Over one-thousand people packed the Fremont High School auditorium Tuesday night as the City Council discussed a ban on renting, hiring or harboring illegal immigrants. While he can not comment specifically on this case, Tim Counts, spokesman for U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement says many people think that a person speaks a different language, they are here illegally. That is not the case. Counts says English is not a requirement if someone wants a green card but if they want to become a citizen, they have to learn English.
However, Counts says that illegal immigration is a real problem in Nebraska and likely Fremont. He says many people don’t know how ICE operates. He says they don’t have a beat or a patrol and roam the streets looking for illegal aliens. They are an investigative agency and operate through tips, leads and pieces of intelligence.
Counts says their priority is to get criminals off the streets. He says earlier this month they arrested 18 people in a three day operation targeting illegal immigrants. Twelve of those arrested were illegal immigrants who were gang members or associated with gangs. The rest were illegal immigrants. As far as the issue in Fremont this week, Counts says cities have every right to establish legislation to enforce illegal immigration on their own.
The Fremont City Council voted Tuesday to kill the ordinance that would have banned illegal immigrants in the city limits. The ordinance was the first of its kind for Nebraska.