Tag: Race

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Nebraska ICWA Coalition to be honored with Appleseed’s “Seeds of Justice” Award

Over the next few weeks we will be telling you about this year’s recipients of our Good Apple Awards, which will be honored at the Good Apple Awards on October 4, 2012 in Omaha. This year, we are proud to present our Seeds of Justice Award for outstanding legal contributions to public interest law to the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

The Need for Equity in Health Care

On Wednesday night in Omaha, the members of the Nebraska Health Care for America Now coalition hosted a community conversation on health disparities among minorities. This was the third in a series of conversations about the health disparities that currently exist in our system and how and why those disparities should be addressed in national health care reform. In the… Read more →