A proposed law aimed at booting illegal immigrants from Fremont, Neb., is causing an uproar among residents and inciting cries of racism.
The law, which applies to illegal immigrants who were born in the United States and those who came to the country later, would require everyone who rents property in Fremont to hold an occupancy license, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
The application for the license asks people to verify their legal right to live in the United States and must be rubber-stamped by local police, according to the paper.
"I'll fight to the dying end to do what they want," longtime Councilman Bob Warner said of constituents who advocate the legislation. "I don't know why everybody is making a mountain out of something that is very simple."
Warner, the bill's sponsor, said some residents are "sick and tired" of what he believes is the federal government's lax approach to enforcing immigration.
The license costs $5 and needs to be renewed each time the renter moves. Those who are caught lying on the application and those renting without a license are subject to fines of up to $500.
Leaders in other U.S. towns have introduced comparable legislation, but it frequently winds up being struck down by the courts.
Advocates for the Hispanic community and others have complained about the proposal.
The Nebraska Mexican-American Commission issued a statement this week denouncing the "racial and anti-immigrant remarks" made at a recent Fremont council meeting discussing the ordinance.