Nebraska Community Leaders Respond to Devastating ICE Raids with Resounding Call for Congressional Action
Heartland Workers Center joined more than 80 civic, business, faith and community leaders to demand Nebraska’s members of Congress take action to fix outdated, harmful immigration laws.
In a letter sent Aug. 15 to the state’s Congressional delegation, signatories called for immediate action to ensure no other communities endure the trauma experienced by the community of O’Neill, Nebraska, which is suffering from the fallout of destructive Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raids last week.
The letter outlines the far-reaching damage caused by such raids, stating,
“Nebraska communities have seen how raids like the one in O’Neill and in other communities across the country spread panic and confusion all over a town, making the entire city less safe.
Businesses prosper and communities thrive when everyone is made to feel welcome and safe. Our local law enforcement officers rely on a strong public trust to maintain community safety. Harmful raids make our towns less safe by destroying that trust and making people afraid to report crimes or step forward to help investigations.”
Citing the incredible show of support by O’Neill schools, churches and other communities to their neighbors, the letter lifts up the state’s strong community values, urging lawmakers to protect them by putting a stop to broken immigration policies that are hurting our state.
Your voice is needed in defense of a united Nebraska. Contact Senators Fischer and Sasse and your Representative today. Tell them we need humane and comprehensive immigration reform, not enforcement.
Read the full letter and see all signatories:
August 15, 2018
Dear members of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation,
As civic, business, faith, and community leaders our hearts are with the families of O’Neill and the surrounding areas impacted by the destructive ICE raids last week. Our thoughts especially go to the children who came home to find their parents missing.
The outpouring of support by the O’Neill schools, churches, and surrounding community to give safety and love to their neighbors is a resounding testament to the strong community values we see all across Nebraska every day.
The strength of our towns is tied to secure, united families. Time and time again, Nebraska communities have seen how raids like the one in O’Neill and in other communities across the country spread panic and confusion all over a town, making the entire city less safe.
Businesses prosper and communities thrive when everyone is made to feel welcome and safe. Our local law enforcement officers rely on a strong public trust to maintain community safety. Harmful raids make our towns less safe by destroying that trust and making people afraid to report crimes or step forward to help investigations.
How many more communities are going to have to suffer this devastation before our federal leaders take action? We call on Nebraska’s members of Congress to take action to fix our outdated and harmful immigration laws so they are rooted in Nebraska’s values.
No more communities must suffer what the people of O’Neill are going through. We need immigration laws that remove these cruel fears from our neighborhoods. Hard-working Nebraskans should have the opportunity to build their lives, raise their families, and contribute to our towns in peace. Our united future depends on it.
Rabbi Steven Abraham, Beth El Synagogue
Rabbi Teri Appleby, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun – The South Street Temple ACLU of Nebraska
Anti-Defamation League – Plains States Region
Asian Community and Cultural Center (Lincoln)
Brown Immigration Law, P.C., L.L.O.
Center for People in Need
Center for Rural Affairs
Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska (Columbus)
Charles Drew Health Center
College of Saint Mary
Compassion in Action Inc.
East African Community of Nebraska
El Centro de las Americas (Lincoln)
Empowering Families (Scottsbluff)
Rev. Jane Florence, Senior Pastor, St. Paul United Methodist Church Food Bank of Lincoln
Roger W. Foster, Crete’s Mayor
Grand Island Latino Network
Rev. Stephen Griffith, President, Faith Coalition of Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln
Pastor Jeff Hagaman, United Church of Christ, 1st Congregational (Crete) Heartland Workers Center
Immigrant Detainee Accompaniment Program
Immigrant Legal Center
inCOMMON Community Development
J. Brasch Co.
Rev. Dr. Jim Keck, First Plymouth Congregational UCC (Lincoln)
Latino Center of the Midlands
League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha
League of Women Voters of Lincoln and Lancaster County
League of Women Voters of Nebraska
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska
Malcolm X Memorial Foundation
Brian Mass, Bishop, Nebraska Synod ELCA
Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island
NAACP - Lincoln Branch
National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women Nebraska
Nebraska Catholic Conference
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
Nebraska Restaurant Association
Nebraska Retail Federation
Nebraska State AFL-CIO
Nebraskans for Peace
Omaha Children’s Choir
Omaha Together One Community
OneWorld Community Health Centers (Omaha)
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
Dave Reinecke, Mayor of Schuyler
Schlegel Center for Service and Justice at Creighton University Senator Sue Crawford
Senator Matt Hansen
Senator Sara Howard
Senator Rick Kolowski
Senator John McCollister
Senator Mike McDonnell
Senator Adam Morfeld
Senator Patty Pansing Brooks
Senator Dan Quick
Senator Paul Schumacher
Senator Tony Vargas
Senator Anna Wishart
Rev. Oscar Sinclair, Unitarian Church of Lincoln
Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Lincoln
South of Downtown Community Development Organization (Lincoln)
Trinidad Center (Lexington)
The Union for Contemporary Art
Unity in Action (South Sioux City)
UNL Define American Chapter
Voices for Children in Nebraska
Weitz Family Foundation
Women’s Fund of Omaha
Youth Care and Beyond
YWCA Adams County