Fremont’s mayor says he’s not surprised that the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a ruling upholding the city illegal immigration ordinance and that the city will enforce the ordinance as written.
Mayor Scott Getzschman notes the court in March refused to hear appeals of lower court rulings on similar laws in Farmers Branch, TX and Hazelton, PA.
“This definitely isn’t overly surprising,” Getzschman tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KHUB, “The citizens of Fremont, they’re frustrated with the fact that the federal government won’t do their job and enforce the laws that are in place. The Supreme Court won’t deal with what’s been put in front of them. So, at the end of the day, the citizens of Fremont want this enforced.”
Lower courts struck down the ordinances in Texas and Pennsylvania. But the other two ordinances were different in that they imposed penalties on immigrants, which the Fremont ordinance does not.
The Supreme Court decision lets stand the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in June of last year that ruled the Fremont ordinance does not conflict with federal immigration laws.
Immigrants represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund sued the city of Fremont, claiming the ordinance was at odds with federal law.
The ordinance had two provisions; one contested, the other not. The contested provision prohibits landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. It requires that tenants obtain an occupancy license that can be revoked if the tenant is found to be in the country illegally. The other provision requires Fremont businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to determine the legal status of their workers.
In February Fremont votes soundly rejected a proposed change to the ordinance they approved nearly four years ago. The ballot initiative sought to strip the housing provision of the ordinance. It left intact the business provision.
Getzschman says the official reaction to the ruling is simply to implement the ordinance.
“So, at this point, based again off the ordinance that’s been put in place, the city of Fremont will continue to enforce the ordinance as it’s been written.”
The case is Keller v. Fremont, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1043.
AUDIO: Connie Green reports [:35]
Connie Green, KHUB, contributed to this article.