LINCOLN, Neb.- - A nonprofit organization is filing a lawsuit to get records from federal authorities. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed a lawsuit Tuesday to ask federal authorities for records of correspondence and database searches related to ordinances in Freemont and Scribner. 

The ordinance bans some immigrants from renting housing in their communities.  

Immigration Legal fellow at ACLU, Dylan Severino said they filed a request in December of 2021 but received no answer; that’s why they are turning to the courts. 

“We have a transparent government and we need to hold our government accountable to that, right?,” said Severino. “Democracy dies in darkness, so they say. And by shining the light on it, we can find out what’s going on and if there is something going on then we can we can handle it. We can work with it. We can’t do anything when we don’t know anything, so it’s about getting the information.”

The ordinance dates back more than 14 years. In 2010 ACLU and ACLU of Nebraska sued Fremont  seeking to overturn the rental ban on the basis that it conflicts with the federal governments’s sole authority to regulate immigration and it is discriminatory. The Eight Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the challenge. 

Fremont’s mayor said that although the ordinance remains on the books, it hasn’t been enforced.

The goverment has between 20 to 30 days to respond to the ACLU request.