Nebraska immigrants say Ricketts’ border policy goes too far



OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and 10 other Republican governors will travel to Texas on Wednesday to push President Joe Biden to respond more forcefully to migrants trying to enter the United States there.

But Nebraska immigrants and those helping them say the governor’s actions – including sending 32 Nebraska State Patrol troops to Texas this summer – put thousands of Nebraskans at risk.

Local immigrants and immigrant advocates told 3 News Now Investigators they hoped for better treatment after four years under former President Donald Trump.

But they say a lot of insults, stares and threats persist because politicians like Ricketts continue to anger Republican supporters against people crossing the border.

Grand Island resident Yolanda Nuncio says brown-skinned people and people whose first language is not English are often singled out, regardless of their legal status or their families, like hers, are American.

“It contributes to the fear of people, to the terror of people and to people who don’t know where they are and feel unwanted in Nebraska,” she said.

The stakes are real for local immigrants and local immigrant families, especially in Lexington, Nebraska, resident Gladys Godinez, born in Guatemala.

She says she fears that Latino children will hear the message that they are not welcome and that there will be consequences. She fears that many will leave the state, costing families and the economy.

The nuncio and Godinez said they were sad to see Nebraska spending around $ 500,000 to send state troops to law enforcement in Texas and assist the border patrol this summer near Del Rio, Texas.

3 News Now Investigators made a story this week that explored why Nebraska taxpayers paid a bill for this deployment that Texas seems unlikely to reimburse.

TEXAS HAS NOT PAYED: Nebraska Still Pays $ 500,000 Bill for Helping Raise Borders

Nebraska still foots the bill for sending troops to the border

“Their responsibility should be in our communities, in our state, taking care of our people and the people who live in Nebraska,” said the nuncio.

Ricketts has defended his decision to send the troops to the border, as well as his decision to draw attention to an issue he describes as being of “national security and humanitarian” importance.

“1.3 million people have attempted to cross so far this year,” he said. “It’s going to have a huge impact on all of our communities, not just in Texas, but it’s going to spread to all of the United States.”

The nuncio and Gomez say they would prefer Ricketts to focus on the needs of those on the border, including the thousands of potential refugees who fled Haiti after the storms hit the island nation.

The nuncio said if the state can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to send law enforcement soldiers to the border, it should also send water, food and other supplies. to help people survive.

Godinez said: “We are missing this piece, the human piece. Our great-grandparents, you know, our great-great-grandparents came to Nebraska to build a better future for themselves, because they were looking for it because of violence, because of religion (persecution).

Both say they would like to see the temperature of our political discourse on immigration drop.

“Everything seems to want to push everything into a divisive, far left, far right role, but I think I definitely see it as just a humanitarian piece, where individuals just need help,” Godinez said. . “And are we ready to help them?” And the answer right now, the governor says no. But we want to say yes, because it is definitely something we would do for our neighbor.

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