Star Tribune

LINCOLN, Neb. - Anne Hobbs was angry. The head of the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission had just learned of a Hispanic couple who said their landlord asked for their driver’s licenses ? but didn’t ask the same of non-Hispanic tenants.

Hobbs said it sounded like the couple were “treated differently than everybody else because of national origin,” and sent the case to the state’s top prosecutor, hoping he would sue on their behalf under fair housing laws.

When Attorney General Jon Bruning received the case, he was angry, too ? for a different reason than Hobbs.

“I’m not going to use taxpayer dollars to file lawsuits for illegal aliens,” said Bruning after learning the couple was in the U.S. illegally. “You’re not going to get a free lawyer” from his office, he said, “if you’re not a citizen of this country.”

Critics say Bruning’s legal rationale is so off-base that he may end up in court after all ? and not as a prosecutor. Immigration activists suggest they may be laying the groundwork for a first-of-its kind lawsuit, with Bruning as the defendant.

Bruning, a Republican who has made no secret of his ambition for higher office, argues that the federal 1996 welfare reform law prohibits him from providing legal services to illegal immigrants. He points to a section that says only legal residents should get state or local public benefits. The law defines them to include welfare, disability and health services.

It doesn’t mention legal services, but Bruning believes they are included in wording that denies “any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household or family eligibility unit.”

Immigration advocates say the interpretation is unprecedented and mean-spirited, and that discrimination should be prosecuted regardless of the victim’s immigration status.

5 Responses to “Nebraska Attorney General Refuses To File Lawsuit To Protect Illegal Aliens Fair Housing Rights”
  1. melodyNo Gravatar says:

    Law abiding citizens have a problem. If you knowingly rent to an illegal, you can get in trouble, but if you ask for an ID you can get in trouble?

    I call this type of rule “Whatever a U.S. citizen does the U.S. government has the right to destroy you one way or the other.”

  2. SteeleNo Gravatar says:

    Well the Hispanic couple will have to prove that the landlord did in fact not ask non-Hispanics for proof of identity and that the Hispanics were treated differently than non-Hispanics.

    Additionally, the landlord could also say that he was requesting photo ID to prove identity as he was considering them for tenants, and needed the ID for the lease in case they jump bye bye leaving him damages. If a landlord does not ask for photo ID on a prospective tenant, then they are just asking for trouble. I mean, there aren’t too many places anymore that don’t ask for a picture ID, do a credit check, a background check and check your references including the current landlord before they rent to you.

    As for the AG, it is his right to not persue a case if he feels that 1. he does not have a case and 2. he does not have a case he can win. His mistake was to way that he was not going to file a suit for illegal aliens. By him saying “You’re not going to get a free lawyer if you’re not a citizen of this country.” that in fact shows strong suspicion that the Hispanic couple were in fact illegals (Remember folks, not EVERY Hispanic person is illegal) combined with the fact they would not produce a driver’s license for the prospective landlord.

    The fact is, the AG is looking out for the best interests of the State in that tax dollars are spent on legal NE residents. It does not have anything in a way to do with legal US residency. The NE AG is there to serve the legal residents of NE. If they are not legal US residents, then they are not legal NE residents and thus the AG does not have to represent them. It’s just a simple point of law as the AG points out. QUOTE: “But he said he isn’t legally obligated to prosecute on their behalf, and that they should seek legal counsel elsewhere.”

    And he’s right. If they wish to sue for damages, then they can hire their own attorney against the landlord, which brings us back around full circle, to they would have to prove that the prospective landlord did infact show prejudicial treatment to them and all he has to say is that he wanted documentation of identity (not residency) to ensure that if he rented the property to them, he could track them down if the bailed on him or trashed the place.

    I wouldn’t loose sleep over it if I were the AG or the landlord, because once I was found not-guilty of of discrimination, I’d sue for slander, if that is allowed in NE, on the basis that I was just trying to get proof of identity (not residency) for documentation on a lease and not trying to prove residency.

  3. ChinaWallNo Gravatar says:

    Attorney General Jon Bruning is someone I can respect and will support anyway I can.
    Now this is a good American, he did the moral and lawful thing as did the landlord.
    All Mexicans are suspect until we can get this Illegal Alien disaster under control.
    They have declared war on whit America and I think we should respond in kind.

    I am tired of their racist?s attitude. Had the Invasion not happened there would not be a problem. 20 million undesirables are unacceptable and we have the right to choose whom we allow in OUR country.

    When the Constitution was twisted to suit the 18th amendment to allow anchor babies and again in 2007 it sends the message that the rest of us will allow such ignorance to prevail and we shall not!

    Pack your burros you will be going back to your country of Pride and allegiance.

    The full weights of American citizens have not been brought to bear yet but it will and I will be thee as my family has for 400 years.

  4. joNo Gravatar says:

    his only mistake was that he believed the laws on the books about no public funding and services are to go to illegal invaders. someone forgot to tell him that the rest of the gov’t trashed that law along with all the others when it comes to invaders. LA RAZA……all for the race, nothing for anybody else! where the hell did this guy think he was? in america, the land of the free and the home of the brave?
    poor delusional bugger!

  5. litew8No Gravatar says:

    Those advocates are true cheese heads. I hope Bruning wins. We need more people voicing their concern specifically about illegal aliens, like Bruning is doing.

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