Nebraska groups, leaders respond to ICE arrests of undocumented workers
Nebraska leaders and advocacy groups are speaking out after a federal raid resulted in the arrests of 133 undocumented workers in Nebraska and Minnesota on Wednesday.
The enforcement operation was part of a 15-month, ongoing investigation based on evidence that these companies allegedly knowingly hired illegal aliens at their facilities, and that many of these aliens are using fraudulent identification belonging to U.S. citizens.
Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer released the following statement on the matter:
Our nation's laws need to be enforced in a uniform and respectful way. But with Nebraska's unemployment below 3%, our ag producers and small businesses need workers. We should be focusing on border security and simplifying guest-worker programs to help small businesses hire the staff they need.
Darcy Tromanhauser of Nebraska Appleseed, an advocacy group, released the following statement:
Senseless raids like these today leave long-lasting damage across entire communities. They tear apart hard-working families and spread panic throughout towns across our state. As rumors of an increased ICE presence have recently spread across central Nebraska, we’ve seen how the fear has hurt local communities. Parents become afraid to go to work or even send their children to school. It leaves a scar across entire towns. The White House’s cruel anti-immigrant policies aren’t just hurting families at our southern border, they are causing deep pain right here at home.
Our immediate focus is on helping the community and making sure all the children in these affected families are safe. Tearing apart hard-working families – separating mother and fathers, children from parents - is wrong. With Nebraska’s members of Congress in the state on recess, they now have a front-row seat to the destruction these anti-immigrant policies levy on families and communities. We urge our leaders to fix our antiquated immigration laws to reflect human dignity and allow hard-working Nebraska families to stay together and keep contributing to our state.
Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln released the following statements via Twitter:
Right now Nebraska children are finding out they don’t have parents because they are not there to pick them up from school. Our utterly broken and heartless immigration policies destroys communities and tears apart families. Shameful.
I will work with other legislators to introduce legislation next year making it unlawful for the use of the State Patrol in federal immigration raids.
Rose Godinez, legal and policy counsel for the ACLU of Nebraska, released the following statement:
The Trump administration’s war on immigrants was waged in Central Nebraska today. The ACLU condemns this ongoing campaign of misery that targets immigrants, disrupts local businesses and separates families. Immigrants enrich Nebraska communities in countless ways and are fulfilling an important role in our local economy. We are proud to stand in solidarity with our Nebraska neighbors and a host of Nebraska leaders across the political spectrum from the faith community, business community and agriculture community, in urging our Congressional delegation to stop playing politics and enact immigration reform, including a permanent solution for DREAMers, TPS recipients, asylees and refugees. We encourage attorneys interested in volunteering to serve those affected by the recent ICE raid to contact Immigrant Legal Center or ACLU of Nebraska for training resources and community members to report suspected civil rights violations to the ACLU, because the Constitution protects immigrants too.