The Nebraska Supreme Court on Nov. 5 refused to rule on whether or not municipalities could enact local immigration laws. The court said plaintiffs have not proven the City of Fremont broke state laws when it approved an ordinance passed by voters in June that prohibits undocumented immigrants from working or living in the city. A lawsuit filed with Nebraska’s Federal District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund has delayed implementation of the law, pending a ruling. The state’s fight for local immigration control continued on two other fronts last week. Nebraska joined a coalition of 13 states — led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster — asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a controversial Arizona immigration law penalizing businesses for hiring undocumented immigrants. The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments on the Arizona law next month. The state also announced Nov. 5 that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fingerprinting system will be implemented in six additional Nebraska counties. The system, which scans individual prints and checks them against a Department of Homeland Security list, notifies the federal agency of criminal undocumented persons who may be eligible for deportation. With the addition of Adams, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Madison and Merrick counties, eight Nebraska jurisdictions have biometric identification capabilities. Lancaster and Douglas counties implemented the change in August. The federal immigration agency reports that 13 convicted criminal aliens were taken into custody in Nebraska and four were removed from the country in the first six weeks using the system.

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