Senate adds Nevada to border panel


WASHINGTON — Debating a major immigration bill, the Senate agreed Wednesday to give Nevada a seat on a federal commission that would form if authorities fail to secure the border with Mexico in the next five years.

The state would have a representative on the Southern Border Security Commission, a body that would be set up if the Department of Homeland Security fails to come up with a plan that stops 90 percent of illegal border crossings.

The high-level 10-member commission would include the governors of California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, and appointees of the president and congressional leaders.

An amendment by Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., would add an 11th seat, for Nevada. It passed 89-9.

“I hope we secure our borders effectively and quickly so that no such commission is ever needed,” Heller said.

But if one becomes necessary, Heller said, “it is more than reasonable to argue that Nevada, which is a short drive away from San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix, should be included.”

Heller said Nevada, with a growing Hispanic population, “faces many of the same immigration challenges” as the border states.

Nobody spoke against the amendment, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

 

Comment section guidelines

The below comment section contains thoughts and opinions from users that in no way represent the views of the Las Vegas Review-Journal or GateHouse Media. This public platform is intended to provide a forum for users of reviewjournal.com to share ideas, express thoughtful opinions and carry the conversation beyond the article. Users must follow the guidelines under our Commenting Policy and are encouraged to use the moderation tools to help maintain civility and keep discussions on topic.