Tag: Immigrants & Communities

STATEMENT: Ensuring all Nebraskans are counted and represented in every community

***For Immediate Release*** Thursday, November 21, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119 C: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org   Ensuring all Nebraskans are counted and represented in every community Nebraska is the first state to release confidential information to the U.S. Census Bureau LINCOLN—The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently released it will be… Read more →

Hatred does not reflect American values. Immigrants bring vibrancy and resiliency to our communities

Immigrants bring vibrancy and resiliency to our communities Once again, hatred and violence devastate communities across our country As we mourn the devastating attacks that occurred this weekend in El Paso,TX and Dayton, OH, we stand with these vibrant and resilient communities. Inhumane and violent actions toward our neighbors do not reflect our core values as a country. Below is… Read more →

Take Action: Dream and Promise Act passed the House Judiciary!

Last week, the American Dream and Promise Act passed out of the House Judiciary committee. These bills would provide protections to Dreamers and longtime residents with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) status who are part of the fabric of communities across our state of Nebraska and the nation. Did you know the average age of a… Read more →

Statement: A Step in the Right Direction for Positive Immigration Laws

***For Immediate Release*** Thursday, May 23, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director (402) 438-8853 Ext. 119 mcazarez@neappleseed.org A Step in the Right Direction for Positive Immigration Laws Longtime immigrant Nebraskans need permanent protections to continue contributing to local communities   LINCOLN – Yesterday, the Dream Act and American Promise Act passed out of the House Judiciary committee. These positive, long… Read more →

Family-based and humanitarian immigration strengthen our communities

***For Immediate Release*** Friday, May 17, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director Cell: (402) 504-0074 mcazarez@neappleseed.org Family-based and humanitarian immigration strengthen our communities Keeping families separated undermines our American values   LINCOLN – Yesterday, the Administration gave a speech at the Rose Garden about changing the current immigration system. His message included cutting the number of family-based and humanitarian visas… Read more →

The ‘Invisible Wall’ is creating real barriers for local residents

The ‘Invisible Wall’ is creating real barriers for local residents Processing wait times for U.S citizenship are getting longer Recent headlines have focused on the numerous attacks on asylum seekers and refugees, program terminations for certain immigrant groups, and a call to build one large wall at the southern border of the United States and Mexico. Meanwhile, the administration is… Read more →

RELEASE: 4th annual Lincoln Unites! A multicultural celebration

***For Immediate Release*** Friday, May 10, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director (402) 438-8853 Ext. 119 mcazarez@neappleseed.org Lincoln Unites! A multicultural celebration welcoming cultures and vibrancy to Lincoln Dance, Food, and Entertainment! Experience Lincoln’s diverse communities LINCOLN – The Lincoln Unites! multicultural celebration will be held Friday, May 10 at the Nebraska History Museum (131 Centennial Mall N) in downtown… Read more →

RELEASE: TODAY, Dream & TPS Press Conference

***For Immediate Release*** Thursday, April 18, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director (402) 504-0074 (cell) mcazarez@neappleseed.org Positive immigration legislation would allow Dreamers and TPS residents to continue contributing to communities Community leaders and Dreamers tell Congress the time is now to protect immigrant Nebraskans LINCOLN – Nebraska community leaders including Dreamers and TPS residents voiced resounding support for the U.S.… Read more →

MEDIA ADVISORY: Dream & TPS Press Conference April 18

***Media Advisory*** April 16, 2019 Contact, Darcy Tromanhauser (402) 803-0382 (cell) dtromanhauser@neappleseed.org ADVISORY: Community members call for permanent protections for immigrant Nebraskans at April 18 Press Conference Nebraskans urge congressional delegation to pass new positive immigration legislation to create stability for Nebraska families and communities LINCOLN — On Thursday, April 18, Dreamer Nebraskans and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) residents –… Read more →

STATEMENT: Appleseed welcomes Senate introduction of Dream Act and Secure Act

***For Immediate Release*** March 26, 2019 Contact: Omaid Zabih Federal Policy Director Nebraska Appleseed Phone: 402-438-8853 x128 Mobile: 605-310-4060 Email: ozabih@neappleseed.org Nebraska Appleseed Welcomes Senate Introduction of the Dream Act and the Secure Act of 2019 Long overdue legislation would provide stability for Nebraska families and communities Lincoln, NE – Today, Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham introduced the Dream… Read more →

Take Action: Reopen government, reject anti-immigrant bill

The longest government shutdown in history has caused serious harm to families, communities, and workers across the country. Services for nutrition programs, Native American health care, rental housing, and public health and safety are increasingly threatened. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have felt the financial strain that has made paying rent, feeding their families, or going to the doctor… Read more →

Focus on border wall funding is dangerous distraction, harming families and communities

Tonight, President Trump stated that the government shutdown will continue. This decision is detrimental to families and communities across the country. Instead of reversing the Administration’s cruel policies towards children and families – tearing apart kids from their parents, jailing children in cages, and tear-gassing families fleeing violence – the president wants to move forward with an unproductive, wasteful plan… 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 →

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 →

Fight back against the House’s anti-Dreamer bills

Over the past few years, Nebraskans across the state have stood with hard-working, talented young Dreamers, whose roots have been planted in this state since childhood. Dreamers like Joseline and Joel grew up in Nebraska, went to our schools, and are starting their careers here. Now, they and their families are under threat and need our help. At a time… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Volunteer Spotlight – Sloan Rupp

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post from Appleseed… Read more →

Roots of Appleseed – Norm Pflanz

Note: Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we will be taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   Fighting for human rights has taken Norm Pflanz around the world,… 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 →

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 →

Legislative Update – February 29, 2016

It was an exciting week at the State Capitol as one of our biggest priority bills faced a first-round vote last week. Plus, Nebraskans got their chance to tell their State Senators why they support health coverage for hard-working people. This is the final week of committee hearings before the Legislature moves to all-day floor debate next week. Advocates urge… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

“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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →