OMAHA — Nebraskans representing business, education, health and more joined in sending a letter this week to the state’s congressional delegation that urges immediate action for immigration reform.
Nearly 40 organizations from across the state said in the letter that more than 35 years have passed since Congress has taken “meaningful action” on immigration-related laws that “create stability” for migrant families, employers and towns.
“Yet many who have been contributing for decades — including Nebraska Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status residents and other longtime community members — have no way to apply for residency and citizenship until Congress fixes our outdated immigration laws,” the letter said.
The groups highlighted their favored legislation, including the Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929 and the Dream and Promise Act, which would create pathways to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants and those brought to the country as youths by parents.
“If this isn’t done by the end of the year, everything has to start over again next year,” said Darcy Tromanhauser of Nebraska Appleseed.
Queries to Nebraska’s congressional delegates regarding their reaction to the letter were not immediately answered.
Appleseed also is part of a different coalition, including state Chambers of Commerce and Omaha Together One Community, that began meeting earlier this year to explore ways to encourage immigration-related legal and policy changes that could benefit the state’s labor shortage.
The letter also talked about the state’s workforce, saying many workers now in Nebraska have only temporary legal status.
“Nebraska communities, schools and workplaces face constant uncertainty because a part of our Nebraska family has no way to apply for permanent residency,” the letter says.
The organizations signing onto the letter included religious groups, labor groups, children’s advocacy groups, YMCAs, the Nebraska Hospital Association and the Nebraska Cattlemen.
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