Press Release: Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Bill to Limit Inquiries into Immigration Status
January 22nd, 2019
Lincoln, NE— 1.22.19 — Today Senator Megan Hunt introduced LB502, legislation that would limit the ability of law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of individuals unless required by state or federal law. The purpose of the Limited Immigration Inquiry Act is to improve public safety by removing barriers that discourage immigrants from reporting crimes. According to a nationwide survey of prosecutors conducted by the ACLU and the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project (NIWAP), fears of deportation and immigration consequences have caused some immigrants to stop reporting crimes such as domestic violence, theft, and child abuse.
At least seven percent of Nebraska residents are immigrants and are less likely to interact with the government to report violations of the law due to fear of backlash, according to ACLU of Nebraska data.
“For the justice system to be effective, courts must be accessible to all members of the public, regardless of their immigration status,” Hunt said. “When Nebraskans are afraid to call for help, to go court, or report crimes to law enforcement, public safety suffers.”