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Nebraska Policy

Updated As Of: March 9, 2017

The State of Nebraska provides in-state tuition to undocumented students as of 2006.
  • LB 239 | Student Eligibility Requirements
    • Reside in Nebraska for at least three years prior to high school graduation/obtaining a GED
    • Graduate from a Nebraska public or private high school or obtain a GED
    • Live with a parent or guardian while attending high school
    • Be registered as an entering college student not earlier than the 2006 fall semester
    • Provide an affidavit stating intention to become a permanent resident at their earliest opportunity. If the parent ceases to reside in Nebraska, the student can retain resident status if the student has a bona fide intention to reside in Nebraska 
  • LB 152 was introduced in 2003 and would have provided undocumented students with in-state tuition, but failed to pass.
  • In 2006, the Nebraska legislature passed LB 239, which allows undocumented students to receive in-state tuition if they fulfill the student eligibility requirements.
  • Senator Charlie Janessen introduced LB 657 in 2011, which would have repealed in-state tuition for undocumented students.
  • LB 48, introduced in 2011, would have required police officers who stop or arrest a person to check whether he or she is in the country legally if the officers have "reasonable suspicion" to think otherwise. Anyone who could not prove he or she is here legally would be held, and federal immigration authorities would be notified.
  • LR 39 was a 2011 resolution that would have recommended certain basic principles for state and national immigration reform.
  • LB 324 creates an overly broad defense for employers to avoid paying workers' compensation to employees they feel sustained injuries prior to coming to work for their current employer. The bill would allow employers to deny workers' compensation based on information listed on job applications or pre-employment questionnaires, which is not always clear.
  • DREAMers v. Governor Dave Heineman and DMV was filed after the governor released a notice that DACA-eligible immigrants will not be eligible for driver’s licenses and state IDs. In 2015, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill over the governor's veto that allows all immigrants listed in the federal REAL ID Act, including DACA recipients, to receive driver's licenses. 
  • Fremont NE City Ordinance 5165, passed June 2010, requires businesses to use E-Verify. ACLU quickly brought a lawsuit against Fremont in Martinez and Keller v. City of Fremont.  On July 2013 the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the city.
  • LR 399, a resolution introduced by a bipartisan group of 14 senators and passed in 2014, calls on Nebraska’s U.S. Congressional delegation to take action in support of immigration reform.
  • Nebraska Appleseed fights for rights, justice, and opportunity for all Nebraskans.
  • Justice for our Neighbors provides free legal services, education, and advocacy for immigrant issues.
  • Nebraska is Home is an effort by Nebraskans to encourage immigrants to bring jobs and opportunities to the state as well as build a welcoming community.
  • ACLU Nebraska is committed to protecting the civil rights of all persons through legal, legislative, and public education programs.

Federal law has been unsuccessful at addressing comprehensive access to postsecondary education for undocumented students. Despite efforts to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, Congress has not addressed the current ambiguous language in IIRIRA regarding undocumented students' eligibility for educational benefits (i.e. in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid programs). Therefore, much of the policy activity regarding postsecondary access for undocumented students has shifted to state and system levels. As a result, state policymakers and higher education institutions take varied approaches to either broadening or restricting access to postsecondary education and educational benefits. Others states have yet to take formal action on this issue, leaving the decision to individual campus leaders.

Under the provisions of this ambiguous policy context, undocumented youth encounter contentious environments with policies that range from inclusive, restrictive, or unstipulated stances.

Inclusive: States with policies that explicitly grant in-state tuition and/or eligibility for public financial aid for undocumented students.

Restrictive: States with policies that explicitly deny eligibility for admission and/or in-state tuition for undocumented students.

Unstipulated: States that do not have stated policies that explicitly address undocumented student access to postsecondary education.

State and system policies are volatile and continuously changing. For the latest, please visit the uLEAD NewsdeskFor information specific to individual state context, click in the subheadings below.