FREMONT, Neb. – Two lawsuits were filed Wednesday against a small Nebraska city that has established a ban on renting to and hiring illegal immigrants — moves that worry some in the community that racial tensions will only grow.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund filed lawsuits against Fremont, saying the voter-approved ordinance amounted to discrimination.

“I’m so disappointed that a law like this could have passed here,” said Mario Martinez, a Mexican American who lives in Fremont with his wife and child.

The ordinance has divided much of the town. Supporters argue the measure was necessary to make up for what they see as lax federal law enforcement. Opponents say it could fuel discrimination. Both lawsuits filed Wednesday may not quell the debate, but the civil-rights groups hope they will end the ban.