21 February 2012

Nebraska rejects tough US immigration law

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A federal judge in Nebraska threw out a portion of a proposed US immigration law which would have prevented illegal immigrants from obtaining housing permits.

American immigration

Tough new US immigration laws have attracted significant amounts of attention and controversy.

Several states have implemented tough US immigration laws in the past few months with two in particular, Arizona and Alabama, widely regarded as the strictest anywhere in the country.

But US District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled that similar measures in Fremont, Nebraska would be in violation of federal law, although a requirement that employers verify employees' legality was upheld.

The decision was held as a victory by both supports and critics of the law, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who drafted both Arizona and Alabama's laws and defended the ordinance in the lawsuit, said the decision, which only rejected 25% of the ordinance, "vindicates the city's position".

However, attorney for the plaintiff Shirley Mora James labelled the ruling a clear victory.

"The court has gutted the ordinance," said Ms Mora James. "I do not see this as a victory for Fremont."

Local government officials from Fremont said there were no immediate plans to implement those sections of the bill which were upheld as the law had been on hold while the lawsuit was resolved.

US immigration laws implemented at state level have made nationwide news in recent weeks as studies have suggested economies will suffer and protesters have rallied for the laws' repeals.

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