Mayor Resigns After Passage of Anti-Immigrant Measure

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DENVER-- After 22 years in office, Donald B. Edwards, the mayor of Fremont, Nebraska, is stepping down after the passage of a controversial anti-immigration measure. The ordinance was approved in a special election last June and was slated to go into effect in July. But lawsuits filed by the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) have delayed its implementation.

In a letter to the council, Edwards, 71, said that he has decided to resign, citing his health and his family as his main priorities. Edwards was elected as mayor in 1988 and reelected four times until 2008.

In July 2008, Edwards voted against the proposal requiring Fremont businesses to verify the immigration status of potential employees and landlords to verify the status of potential tenants. The ordinance, however, was approved in 2010 through a petition referendum, and the city council has postponed its implementation until after the lawsuits are settled.