We were a nation that was founded upon Christian values where we prided ourselves on welcoming immigrants, the poor and down trodden who wanted nothing more but to make a better life for our families. Extreme Arizona SB1070-style legislation in Nebraska will indeed betray what made the United States of America a great nation, and it will contribute to more economic woes. In fact, the nature of the SB 1070 bill has already cost the State of Arizona a minimum of $140 million.
State Senator Charlie Janssen has promised to introduce a bill identical to Arizona’s infamous SB1070 law. This law would mandate state and local police to detain undocumented immigrants based on ‘reasonable suspicion’, and it will in effect legalize racial profiling. In an attempt that will most certainly encroach upon the American Constitution, Senator Janssen has promised to introduce a birthright citizenship bill that will deny citizenship to children of undocumented parents, even though the 14th amendment is clear about birthright citizenship.
The extremism that led to the creation of Arizona’s SB 1070 became detrimental to that economy and it now holds a reputation as being anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant. We believe that a Nebraska Compact could indeed reverse any hateful legislation that are aimed towards immigrants and U.S. born American children. It is our goal to save the state from future economic distress in light of the studies that point to Arizona’s disaster.
The Nebraska Compact is modeled after the Utah Compact. A group of leaders in Utah banded together to form a broad coalition known as the Utah Compact, which embraces a set of principles to guide the immigration discussion. These Utah leaders had foresight and wanted to avoid the measures taken by Arizona. Instead of waiting for the bills to be introduced, several religious groups chose to get ‘in front of’ the issue by embracing a set of principles that embodied Christian American and humanitarian values.
Some key supporters of the Utah Compact are the Mormon Church, the Catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way, two former governors of Utah, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Thanks in no small measure to the Mormon Church for supporting the Utah Compact and taking their first stand ever on immigration reform. As a result of the Utah Compact, the expected Utah bills are likely to be ‘dead on arrival’ within the Utah Legislature.
The Nebraska Compact is non-partisan and welcomes all groups from across the political, ideological, religious and business spectrum by adapting a straightforward set of guiding principles — much as the passengers of the Mayflower, who were both religious refugees and secular, signed the Mayflower Compact before disembarking to begin the colony at Plymouth.
The legal arm of an organization known as the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) is known for writing bills (Proposition 187 and SB 1070) that are unconstitutional, and we expect that both Nebraska bills will be copycats bills to this nature. We strongly believe a Nebraska Compact is vital in order to fight FAIR’s evil agenda. All similar bills that have been introduced in other states have resulted in expensive lawsuits, negative economic growth and a loss in taxes due to mass exodus of Hispanic families.
For example, in Fremont, FAIR wrote an ordinance almost identical to that of the legislation within Hazelton, PA. The result in both Fremont and Hazelton was followed by an increase of hatred towards Hispanics, hate crimes and a poisonous atmosphere that eventually pushed undocumented immigrant families to leave. That said, the exodus also affected many legal immigrants and Hispanic citizens who owned and operated small businesses within the Hispanic community.
Somos Republicans was among the original group of signatories to the Utah Compact, and we are driving a similar effort in Nebraska by reaching out to a broad group of community, civil, religious and business leaders who do not want anti-immigrant extremism to hurt our state’s economy and reputation. We want to be recognized as a place that welcomes the hard working immigrant that will help grow our economy.
Editor’s Note: Bold Nebraska is an arena for diverse and often overlooked political opinions to be presented and debated. We do not agree with the Somos Republicans’ statements regarding Ben Nelson and Tom White. We are watching who their donors are to see if they are simply an organization to toss out the welcome matt to Latinos in the GOP. Because, if you look at the GOP’s voting record, there is no denying they have a long way to go to be “friendly” to the fastest growing minority population in the United States. That being said, we think the Nebraska Compact is a positive, bipartisan product that could move our state forward. Feel free debate it’s merits in the comment section — we love to hear your opinions.