Immigration in Nebraska 2008


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Strategic Discussions for Nebraska researched immigration for the project's initial study. We selected Scottsbluff, Lexington, Crete and Omaha and looked at the impact immigration has had on those communities. We selected these communities for specific reasons:

  • Scottsbluff - because of its geographic and perceived cultural distance from the capital of the state, but also because its history with immigration goes back for nearly 150 years
  • Lexington - because of the changes that community has experienced since the Tyson meatpacking plant located there in 1990
  • Crete - because of the small size of the community, the changes it has experienced since the Farmland meatpacking plant located there in 1975, and also because of Doane College's long academic presence in the community
  • Omaha - because of its size, history with diversity, federal designation as a primary resettlement site for refugees and also because of its geographic and perceived cultural distance from other parts of Nebraska

We spent hundreds of hours, traveled thousands of miles and conducted scores of interviews from many perspectives in each community. We studied the long history of immigration in Nebraska and used it as a comparison to today's issues.

As you read and view this information as a whole, consider whether you still believe immigration is a problem in Nebraska, and also consider possible solutions. We suggest you contact the officials on the community, county, state and national levels and share your thoughts and possible solutions with them. I welcome your comments on this study and your suggestions for future studies. If you would like additional copies of this magazine, please contact me.

Mary Garbacz
Coordinator Strategic Discussions for Nebraska