Residents of Fremont, Nebraska
, are getting a chance today to decide whether or not to officially ban the hiring and/or renting of property to immigrants illegally living in the city. Today's vote has been two years in the making as proponents collected signatures to put the issue to a public vote.
The city of Fremont and many others across the country have undoubtedly been encouraged by Arizona
's recent crackdown on illegal immigration, despite President Obama's objections. Fox News reports
A man who helped write the Arizona law is helping to fight for the ordinance in Fremont, which has seen its Hispanic population surge in the past two decades. That increase is largely because they were recruited to work for the Fremont Beef and Hormel plants, and the city maintains an enviably low unemployment rate.
Nonetheless, residents worry that jobs are going to illegal immigrants who they fear could drain community resources.
Clint Walraven, who has lived in Fremont all his 51 years, said the jobs should go to legal residents who are unemployed -- something he believes the ordinance would help fix. Discussions on the issue can get heated, he said, particularly if racism is mentioned.
"It has nothing to do with being racist," he said. "We all have to play by the same rules. ... If you want to stay here, get legal."