Target: Fremont, Nebraska Mayor Scott Getzschman
Goal: Overturn a discriminatory housing ordinance that outlaws renting to undocumented immigrants
A small Nebraska town has voted to keep an ordinance that essentially outlaws undocumented residents from renting housing.
The ordinance, originally passed in 2010, requires people applying to rent a home or apartment in Fremont, Nebraska to purchase a $5 permit and sign a document swearing that they are legal residents of this country. Although the law does not require tenants to provide proof of their legal status, it will undoubtedly encourage discriminatory housing practices by landlords.
The law has so far been a detriment to the city’s finances, as the cost of defending the ordinance has been shouldered by the town’s property taxpayers. Fremont also faces the prospect of losing millions of dollars in federal grants and further legal costs if opponents decide to challenge the law in the Supreme Court.
Regardless, 60 percent of town’s residents chose to reaffirm the law and codify this discriminatory housing policy, even despite the town’s rapidly growing Hispanic population. With the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives continuing to hedge on whether or not they will take up immigration reform and giving a different excuse everyday as to why it won’t work, local ordinances such as Fremont’s have great potential to negatively affect the national debate and further disenfranchise immigrants who are simply seeking to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Denying housing to families simply because of concerns over their immigration status is both inhumane and inexcusable. This ordinance does nothing but serve to divide the community and condone discriminatory practices and racial profiling. Sign this petition to urge the Fremont City Council to overturn the law and stop condoning racial profiling.
Dear Mayor Scott Getzschman,
Your town recently reaffirmed an ordinance originally passed in 2010, making it unlawful to rent a house or apartment to an undocumented immigrant. This law obviously condones undue discrimination and racial profiling against Latinos, and runs counter to fair housing policies. I’m sure you are aware of the potential the ordinance has to cost taxpayers in your town millions in the court fees that will be required to defend this law if its opponents take it to the Supreme Court, not to mention the grant money provided by the federal government Fremont will lose out on or be required to pay back.
The negatives of this law outweigh the perceived positives in nearly every respect. Do the smart thing and overturn this law, both for the good of the Latinos in your town and the good of your citizens overall.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Werewombat via Wikimedia Commons