. The bipartisan vote was 68-32! Unfortunately, Senator Johanns and Senator Fischer voted against the bill. On the same day, more than 40 diverse Nebraska groups gathered in… Read more →

Nebraskans celebrate historic Senate immigration reform bill with path to citizenship

Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed a historic immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship that marks a huge step toward fixing our outdated immigration system in a way that reflects Nebraska values and strengthens our state’s families and businesses. The bill passed with large bipartisan support by a vote of 68-32.  Appleseed joins thousands of Nebraskans in celebrating this… Read more →

Senate Immigration Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support, One Step Closer to Common-Sense Laws for the Future

Today is a historic day for all of us. Immigration is an important part of the fabric of our families, communities, and economy,” Gould said. “Passage of this bill at long last moves us toward modernizing our antiquated immigration laws to create a strong foundation for Nebraska’s families, our communities, our economy and our future. We all benefit from laws… Read more →

Nebraskans call for U.S. Senators to vote YES on immigration bill

Today, a large, diverse collection of Nebraskans gathered at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Court House in Omaha to urge Nebraska U.S. Senators Mike Johanns and Deb Fischer to vote “Yes” on S.744 — the historic bipartisan Senate immigration bill — to create a clear and attainable process for residency and eventual citizenship for aspiring Americans.  Nebraskans urged the senators… Read more →

Civil Rights Groups Urge Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Examine Dangerous Work Conditions in U.S. Poultry, Meatpacking Plants

USDA Secretary Vilsack on Notice to Protect Workers WASHINGTON – A coalition of civil rights groups urged the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights today to address human rights violations in U.S. poultry and meatpacking plants – violations that are the result of federal policies failing to protect the workers responsible for making the United States the largest producer of beef… Read more →

Your voice critical TODAY on historic immigration reform

Thanks to those who already tried to call! The original phone number was not connecting with Nebraska senators.  Please use the corrected phone number below! Last night, the bipartisan Senate immigration bill passed a first critical test and vote. There will be a final vote on the bill by the Senate as early as Thursday. Both Senator Johanns and Senator… Read more →

Nebraska immigrant documentary screening in Lincoln Sunday

Meet The Quilted Conscience director Sunday at the Ross Documentary also airs statewide Friday on NET A locally produced documentary about the welcoming of cultural diversity in Nebraska will air this weekend in Lincoln with a chance for you to participate.  The Quilted Conscience will be screened at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center (313… Read more →

Take Action – Path to citizenship for immigrants protects children

Nationwide, an estimated 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens live in families where one or more of their parents are undocumented. As Nebraska children’s, family, and health advocates highlighted in a recent press conference (see below), these children will grow up to be our future family members, neighbors and co-workers – and their health and well-being as children today… Read more →

Day of Action – FB, tweet & call for immigration reform TODAY

Nebraska’s U.S. senators and congressmen are back at home this week for the Memorial Day recess. Next week, they’ll return to DC where the bipartisan immigration reform bill (S.744) will be debated and voted on in the Senate, and discussion is also expected to begin in the House. Today is a day you can help  spread the word that immigration… Read more →

Diverse Nebraska groups urge Congressional delegation to support common-sense immigration reform

Deliver flower baskets during recess week saying “Help Nebraska Flourish” With Nebraska’s members of Congress back home during this week’s recess, a wide variety of Nebraska organizations are telling our U.S. senators and representatives now is the time for a modern immigration system that creates stability for families and businesses, includes a clear process for citizenship for aspiring Americans, and… Read more →

Senate Judiciary Committee advances immigration bill with path to citizenship

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee put America one step closer to a modern, common-sense immigration system by advancing S. 744 out of committee with bipartisan support on a vote of 13-5. From the Washington Post: Senate panel approves sweeping immigration reform bill In the words of committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy who led the Senate Judiciary Committee process: “The… Read more →

Optimism from House announcement of immigration bill

Appleseed is very encouraged by news that a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives has reached an agreement in principle on immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. While we await the details of the agreement, the announcement marks yet another major breakthrough. Combined with the progress being made in the Senate Judiciary… Read more →

Harper’s Magazine goes undercover at Nebraska meatpacking plant

Over the weekend, the Lincoln Journal Star published an article about Tom Conover, an award-winning journalist, who went “undercover” as a USDA inspector in a Nebraska meatpacking plant and has recounted his experience in the May 2013 cover story for Harper’s Magazine. (Conover’s article, “The Way of All Flesh”, is available online with a Harper’s subscription.) During his time at… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Senate Immigration Bill

Darcy Tromanhauser, Director of Nebraska Appleseed’s Immigrants & Communities Program, issued the following statement on today’s Senate immigration reform bill. “This is a historic moment as our country takes a long-overdue step toward modernizing our immigration laws,” Tromanhauser said. “This bipartisan bill would finally create a process for millions of aspiring Americans — people who are our friends, neighbors, and… Read more →

Nebraska delegation to attend A10 immigration rally in Washington

On Wednesday, thousands of people from across the country will come together in Washington, D.C., for the A10 Rally for Citizenship to call on Congress to pass modern, common-sense immigration laws that include a clear and inclusive concept of citizenship. Appleseed will accompany a Nebraska delegation of eight staff, partners, and friends to add our voice to the thousands that… Read more →

Wide variety of Nebraska perspectives call for immigration laws with path to citizenship

Last week, more than 40 Nebraska organizations gathered at the Nebraska State Capitol to urge common-sense immigration laws that create a clear and inclusive path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. These 40 institutions represented a wide range of Nebraska perspectives, including faith, business, labor, immigrant, civic, civil rights, rural, children and families. Appleseed was proud to be part of this… Read more →

More than 40 Nebraska organizations say now is the time for common-sense immigration laws

Creating a clear and inclusive path to citizenship is good for Nebraska families, communities, economy, and future As Nebraska’s members of Congress get ready to return to Washington, D.C., more than 40 Nebraska organizations gathered today to urge common-sense immigration laws that create a clear and inclusive path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. The organizations represented a wide range of… Read more →

Immigrants bring hard work, creative ideas to U.S. economy

Last week Marketplace Money, a public radio program focusing on business and the economy, highlighted the positive effects immigration has on our nation and our economy. Two immigrants, Mario Escobar, originally from El Salvador, and Jose Luis Zelaya, from Honduras, described the trials they have gone through in their pursuit of the American dream. Escobar, now a 35-year-old father of… Read more →

TAKE ACTION: National call-in days for immigration reform!

Join the national call-in days for immigration reform! Make your call today or tomorrow! Call Congress at 877-848-8289 or text “NOW” to 787753. Join supporters across the country, and flex your muscle for common-sense immigration laws with a clear and direct roadmap to citizenship that support Nebraska families, businesses, and communities! As always, your message can be short and simple… Read more →

“It’s a house of pain in there.” A major new report on worker and food safety

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed released Unsafe at These Speeds, a major new report that exposes the dangers poultry plants pose to consumer and worker health — dangers likely to intensify under proposed regulatory changes for the industry. Modeled after Nebraska Appleseed’s 2009 meatpacking safety study, The Speed Kills You, this new study provides the next… Read more →

How Do You Define ‘American’?

How do you define “American”? Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas asked this important question at the end of his testimony Wednesday to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who held a hearing over modernizing our federal immigration laws. Like Jose, we believe being American runs deeper than documentation. It’s about working hard, providing for your family, being proud of your country,… Read more →

What we all stand to gain from updated immigration laws

The inspiring young immigrant Americans in the audience of last night’s State of the Union address show both what we stand to gain from common-sense immigration laws and what we stand to lose from continued inaction. Their dreams, talents, and commitment to this country are enormous assets.  Alan Aleman, a student of biological science, was a guest of Michelle Obama.  Julieta Garibay and Gabino… Read more →

Nebraska Cattlemen Promote Immigration Reform

Momentum around immigration reform continues to grow as new voices come forward to promote common-sense immigration laws at the federal level. An article in today’s Lincoln Journal Star highlights the Nebraska Cattlemen’s announcement of their support for positive reform. Leigh cattleman Chuck Folken describes how he has never forgotten the large-scale immigration raid in Grand Island before Christmas 2006: “They took away mothers and… Read more →

The beginning of a real conversation on immigration

NPR’s interview with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Service Employees International Union this week shows the beginning of a real conversation on immigration. As the two groups noted in the interview, “While we may disagree on a number of other issues, on this one we are lock step and working on fixing this system.” Eliseo Medina of SEIU… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed welcomes focus on citizenship and momentum for reform

With this week’s major announcements on immigration from a bipartisan group of Senators and President Obama, momentum has never been stronger for immigration reform. We welcome the announcement that Republican and Democratic Senators are prepared to move forward with legislation that includes a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans currently residing in the United States. We look forward to legislation… Read more →

Free screening of Precious Knowledge highlights importance of cultural education

On Tuesday, January 22, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and several Omaha organizations will sponsor a FREE showing of Precious Knowledge, a film that highlights one of the final years of the highly successful Mexican-American Studies Program at Tucson High School and the fight to abolish the program after Arizona lawmakers abolished ethnic studies classes in 2011. Following the 7:00 p.m. screening at the… Read more →

New immigration policy change will help preserve American families

How we treat immigrants should reflect our commitment to the values that define us as Americans. We all believe families should stick together and yet, our current immigration policies, unfortunately and too often, tear families apart instead of strengthening them – including U.S. citizens and immigrant family members. On Wednesday, however, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced a change in… Read more →

Appleseed 2012 Year in Review – Welcoming new Nebraskans for stronger, united communities

This is part of a series looking back on Nebraska Appleseed’s work in 2012. Nebraska Appleseed believes communities in which all people are welcome and engaged become stronger and more enriched.  Our work in 2012 pursued the goals of creating a stronger Nebraska by fighting for the rights of new Americans. Promoting Common-Sense Immigration Laws Appleseed believes we need a… Read more →

Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments on Fremont’s anti-immigrant law

Earlier Today, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments over Fremont’s anti-immigrant ordinance, a draconian law that established significant barriers to housing and employment in an attempt to make life for immigrants in Fremont nearly impossible. Although the core of the housing ordinance was found to be unconstitutional by the district court, a licensing provision that would force… Read more →

Welcoming Conference looks to create friendly communities for new Americans

A growing number of communities are recognizing the economic and social benefits of welcoming and engaging immigrant residents. Last week, 20 Welcoming America affiliates from communities in states near and far met to discuss diverse strategies for creating welcoming communities. Detroit is creating opportunities for immigrant and long-term neighbors to get to know one another in neighborhoods.  Dayton, Ohio, is creating an… Read more →

Take Action! 1/3 of a Second Isn’t Long Enough to Keep Food and Workers Safe

As Thanksgiving preparations begin, take just a moment to help stop a proposed new rule that would make food and workers less safe next year. A new rule proposed by the USDA would increase line speed in poultry plants, giving inspectors only 1/3 of a second to inspect each chicken — risking your food and workers’ safety. Help stop the… Read more →

Quilted Conscience screenings November 13 & 15

Quilted Conscience is a documentary about the welcoming of cultural diversity in Grand Island. This documentary portrays a remarkable bond formed between a group of 16 Sudanese-American girls and a quilter’s guild, coming together to create something spectacular. Join us at one of two special screenings with John Sorensen, the film’s director, and artist Peggie Hartwell. Lincoln, NE Date: Tuesday,… Read more →

Getting Out the Vote with New Nebraskans

It’s Election Day, and Nebraska Appleseed is celebrating with community leaders who have been helping to ensure that new American voters across the state had the voting process information they needed to fully participate in the democracy. We worked with community leaders in six communities – Columbus, Crete, Grand Island, Lexington, Schuyler, and South Sioux City – to coordinate volunteer… Read more →

Why more immigration is key to U.S. economic growth

Immigrants who have moved here care deeply about American values such as hard work and entrepreneurship and have always been strong contributors to the economy.  A pair of recent articles are worth a read on how immigrant Americans have made essential contributions to our economy – and particularly to innovation – in past and present, and the importance of immigration… Read more →

New report highlights dangerous working conditions in Midwest meat and poultry plants

A coalition of more than 50 Midwest human rights organizations, including Nebraska Appleseed, released a new report today that confirms dangerous conditions still exist for food and worker safety in meat and poultry processing plants. The report, titled “Always Working Beyond the Capacity of Our Bodies: Meat and Poultry Processing Work Conditions and Human Rights in the Midwest,” summarizes in-depth… Read more →

Student Organizing Conference to train young advocates

Nebraska Appleseed is excited to have the chance to work with the next generation of young advocates and leaders this weekend at the Nebraska Student Organizing Conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center. The Nebraska Student Organizing Conference is an interactive leadership workshop where students will learn to develop and initiate progressive activist causes. Karen Lopez, Jamarr… Read more →

An Insider’s Perspective on the Proposed USDA Poultry Rule

Last week, we wrote about our concerns with the proposed new USDA rule for poultry processing.  The new rule would drastically increase the speeds on the production line at which plants are allowed to run, which would make an already dangerous workplace even more unsafe.  It would give inspectors only one-third of a second to inspect birds for diseases and… Read more →

October 2012 News & Events

In this October edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha & Lincoln Nebraska Student Organizing Conference: Oct. 20-21 Meet our law clerks! Nebraska’s emerging public interest leaders More than 325 people celebrate at the Good Apple Awards Stand Up For Justice: A Poster Show Benefiting Nebraska Appleseed   Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha… Read more →

Outstanding contributions to justice recognized at Good Apple Awards

Nebraska Appleseed recognized several courageous Nebraskans Thursday night whose work has contributed to the fight for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards. More than 300 people attended the Good Apple Awards at the Omaha Livestock Exchange Building ballroom.  Thursday’s event was the fourth such awards celebration for Nebraska Appleseed and drew its largest crowd ever.… Read more →

The Heavy Toll of Extreme Immigration Laws

Rev. H. Julian Gordy, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Southeastern Synod, wrote a powerful guest column in Sunday’s Montgomery Advertiser, the newspaper of record in Alabama’s capital. His piece is a reminder of the heavy toll extreme immigration laws continue to take on several Southern states. He describes the “economic fractures and the human toll” that spill… Read more →

Ruth Marimo, an Immigrant from Zimbabwe, Tells her Harrowing Story

Ruth Marimo is a thirty-one-year-old single, lesbian, African mother of two. While awaiting deportation almost two years ago, she began her incredible memoir, Freedom of an Illegal Immigrant. Her story begins in Zimbabwe. At five years old, she lost her mother to suicide, and her sibling died the same year. She was raised by her mother’s relatives and lived with… Read more →

Rachel Jacobson to Receive the Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Appleseed’s annual Good Apple Awards is less than one week away and Appleseed is excited to highlight our final honoree. The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award, named after Nebraska Appleseed’s founding executive director, recognizes young, emerging leaders who have a vision for the best of what Nebraska can be and, through initiative, hard work, and dedication, are pushing to make… Read more →

Omaha Celebrates National Welcoming Week

During Omaha Diversity Week and the first ever National Welcoming Week, activities in Omaha and around the country recognized efforts of inclusivity and inspiring others to welcome immigrant neighbors into the workplace and the community. Throughout Omaha, in business, in city government, and in community celebrations and social groups, Omahans recognized the contributions of immigrant community members.  Hundreds of beautiful… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed I was born and raised in Nebraska and lived there until I left for law school, so many of the problems and issues facing Nebraska are very close to my heart. My experience working at Nebraska Appleseed was absolutely amazing and… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed Over the course of the summer, I was able to assist the Nebraska Appleseed office attorneys in a number of areas. The main project I worked on over the summer dealt with child welfare litigation. My office brought a class-action suit against… Read more →

Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4

In just two weeks, Appleseed will celebrate Nebraskans who stand up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards Make your reservations today. Individual tickets are $50. Young professionals tickets are $35. Tickets for students, seniors, and fixed-income are $20. 100% of your purchase directly supports Appleseed’s efforts fighting for justice and opportunity for all. Join… Read more →

Coalition Urges USDA to Withdraw Poultry Slaughter Proposal Due to Food Safety, Worker Safety Concerns

A coalition of 23 groups and 16 individuals today urged the Department of Agriculture to withdraw a proposal that increases poultry processing line speeds and removes hundreds of federal inspectors from poultry processing plants. The proposal, which would modify USDA’s poultry slaughter inspection program, increases the poultry line speed to an unsafe level and allows plant employees to replace federal… Read more →

Roots of Justice Awardees build multi-ethnic alliances to fight for justice

In just two weeks Appleseed will host the Good Apple Awards on October 4 in Omaha. We wrote recently about some of our honorees including Senator Kathy Campbell and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act Coalition. This year, Appleseed is proud to present our Roots of Justice Award to a trio of Omaha community leaders who work together to build multi-ethnic alliances to help protect the voting… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks!

Throughout the year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with exceptionally bright young advocates through our intern and law clerk program. These students provide valuable support sharing their energy, creativity, and passion for social advocacy. This summer, Appleseed was fortunate to have eight public interest-minded law students clerk in our office: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law,… Read more →

You’re Welcome in Omaha Celebrates National Welcoming Week

This week, You’re Welcome in Omaha will join Welcoming America affiliates across the country to celebrate the first National Welcoming Week. Across Omaha, throughout schools, public places and businesses, posters designed by local artists will spread a message of “Welcome” in many languages. Other community activities will be posted at NebraskaIsHome.org More than 20 Omaha organizations and businesses have signed… Read more →

September News from Nebraska Appleseed

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: New data on poverty in America UNMC report reveals Medicaid expansion would cover 90,000 uninsured Deferred Action Forum: a new opportunity for DREAMers Appleseed files petition for hearing on meatpacking worker health & safety Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4 New data on poverty in America On Wednesday,… Read more →

More groups take stances opposing Fremont’s oppressive anti-immigrant ordinance

Last week, several civil rights organizations filed amicus briefs in the federal case opposing Fremont’s anti-immigrant ordinance.  It is encouraging so many groups are standing against this measure that is clearly damaging to the fabric of the community. Nebraska Appleseed filed our own amicus brief in opposition to the ordinance in July.  In our brief, we highlighted the Voices from… Read more →

Community Organizations Work Together to Provide Hundreds of Young Nebraskans with Information about New Policy for DREAMers

Omaha, Lincoln, and Columbus — A wide variety of community and faith organizations worked together on Sunday to provide approximately 500 young Nebraskans and family members with information about a new immigration policy for DREAMers. The new Department of Homeland Security policy (DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) provides relief from deportation for law-abiding, immigrant youth who arrived in… Read more →

In Advance of Labor Day, Advocates Appeal to International Body Regarding Meatpacking Workers’ Rights

Worker health and food safety compromised in modern meat and poultry processing plants Chicago and Minneapolis – As the Labor Day holiday celebrating workers approaches, the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requesting a hearing to address serious human rights abuses in… Read more →

A Step Forward for Aspiring U.S. Citizens

Tomorrow, applications for the important new deferred action policy for DREAMers will be released. This worthwhile policy grants temporary relief from deportation for DREAMers – young, aspiring citizens who have grown up in the United States – and allows applicants to apply for a two-year work permit. Most important, it reaffirms that these youth are already Americans in all but… Read more →

Important Information on New Prenatal Care Law

A few months ago the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 599 (LB599), which restores coverage of prenatal care to all unborn children, regardless of the immigration status of the mother.  The law went into effect on July 19, so women can start applying for and receiving coverage for prenatal care services as long as they meet certain Medicaid requirements. There… Read more →

Join Appleseed at the Maha Music Festival

We have some exciting news to share: Appleseed is going to the Maha Music Festival on August 11! Each year, the nonprofit and volunteer-led Maha Music Festival in Omaha brings the community together around great local and national music. As Maha puts it, “It’s about being in Omaha and loving every second of it. In the plainest sense, Maha is… Read more →

The Economic Dividends of Welcoming Immigrants

You’re Welcome celebrates diverse communities that welcome both immigrant and non-immigrant neighbors. But it’s not just our communities that are enriched when all people are welcome, it is also true that local businesses and economies thrive when all people are able to work together. Forbes magazine recently published an article discussing the business opportunities that immigrants contribute to in our… Read more →

Take Action on Medicaid, Appleseed at Maha, & The Good Apple Awards!

The temperature hasn’t been the only thing heating up in Nebraska the past few weeks. The debate on whether Nebraska will take the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion – and expand health care coverage to at least 50,000 uninsured Nebraskans – has been heating up as well. In spite of the heat, Appleseed has been out and about in the… Read more →

Join Nebraska Appleseed Saturday at Loom Weaves in Omaha

Just a reminder to come by and see Nebraska Appleseed at “Loom Weaves,” House of Loom’s annual multicultural festival at the Joslyn Art Museum Sculpture Garden in Omaha (2200 Dodge St.) tomorrow starting at 2 p.m. Appleseed will have a booth where you can get free Appleseed keepsakes and have your picture taken with your reasons why Omaha is a… Read more →

Many Voices Are Stronger Together

One voice shouting on a street corner may be easy to ignore, but a large group speaking together is a voice that will be heard. This week, many community groups gathered in Omaha to discuss the power of unity at “Stronger Together,” a retreat facilitated by the Leadership Conference Education Fund.  At the  “Stronger Together” retreat, community activists and community… Read more →

You’re Welcome Kick-Off Event Huge Success

Thanks to everyone who made it out to House of Loom Friday night for Omaha’s You’re Welcome kick-off event! The evening started off with DJ Brent Crampton mixing some tunes as early arrivers viewed vibrant, original screen-prints and art created by Omaha artists. Christa Yoakum, coordinator of You’re Welcome and Nebraska is Home, welcomed the diverse crowd, encouraging them to… Read more →

Omaha Community Leaders Know Diversity is Strength

This evening, more than 20 community organizations, numerous Omaha artists, and other welcoming Omahans will gather for You’re Welcome at House of Loom starting at 8:00pm for a night of art, music, and inclusion. This evening’s kick-off event marks the beginning of You’re Welcome’s work to celebrate Omaha as a diverse and connected community through artistic expression, community engagement, and… Read more →

Joseph Bakura, a South Sudanese Refugee, Says Nebraska is Welcoming State

Seeking political asylum, refugee Joseph Bakura came to the United States in December of 2000. Having initially lived in Maine for six years, he says Nebraska is a very welcoming place. “Nebraska has a large number of Sudanese,” he said. “That’s a good indication that Nebraska is a welcoming place.” Bakura moved to Nebraska for two reasons: 1) he had… Read more →

OpenSky Policy Institute Report Shines Light on Nebraska State Budget

“The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.” These words are engraved over the entrance to Nebraska’s state capitol.  They have added meaning here in Nebraska, the only state in the nation with a Unicameral Legislature. Today, a new report from the OpenSky Policy Institute, “Looking for Clarity: An Overview of Nebraska Budget and Tax Policy”  was released.… Read more →

Register Today for CFRA’s Grassroots Advocacy Training

Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about engaging in advocacy on issues you care about from the great folks at the Center for Rural Affairs. We have a few spots left – RSVP today.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, family and neighbors who might be interested.   Grassroots Advocacy Training –… Read more →

Health Care, Immigration, Fair Pay & You’re Welcome!

In this edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Health Reform: Quality, affordable and constitutional health care for all; Arizona’s SB1070: Socially toxic and unconstitutional; Lilly Ledbetter in Omaha: One Woman’s Battle for Justice; You’re Welcome in Omaha!; Take Action: Opportunity for DREAMers Read more →

You’re Welcome! Photo Anthology

Nebraska’s summer cultural festivals create a perfect opportunity to recognize and appreciate the diversity in our state. By sharing music, food, and art — as we have for generations — communities come together and begin to create a culture of inclusiveness. Throughout the summer, we’ll be presenting photos of Nebraskans sharing why they believe Nebraska is and should be a… Read more →

World Refugee Day and “You’re Welcome” in Omaha

“We are not so different.” The boy writing on the dry-erase board had asked about You’re Welcome, a new collaborative effort in Omaha to promote a welcoming, inclusive community. The idea is that immigrants resettling in a community have a far better chance of integrating if the others in that community are receptive to including their new neighbors. One current project is collecting… Read more →

Supreme Court Strikes Down Most of Arizona’s Immigration Law

Nebraskans emphasize toxic social and economic outcomes Today the Supreme Court issued a first ruling on Arizona’s immigration enforcement law. In response, Nebraska Appleseed issued this media release: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three of the four provisions of Arizona’s notorious “show me your papers” law, a state-level immigration policy that Nebraska and many other states have already… Read more →

As a Supreme Court Decision on Arizona’s SB 1070 Looms, States Reflect on Rippling Effect Felt Throughout the Nation Since the Law’s Passage in 2010

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on Arizona’s notorious immigration law any day now, states are reflecting on the devastating social and economic effects witnessed in Arizona and Alabama that have caused localities to turn away from the approach. A federal judge temporarily blocked portions of Arizona’s law, including its “Show me your papers” provision, but the state… Read more →

Former Intern’s Views of Haiti

Micah Wullschleger is a former Nebraska Appleseed intern currently working in Haiti. “Whenever the name of Haiti is mentioned in the international media, it is immediately followed by what seems to be a title, a last name or a claim to fame: The poorest country in the western hemisphere. It is the only country whose name is associated with poverty.… Read more →

Hope for DREAMers, a Sensible Immigration System, and Time for Action…

On Friday, June 15th, President Obama announced an encouraging new policy that will grant relief from deportations for undocumented youth who are known as DREAMers. These young immigrants grew up in United States and dream of using their education and skills to contribute to society. They are American in all ways except for one—paperwork—but last week’s announcement was a long-awaited… Read more →

Award-winning Journalist Shares Story of Being an Undocumented Immigrant

“I want to give back to a community that has given me so much.” “For me, U.S. citizenship would be an outward manifestation of an inward truth.” Many of America’s undocumented came to the United States as young children and grew up not knowing they didn’t have the right immigration papers. They seek an education and work as hard as… Read more →

Private Prison Industry Profits from Immigrant Detentions at Taxpayer Expense

Another disconcerting investigative report – this time from Chris Kirkham at the Huffington Post – reveals rising profits in the private prison industry from immigrant detention: “the industry has seen its revenues swell at taxpayer expense.” The article explores the industry’s new business model and the profit motive to support laws like Arizona’s, showing that new profits “are in part… Read more →

Nebraska Is Home to Summer Festivals Celebrating Many Cultural Traditions

Nebraska is alive through the summer with festivals where arts and traditions that give us pride in our heritage can be shared with friends and neighbors. Last weekend’s Omaha Heritage Festival offered a way for neighbors to meet one another and share music, food, and friendship from countries around the world. For generations, Omaha and communities throughout Nebraska have celebrated… Read more →

The Spring 2012 Edition of “At the Core”

The end of the 2012 Nebraska legislative session finished with a flurry of activity on prenatal care, child welfare, and a number of Appleseed’s priority bills passing. You can read about these successes and other recent efforts in the latest edition of our bi-annual newsletter “At the Core.” Download a printable copy of “At the Core” Inside you can read… Read more →

Micah Wullschleger, Former Nebraska Appleseed Intern, Goes to Haiti

I have had the great opportunity to work at Nebraska Appleseed this past semester as an intern for the immigration and racial justice program. As a student at UNL, I had some familiarity with Appleseed and their involvement in the Lincoln community, but as an intern, I came to understand the full extent of Appleseed’s involvement in the state of… Read more →

Honoring Senator Kathy Campbell

Save the Date! Nebraska Appleseed’s 2012 Good Apple Awards Thursday, October 4, 2012 Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S. 30th Street Omaha, NE Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres: 6pm Program & ceremony: 7pm honoring Senator Kathy Campbell Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award This year, Appleseed is proud to recognize Senator Kathy Campbell with the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award for her… Read more →

Puzzling over the Supreme Court Argument in the Arizona Case

Linda Greenhouse, a former New York Times reporter on the Supreme Court, offers this excellent piece puzzling over the recent Supreme Court argument on Arizona’s notorious “show me your papers” law, S.B. 1070: I found last week’s Supreme Court argument in the Arizona immigration case utterly depressing, and I’ve spent the intervening week puzzling over my reaction. It’s not simply that the… Read more →

While Studies Show Line Speed Is Crippling Poultry Workers, USDA Proposes Doubling the Allowable Speed

As we have heard from hundreds of people who work in meat and poultry processing, “the speed kills you.” Relentless work speed and thousands of repetitive motions cause workers’ hands to swell with pain and later lead to permanently crippling injuries. Workers are told they have to “learn to live with the pain,” and many undergo multiple surgeries on their… Read more →

Today at the Supreme Court: Can a State Create Its Own Immigration System?

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the constitutionality of Arizona’s notorious state-level immigration enforcement law, S.B. 1070, in Arizona v. United States.  Yesterday we described the socially toxic and economically self-defeating outcomes that have resulted from Arizona-style laws. Today, we will outline the legal arguments of the case, in which the U.S. government is challenging a… Read more →

Arizona Law: Socially Toxic and Economically Self-Defeating

Tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, S.B. 1070, in the case Arizona v. United States.  As the Court considers aspects of the law’s legality, it is also important to consider its functionality. Ever since this extreme law passed in 2010, its stated purpose of “enforcement through attrition”… Read more →

THANK YOU! Prenatal Care Restored!

Yesterday was a great day for Nebraska’s children.  The Legislature voted 30-16 to override the Governor’s veto of LB 599 and restore Nebraska’s decades-long policy of providing prenatal care and prioritizing the health of Nebraska children. Thank you for calling and emailing throughout this debate. Being engaged in this process truly made a huge difference! We also must thank the 30 senators… Read more →

April 17 Film & Discussion: When We Stop Counting

Here’s a great opportunity to see the powerful local film “When We Stop Counting” with a panel discussion by Nebraska educators. Sponsored by Nebraskans for Peace, First Plymouth Congregational Church, and National Association of Social Workers. Film Screening & Panel Discussion: April 17, 7-9 p. m. “When We Stop Counting”: Education,  Poverty, and Culture.   First Plymouth Congregational Church, 2000… Read more →

Legislative Update

This was a very good week at the Legislature for children in Nebraska and several of the other issues we have prioritized at Nebraska Appleseed.  The bill to restore prenatal care, LB 599, passed its final round vote and was presented to the Governor yesterday.  And several of Appleseed’s priority bills became law this week.  Here is a quick recap:… Read more →

JOIN US TODAY, 5pm Vigil to Restore Prenatal Care!

VIGIL TO RESTORE PRENATAL CARE TODAY: Wednesday, April 11, 5pm Help ensure that all Nebraska babies have the chance at a healthy start in life.   Join us! Wednesday, April 11 5pm-6pm State Capitol, Lincoln (West side of the capitol building – at the statue of Lincoln – 14th Street & Lincoln Mall.) The effort to restore prenatal care is… Read more →

Timeline of Prenatal Care Coverage in Nebraska

The Nebraska Legislature is on the verge of passing LB 599, a bill to restore prenatal care to all low-income children. For decades the State of Nebraska maintained the wise and fiscally smart health policy to provide prenatal health coverage and ensured that all children had a chance at having a healthy start to life. Our state’s investment in prenatal… Read more →

Legislative Update

There has been a good deal of activity at the Legislature on Appleseed’s priority issues since the last update.  Here is a quick summary: “Green Lights” In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights”… Read more →

Rally to Protect Your Right To Vote

THURSDAY, March 22, 2012 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Douglas County Election Commissioner’s Office 225 N. 115th Street & Davenport, Omaha The Douglas County Election Commission has announced it will close almost half of the longtime polling places in Omaha which will have a disproportionate effect on North and South Omaha, the elderly, the disabled, and people who do not have… Read more →

Marching Forward in the Ongoing Struggle for Civil Rights

Today, Gabrielle Liwaru, Benito Sanchez, Kevin Lytle and I will be joining thousands of others Americans in the historic Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March. It commemorates the 1965 voting rights marches which were a key moment in the civil rights movement and led to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act. But the 2012 March isn’t only about… Read more →

No Tearful Reunions, No Happy Endings

“When it was over, we all sat there in silence for a moment, shocked by what we had seen, waiting for the happy ending ” said Rebecca Gonzales. Last Wednesday night, Appleseed, along with the NAACP Lincoln Branch, the Ethnic Studies Department of UNL and the UNL Progressive Student Coalition hosted a free screening of Luis Argueta’s film “AbUSed: The Postville Raid” at the Ross Theater. Read more →

A Father’s Perspective on Prenatal Care for All

My name is Brian Schnieder, and I’m part of the ambassador family for the March of Dimes in Omaha, Nebraska.  Seven years ago, my son Jackson was born prior to twenty-five weeks. My wife had a medical condition that was undetected until she was further along in her pregnancy.  He was born weighing one pound, one ounce, and was small… Read more →

Fremont Ordinance: Unconstitutional and Unproductive

The court’s decision Monday to strike down the core of the Fremont immigration enforcement ordinance is no surprise. Every such ordinance with a rental component has been found unconstitutional — but not before creating great cost, division, and sense of loss in the local community. Even though the Fremont ordinance never went into effect, it has torn the community apart.… Read more →

Join Us for a FREE Screening of abUSed: The Postville Raid

Nebraska Appleseed, the NAACP, Lincoln Chapter, the Progressive Student Coalition and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Institute for Ethnic Studies are sponsoring a free showing of the film abUSed: The Postville Raid at the Mary Riepma Ross Theater located at 313 North 13th Street in Lincoln at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 29th.  The free screening will be followed by a discussion of the film with… Read more →

Half Way Point at the Legislature & Priorities are Set

This is the inaugural edition of Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update, our regular look at the Unicameral’s work on issues impacting working families, immigrant Nebraskans and the communities where they live, children in foster care, access to health care, voting rights, and more.  We are sending you this edition because you have already subscribed or we hope you will after reading this update.… Read more →

More Support for Restoration of Prenatal Care

There is a great editorial this morning from the Lincoln Journal Star calling for the restoration of prenatal care coverage and the passage of LB 599. The editorial notes the irrefutable moral and fiscal reasons for restoring coverage and, we believe, rightly notes that it is time to debate this issue. It is time that voters understood who would not… Read more →

Appleseed Welcomes New Intake Coordinator Trisha Thompson

It all began when Trisha Thompson landed an internship here at Nebraska Appleseed. “I started interning on the intake line at Appleseed last summer and pretty much fell in love with it,” said Trisha. After graduating with her B.S. in psychology from Peru State College, Trisha is happy to be officially on board at Appleseed serving as our new Intake… Read more →

Appleseed at the Legislature

The 2012 Legislative session is off to a fast and furious start.  We are already a third of the way through this short (60 day) session and Nebraska Appleseed is working on more bills than ever before.  We’d like to highlight some of the key issues we are working on in our programs and give you an opportunity to get… Read more →

Nebraska Workers’ Compensation System Should Help, Not Drive Away, Workers

LB 1012 undermines the wise purpose of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation system by tipping the scales against injured employees. Upholding the system is important for all of us. We have a public interest in ensuring that employers maintain safe workplaces. We also have a public interest in preventing the cost of workplace injuries from spilling over onto Nebraska communities, families,… Read more →

Immigrants and the Child Tax Credit by the Numbers

Denying the Credit to Some American Children Doesn’t Make Sense By Marshall Fitz , Sarah Jane Glynn of The Center for American Progress As the February deadline for Congress to extend the payroll tax holiday through 2012 approaches, members of Congress continue to come up with inhumane and counterproductive ways to offset the loss of tax revenue. Rather than look to the wealthiest citizens… Read more →

It’s Time to Build Welcoming Communities

Yesterday, the New York Times published a forward-thinking opinion piece that highlights immigrant contributions to the U.S. and – in the context of impending Baby Boomer retirement – underscores the importance of shifting our nation’s attitude to a welcoming one. We wanted to share this insightful piece, which also highlights Welcoming America www.welcomingamerica.org — a national network of locally-led efforts including that of Nebraska Is… Read more →

Lobby Day for Voting Rights

“I’m here … because I think that voting rights are the basis of our democracy.  When I see voting rights come under attack I feel personally attacked and my heart goes out to people this bill will affect,” said Claire Hillan when asked why she gathered with over 70 other Nebraskans at the State Capitol Wednesday to lobby state senators… Read more →

Thousands March in Alabama

Freedom Riders Meet with DREAMers in Dr. Martin Luther King’s Church [thethe-image-slider name=”IICP Blog 12/22/2011″] Last weekend, thousands came together in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest that state’s notorious immigration enforcement law. Carrying “One Family, One Alabama” and “Not in My America” signs, Civil Rights leaders from across the country and thousands of Alabamians called for the state and country to… Read more →

New Report Shows (Again) Alarming Problems in Detention Facilities

As America continues to call on Congress to bring our immigration system into the 21st century – with workable solutions that uphold our values and move us forward – a new report released today by two Midwest human rights organizations highlights alarming problems in immigrant detention facilities as well. The report, Not Too Late for Reform, authored by the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights… Read more →

Thousands Gather for Civil and Human Rights in Alabama

Today thousands of Alabamians are gathering to launch the “One Family, One Alabama” campaign to challenge state lawmakers to repeal the nation’s most vicious anti-immigrant law.  Members of Congress will hear from people whose lives have been damaged by the law. Local leaders and civil rights leaders from around the country will speak at the historic Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Numerous… Read more →

The Myth of Chain Migration

Written for and originally Posted at Forbes A common criticism of the U.S. immigration system is it tilts toward family admissions. This criticism rests, in part, on the mistaken notion that any close relations sponsored by U.S. citizens come to America quickly as permanent residents. However the wait times for sponsoring a close family member are long and, in some… Read more →

Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

This summer, I met up with Omaha graphic designer Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory to discuss an idea for an Appleseed art exhibit.  We’ve worked with Justin on a number of Appleseed projects – most recently our Voices from Fremont poster exhibit chronicling how residents witnessed a sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in Fremont since the town passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Justin’s work… Read more →

Step Up for Kids

Do the new census figures reflecting that one child in five in Nebraska struggles with poverty worry you? Have you followed recent child welfare system developments with concern? Do you think that access to prenatal care should be available to all who need it to protect the health of mothers and babies? The newspaper headlines in our state have been… Read more →

Creators of Strong, Vibrant Communities: Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila

Nebraska Appleseed is honored to announce that Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila of Columbus, Nebraska, will be one of the inaugural recipients of the Roots of Justice Award. Karen and Maria truly embody the vision of this award. Unsung grassroots heroes, these two are quietly working to build important nonprofit infrastructure in rural Nebraska and to do their part to create strong,… Read more →

Fighting for the Common Good: John Cavanaugh

It has become cliche to talk about the children as our future.  It is more likely to conjure up a 1980s ballad rather than the obvious truism that underlies the statement.  But John Cavanaugh and Building Bright Futures (BBF) have recognized the basic truth that if we create or leave in place barriers to a good and productive future for… Read more →

Building Nebraska’s Future: The D. Milo Mumgaard Young Leader Award

In 1996, Nebraska Appleseed’s founder Milo Mumgaard developed a vision for a public interest law firm that could take on the toughest issues facing low-income and marginalized Nebraskans.  He started small with a one person operation run out of his basement and through hard work, dedication and skill, grew the organization to twelve staff in eleven years.  Part of the… Read more →

Midwest Organizations Appeal to International Forum Concerning Meatpacking Safety

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and Nebraska Appleseed have submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) requesting an October hearing to address serious human rights violations in meatpacking and poultry processing plants across the U.S. The IACHR is a permanent body mandated by the Organization of American States that promotes and protects human rights in… Read more →

Tony & Janina’s American Wedding: FREE Screening

On Thursday, September 1st, the UNL Progressive Student Coalition is excited to partner with Nebraska Appleseed to host a FREE screening of the film “Tony & Janina’s American Wedding.” This film, about a Polish immigrant family, is a feature length documentary that gets to the heart of the broken, red tape ridden U.S. immigration system and provides a fresh perspective… Read more →

Janet Goodman-Banks to Receive the Roots of Justice Award

Nebraska Appleseed is excited to announce that Pastor Janet Goodman-Banks of Lincoln will receive the inaugural Roots of Justice Award. Janet, a nurse and former coal miner, has been one of Appleseed’s strongest community allies in the historic push for comprehensive health reform.  Janet’s story of being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and struggling with her health insurer to… Read more →

Celebrating Nebraska’s Unsung Grassroots Heroes

Earlier this spring, a number of us at Appleseed got to talking about how fortunate we’ve been these past fifteen years to work alongside so many great community volunteers who push for a more just and equitable Nebraska. Many of our best community education and legislative efforts have succeeded in concert with grassroots volunteers all across our state – expanding… Read more →

An Undocumented Immigrant’s Story

In this powerful story in the The New York Times Magazine, a journalist discusses his life as an undocumented immigrant. His experience shows the talents our country stands to lose by delaying reform of our outdated immigration system. He also describes “a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks… Read more →

Voices from Fremont Debuts to More Than 300 People

Last Friday, more than 300 people visited a first-look unveiling of the Voices from Fremont art exhibit at The Leekers’ studio at Parrish Studios. The one-night unveiling took place during Lincoln’s monthly First Friday gallery walk. The exhibit highlights Fremont residents’ thoughts and experiences, showing how a local immigration enforcement proposal can devastate a community. Their voices help to document… Read more →

Voices from Fremont: A Civil Rights Project by Nebraska Appleseed

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to unveil a new art exhibit “Voices from Fremont.” The exhibit shares the stories of Fremont residents who have witnessed a growing sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in their community since the city passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Special thanks to designer Justin Kemmerling for his hard work on this project. On the… Read more →

Legislative Bill 465 and Lawful Permanent Residents

In April 2011, the Legislature passed LB 465. This new law changes eligibility for some public benefit programs for certain lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is an immigrant with a green card, who is legally admitted to the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis. Below is a Q&A to help you understand who is… Read more →

Appleseed Intern Reflects on Organizing Training

Last month, Nebraska Appleseed sent Rachel Gehringer-Wiar, Appleseed’s organizing intern, to Chicago during spring break to attend the Midwest Academy’s Organizing for Social Change training.  The Academy provides training and consulting to equip organizers, community leaders, and organizations to think and to act strategically and to win justice for all.  Rachel shared with us her experience at the training. At… Read more →

History Is Repeating Itself: Can You Tell the Difference?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! They say today everyone is a little bit Irish. It wasn’t always like that, though. When the Irish first came to America they were met with persecution, ignorance and fear. They were denied jobs, accused of lawlessness and of destroying the United States. Immigration became a rallying point for the Know-Nothings, a political party dedicated to… Read more →

Happy Birthday to Nebraska Appleseed!

Today, Nebraska Appleseed celebrates its 15-year anniversary! Fifteen years ago, our founders incorporated Nebraska Appleseed with the mission that, like Johnny Appleseed, we would “sow the seeds of justice” across the Great Plains – advocating fairness, opportunity, and equal justice for all people. These core values continue to drive our staff, interns, volunteers and supporters to address systemic problems at… Read more →

Nebraska Says No to Arizona-Style Law

On 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… Read more →

Half-A-World-Away: My Dream of Living and Working in Africa has Arrived!

At Nebraska Appleseed, we pride ourselves in our robust internship and clerkship program. When our former interns and clerks check in with us to let us know what they are doing, we like to share their amazing stories. Our latest comes from Katie Hile, who interned with Nebraska Appleseed in 2006-2007. Loving every moment of the journey—from my first internship… Read more →

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 →

Committee Protects Nebraska’s In-state Tuition Education Policy

The Lincoln Journal Star today reported that the Legislature’s Education Committee voted down a bill that sought to repeal Nebraska’s in-state tuition law. Dozens of educational, community, faith, and legal institutions testified in support of protecting Nebraska’s in-state tuition policy at the committee hearing on February 7. Some of the testifiers included the University of Nebraska, the Post-Secondary Commission, the Nebraska… Read more →

A Personal Reflection on Nebraska’s In-State Tuition Law

Alex Gibilisco is a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an intern this semester at Nebraska Appleseed.  Alex immigrated with his family to the United States from Guatemala at the age of 10. Alex submitted the following testimony to the Legislature’s Education Committee Monday, February 7 in opposition to LB 657, which would repeal Nebraska’s in-state tuition law. Dear… Read more →

Nebraskans Oppose an Arizona-Style Law, Support Common-Sense Federal Reform

Nearly 500 Nebraskans came to the state Capitol on Thursday, 01/27/2011, to say that Nebraska values do not support an Arizona-style law in this state. Participants and speakers from around the state, representing the League of Nebraska Municipalities, the Methodist Bishop, Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, other faith groups, veterans, the NAACP-Lincoln, the Anti-Defamation League,… Read more →

Police Chief William Bratton Describes the Dangers of an Arizona-style Law for Community Safety

In today’s Omaha World Herald, former Los Angeles police chief and former New York City police commissioner William Bratton outlines the perils of requiring local police to serve as immigration agents:  “Keeping America’s neighborhoods safe requires our police forces to have the trust and help of everyone in our communities. My nearly 40 years in law enforcement…have taught me this.”… Read more →

Nebraska Police Chief Describes Problems with Arizona-Style Bill

Since Arizona passed its divisive and unconstitutional immigration law last April, many top law enforcement officials have raised serious concerns about the approach. Police officials have argued that such laws are an unfunded mandate on local police, reduce officers, undermine community policing, and force local departments to allocate more officers to processing immigration status for individuals without criminal records rather… Read more →

Omaha Senator Offers Alternative to Arizona-style Bill

Omaha Sen. Brenda Council today introduced a common-sense alternative to an Arizona-style bill — a resolution for immigration reform “modeled after the Utah Compact, a statement of principles developed by a broad coalition of Utah politicians, businesses, civic groups, law enforcement and religious leaders” (Lincoln Journal Star 1/18/11). “It’s very powerful,” said Judiciary Chairman Brad Ashford, who signed onto the… Read more →

Statement on Immigration by Catholic Archbishop

Archbishop Lucas and the Omaha Archdiocese have released a statement saying that “immigration is of extreme interest and concern to Nebraskans and the Catholic Church” and calling for “civility, respectfulness, and common decency” in the statewide discussion. The statement provides a number of useful teaching resources, saying that “the task of welcoming immigrants, refugees, and displaced persons into full participation… Read more →

A DREAM Denied

Despite majority support for the DREAM Act in the House, the Senate, and the American public, Nebraska’s Congressional delegation, to a member, voted against the bill, which was procedurally blocked from moving forward by a filibuster in the Senate on Saturday.  The DREAM Act would allow students who were brought to this country at a young age a means to… Read more →

Free Screenings of Film About Arizona-style Law

“9500 Liberty” screenings warn Nebraskans about economic, social pitfalls of Arizona copycat law Student groups at the Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha campuses of the University of Nebraska will host a free screening of the award-winning documentary 9500 LIBERTY on Thursday, December 2 at 7pm. The film chronicles the rise and fall of a Virginia county law that briefly required police to check… Read more →

Prison Economics Help Drive Arizona Immigration Law

A disturbing story on NPR this morning describes a “quiet, behind-the-scenes effort to help draft and pass Arizona Senate Bill 1070 by an industry that stands to benefit from it: the private prison industry.” Prison Economics Help Drive Arizona Immigration Law: The investigation uncovers how the AZ law was born in a hotel room with about 50 people organized by… Read more →

Nebraskans Should be Outraged

Re-printed by permission of the writer, of Lincoln, who is a retired attorney and Nebraska Appleseed board member. First published as an OpEd in the Lincoln Journal-Star September 19, 2010. Articles in both major Nebraska newspapers on Sept. 9, 2010, quoted testimony given at the hearing of the Nebraska Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the… Read more →

Nebraska Civic Leaders Join Hundreds in DC for Immigration Reform

On September 15th, Nebraska civic leaders joined hundreds in Washington, D.C. today to point the way forward for common-sense and humane immigration reform. The national day of action “RELIEF, REFORM, RESPECT: Civic Leaders Stand for Immigrant Families” brought hundreds of civic leaders and people of faith to the Capitol. A delegation of four Nebraska leaders visited Congressional offices to communicate… Read more →

Appleseed Receives OSHA Grant for Meatpackers’ Health & Safety

On Wednesday, Nebraska Appleseed received an $85,000 renewable Susan Harwood Capacity Building grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to support our meatpacking worker health and safety work. Appleseed is one of 45 nonprofits, community organizations, labor, and educational institutions receiving grants.

The Susan Harwood grants support training programs that educate workers and employers in industries with high injury and fatality rates; low literacy, young, limited English proficiency and otherwise vulnerable workers; and small business employers. They fund long-term programs that build safety and health competency within organizations. 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 →

Clerkship: An Important Step Toward a Fulfilling Legal Career

While working as a summer law clerk at Nebraska Appleseed I have had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of public interest issues, as well as a number of strategies for addressing those issues. Every situation is unique, requiring creative thinking and hard work to reach the best solutions. For example, certain complex legal problems necessitate combing… Read more →

Small Nebraska Town May Raise Taxes To Defend Immigration Law

Re-blogged from The Wonk Room @ Think Progress Written by Andrea Nill The Omaha World Herald reports that the Fremont City Council will consider a 2011 budget that includes property tax hikes to help pay for the defense of the city’s recently voter-approved anti-immigrant law which imposes a ban on hiring or renting property to undocumented immigrants in the small… Read more →

Concert for Equality

Concert For Equality from Producciones Cimarrón on Vimeo. On Saturday July 31st, 2010 in Omaha, NE, several bands including Bright Eyes, Cursive, Desaparecidos (their first live performance since 2002), and Lullaby For The Working Class gathered together to fight for equality by playing a benefit show for the ACLU Nebraska. All proceeds from the concerts went to the ACLU Nebraska… Read more →

Appleseed’s Summer Law Clerk Program

Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed’s law clerk program attracts some of the best and brightest public interest minded law students from Nebraska and across the country.  This summer was no exception.  We were fortunate to have eight students: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law, three from Creighton University Law School, one from the University of Iowa College of… Read more →

Lincoln Screening of 9500 Liberty – Friday 8/13

Friday, August 13 7:00 pm Westminster Church 2110 Sheridan Blvd, Lincoln Film Screening and Community Conversation with the Director of 9500 Liberty, Panelists + Live Music! The Unitarian Church Social Justice Committee (formerly Social Action) recommends this film as a part of our learning and building understanding for the Standing on the Side of Love campaign (www.standingonthesideoflove.org). The film 9500… Read more →

Immigration, Fear, Reason

The writer is semi-retired and an adjunct associate professor in the School of Natural Resources, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a member of the Lincoln Downtown Rotary Club and sits on several civic and public service boards including Nebraska Appleseed. First published as an OpEd in the Omaha World Herald, August 9, 2010. For as long as I… Read more →

Voices from Fremont – Week Two

Last Friday, we began this “Voices from Fremont” series to share residents’ experiences in the wake of the Fremont vote (see 7/29/10 posting).  Their comments show the unfortunate effect the Fremont law has already had on the community, even before it officially goes into effect. Their voices show how such policies can tear a community apart.  As we continue this… Read more →

Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes, Cursive, Lullaby for the Working Class & more, Concert for Equality, Omaha, July 31, 2010

Reblogged from Losanjealous – Written by Lindsey Shortly after getting involved with the Sound Strike to protest SB1070, Conor Oberst, a Nebraska native, announced he’d be putting together a street festival, Concert for Equality, to raise money for Nebraska’s ACLU chapter in order to help fight a similar law that had passed in Fremont, NE. The line up included a… Read more →

Voices from Fremont

Over the last two years, tensions have been building in the community of Fremont as the city has considered and now passed an ordinance that seeks to prevent undocumented immigrants from renting and working.  These ordinances have been attempted in a handful of small communities across the country and have been struck down in the courts as unconstitutional.  Aside from… Read more →

Conor Oberst, Nebraska Musicians Sponsor Concert for Equality

This Saturday, Omaha native Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes is hosting the Concert for Equality to benefit the ACLU of Nebraska’s lawsuit against Fremont’s divisive and discriminatory immigration ordinance.  The sold-out 5pm performance in downtown Benson is historic in its own right featuring numerous nationally-known Saddle Creek Records bands including some that have not played in many years.  The lineup… Read more →

Will You Stand Up to Anti-Immigrant Sentiment In Our State?

You’ve seen how over the past few months a few members of our state and communities have pursued misguided and harmful public policy designed to create fear and division and turn neighbor against neighbor: Governor Heineman’s administration eliminated pre-natal care for children of undocumented women Fremont voters passed a divisive and unconstitutional anti-immigrant ordinance, creating a climate of fear and… Read more →

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Urgently Needed

Yesterday, the President gave a long-awaited public speech on immigration. The speech reflected what we know first hand here in Nebraska; the need for common-sense immigration reform is urgent. Describing a “creaky system” of “patchwork fixes and ill-conceived revisions,” the President affirmed his commitment to an immigration reform package that provides a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrant… Read more →

Sometimes Historic Change Takes Heroic Acts

Last week, Nebraska student and wrestling champion Daniel Dominguez walked from O’Neill to Lincoln – covering 200 miles on foot – to raise awareness about the federal DREAM Act. To learn more about his incredible journey and the critical importance of the legislation, go to www.passthedreamact.org. The DREAM Act is federal legislation that would allow talented students without legal status… Read more →

Prenatal Care: The Conversation Continues

In March the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services decided to stop a decades old policy of providing prenatal care to all low-income women and over 1,600 women and unborn children lost access to prenatal care. A simple administrative fix is still available to remedy this change and Appleseed and others will continue to push for a… 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 →

State-level Immigration Enforcement Is Costly & Confusing

On Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on state-level immigration and integration policy at the UNO-hosted conference “4th Annual Latino/Latin American Cumbre/Summit of the Great Plains.” An audience of participants and panelists from around the country and the world gathered to discuss state-level policy approaches to immigration. As part of this discussion, I shared Nebraska’s… 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 →

The Reward of Working in Public Interest

I was recently asked by my law school alma mater (University of Nebraska College of Law) to reflect on my choice to pursue public interest law in Nebraska and how law school had prepared me for that task.  As I wrote out my answers, I realized how lucky I was to stumble upon Nebraska Appleseed almost nine years ago.  I… 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 →

Questions and Answers about Medicaid Coverage of Prenatal Care for Pregnant Women

For many years, Nebraska’s Medicaid program covered prenatal care for the unborn children of pregnant women, regardless of a woman’s immigration status. But, on March 1, many unborn children of pregnant women lost prenatal care covered by Medicaid. Since this changed happened there seems to be confusion about what services Medicaid will continue to cover. At Nebraska Appleseed, we are… Read more →

The Politics of Hate

Yesterday, the efforts to restore prenatal care to all low-income women in Nebraska in this legislative session came to an end.   The Legislature passed an amendment that may help a handful of women access prenatal care who were cut off on March 1st and are victims of domestic violence.  We are obviously glad to see critical prenatal care restored to… Read more →

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It was quite a week for health care.  (Please keep reading for important info on a sign on letter for prenatal care.) First, on Tuesday, President Obama signed the health insurance reform legislation into law.  Last night, the final amendments to that legislation were passed by the House, completing the long and arduous process of passing this legislation.  It is… 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. http://journalstar.com/news/local/article_9255ba4a-354d-11df-851a-001cc4c03286.html 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 →

Politics Prevail

Sad news today.  LB 1110, Senator Campbell’s bill to restore prenatal care coverage, was “bracketed” today by unanimous consent.  This means that, while the bill is technically still alive, it won’t come up on the floor this session and is essentially dead.  Unfortunately, politics prevailed over good policy and there weren’t enough votes to pass the bill. Here is the… Read more →

Just The Facts Please – The Truth About Prenatal Care

Nearly another whole week has gone by for over 1,500 women and children cut off from prenatal care.  Thankfully, there were a few bright spots this week in the effort to pass LB 1110.  The Omaha World Herald came out with a very strong editorial in support of LB 1110. Other press stories made clear that the majority if calls… 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 →

Healthy Babies or Politics?

Monday, March 1st was not a good day for Nebraska.  On Monday, over 1,500 women and their unborn children lost their access to prenatal care.  For decades Nebraska has been a state that prioritized the health of the mothers and babies in this state.  On Monday, the Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services decided that wasn’t important… 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 →

Common Sense and Prenatal Care

For years Nebraska has had a common sense, compassionate, and fiscally sound policy of providing prenatal care to low-income mothers regardless of immigration status. But now, over 1,000 pregnant women face the terrifying prospect of losing their coverage for prenatal care as of March 1st. One of the worst parts of this? The coverage could easily be continued at a… 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 →

Immigration Reform Is a Critical Part of Our Economic Recovery

We know the devastating impact our broken immigration system is having on Nebraska families and communities. According to a new report, reform is also urgent for economic reasons. Raising the Floor for American Workers: The Economic Benefits of Comprehensive Immigration Reform – released jointly by the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress and prepared by Dr. Raul… Read more →

Kitchen Tables

I love Thanksgiving.  My Dad (my favorite farmer) cooks for us, and this year, I have not one but two beautiful nieces to giggle with at the table.  This is what valuing family means to me.  I am grateful for a good meal, for family, and even for the baby drool and stuffing that will inevitably end up on my… Read more →

Freedom at Last: So Long, Lou

These past two weeks have been big weeks for immigration reform: Secretary Napolitano announced that the Administration will push for immigration reform early in 2010, rather than waiting until after the mid-term elections, Rep. Luis Gutierrez held a virtual town hall meeting on reform for more than 60,000 people in house parties around the country, and Lou Dobbs left CNN.… Read more →

Be a Part of History on Wednesday

On Wednesday night (7pm central), join a national town hall phone call with Congressman Luis Gutierrez for an exciting conversation about next steps for rational and humane immigration reform. People will be joining the town hall from parties all across the country. Take the simple step of hosting a party. It can be very informal – just invite a friend or family… 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 →

“Come to the plant and you will see”: Meatpacking Workers Want You to Know About Unsafe Conditions

Last week we released a major study of meatpacking workers’ perspectives of health and safety conditions in the industry, surveying 455 workers in one of the country’s biggest meat-producing states: “The Speed Kills You”: The Voice of Nebraska’s Meatpacking Workers. Nebraska produces one of every four steaks and hamburgers in the country. Official statistics already show that injury rates in… Read more →

Immigrants and Public Benefits in Nebraska: An Update on Implementation of LB 403

In the past few months you might have heard about Legislative Bill 403 (LB 403), which went into effect on October 1, 2009. LB 403 was passed by the Nebraska Unicameral in March, 2009. LB 403 has two distinct parts. First, LB 403 requires state agencies and political subdivisions to verify the lawful presence of applicants for “public benefits.” Second,… Read more →

Nebraska Faith Leaders and Public Call for Action on Immigration Reform This Year

[singlepic id=119 w=320 h=240 float=left]Yesterday, we were honored to take part in a powerful event highlighting the continuing urgency for immigration reform. A large gathering of prominent local leaders from diverse faith traditions held a prayer vigil with people of faith and good will calling for the humane treatment of all immigrant families and a workable immigration policy to help… Read more →

Second White House Meeting on Immigration Reform Responds to Thousands of Community Questions

While we’re immersed in one of the most important opportunities for our country’s future, the movement for health care reform, the White House and community advocates last week took a moment to demonstrate continued urgency and momentum for a fixing broken immigration system. Nearly 100 labor, business, law enforcement, faith and community leaders met with Department of Homeland Security Secretary… 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 →

The Color of Equality – Is there Justice for all?

Nebraska Appleseed, ACLU Nebraska, and NAACP Lincoln Branch have been hosting a series of conversations on racial justice, discussing life in Nebraska post-424, the ballot initiative that banned affirmative action in our state. The conversations are an opportunity for the community to gather together to learn about and discuss issues surrounding racial justice. We’ve used several starting points, including health… 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 →

Involving Local Police in Federal Immigration Enforcement Is Dangerous Policy

Our failure to create a workable immigration system continues to wreak havoc on many other community policies – the latest example is a new extension of the federal program to enlist local police in federal immigration enforcement duties. Asking state and local law enforcement to don a second hat as federal immigration officers has dangerous ramifications for public safety. When… Read more →

Celebrating Shared Values

As the Fourth of July weekend recedes into the distance, I am happily left with thoughts of picnics, Nebraska summer days, and what makes us great as a country. A couple of weeks ago we reported on Nebraska Is Home events that were scheduled to take place in three different Nebraska towns. In the days before the holiday, Fremont, Crete,… Read more →

White House Meeting a Major Step for Immigration Reform

A few days ago, we saw a major step forward for immigration reform this year. On June 25, President Obama held a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders to talk about moving immigration reform as a top priority. This meeting demonstrated the momentum that has been building around the issue, including thousands of calls to the White House and Members of… Read more →

Unity Weekend

Nebraskans come from many different cultures and walks of life where hopes and values unite people in a common search for a stronger community. This is exactly what “Nebraska is Home” groups will be celebrating this weekend in Crete, Fremont, and Grand Island. On Saturday, June 27th, “Nebraska Is Home Grand Island” will participate in the Unity Walk during the… 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 →

Fremont Reminds Us: Nebraska IS Home

If home is where the heart is, then Fremont definitely had mine this past weekend. Last Saturday, Fremont community members gathered together to launch “Nebraska Is Home Fremont,” a local campaign to promote unity through conversations, education and community building. More than 50 teachers, pastors, friends, business owners, parents and children stood together under a colorful new billboard depicting families… Read more →

What does YOUR immigration system look like?

Yesterday, together with faith, immigrant, community, civil rights, small business, legal, economic, and other community leaders, we began a nation-wide, community-based effort to reform immigration for America – for all of us, so that our country and communities can move forward. Here in Nebraska, we came together in both Lincoln and Omaha -with voices from large and small towns from… Read more →