Fremont Sen. Charlie Janssen announced to state lawmakers on Jan. 6 that he will carry a bill extending the power of local law enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants. The Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act (LB48) would require police officers to check a suspect’s resident status during stops or arrests if there is reason to believe the person could be in the country illegally. State Attorney General Jon Bruning helped draft the bill. After passing a similar law last April, Arizona has faced numerous legal challenges including a suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice saying that immigration enforcement is the right of federal rather than state government. That case is still awaiting a ruling. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates more than 40,000 undocumented immigrants live in Nebraska.


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