Fremont, Neb (KPTM)- The battle over illegal immigration takes another round Tuesday night. That's when the Fremont City Council will look at amending its controversial ordinance that prohibits businesses to hire illegal immigrants or property owners to rent homes to them.
"It's frustrating," said Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman. "H-U-D and other agencies are saying that they see the ordinance as legal, but they want us to know that if we do enforce it, we run the risk of losing federal funding and we can't afford that."
Getzschman said the ordinance can be seen as a violation of fair housing, running the risk of losing federal funds.
"That's a huge chunk of money. It's seven point one million dollars over the past fifteen years."
The mayor is also concerned with how the nation views Fremont, Nebraska.
"The perception is that Fremont is a hateful and discriminating community. And when you put that into a prospect's mind when he's looking at Fremont for economic development, it doesn't take long to decide that they don't want to locate in Fremont, Nebraska. There are also some donors who will not donate to Midland University because of the ordinance.
Getzschman said two cities with similar ordinances have been sued and had to pay out money as a result.
"Farmers Branch, Texas paid six million dollars in legal fees and Hazleton, Pennsylvania three point four million dollars. We have to protect our city from the possibility of paying that kind of money because of the ordinance," said Getzschman.
Councilman Todd Hoppe will introduce the amendment that changes the housing aspect to the ordinance at Tuesday's Council Meeting. Public feedback is expected.