June 23, 2010

Nebraska town bars illegal immigrants from jobs and renting property

Ed Pilkington in New York

A small town in the pig-farming and cattle rearing great plains of Nebraska has opened the latest frontline in the battle over immigration by voting effectively to banish all illegal immigrants.

Under ordinance 5165, which passed in a special election yesterday, undocumented immigrants in Fremont will lose the right to rent homes and take up jobs. A new system of licences for property and business will be introduced to catch out those without proper resident status.

The measure was passed on a turn-out of 45% of the population, with 3,906 in favour and 2,908 against.

Fremont has relatively few immigrants: in a 2008 census, 4.4% of its 25,000 population were recorded as foreign born, compared with the national figure of 12.6%. Most are Hispanics.

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