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Cancela bill would make Nevada a sanctuary state; Roberson calls it ‘recklessly irresponsible’

Updated February 27, 2017 - 6:24 pm

CARSON CITY — A bill introduced Monday in the Nevada Senate would prohibit state and local law agencies from conducting immigration enforcement operations.

Senate Bill 223, sponsored by Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, and a host of other Democratic lawmakers, comes amid stepped-up immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump.

The bill would prohibit police agencies, including school and campus police departments, from using money, facilities, property, equipment or personnel for immigration enforcement purposes.

It would further restrict collecting information on a person’s immigration status and prohibit detaining someone on the basis of a hold request from the federal government unless there is an independent finding of probable cause.

The bill would require an arrest warrant before an agency could transfer custody of a person to federal immigration authorities.

Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, called the bill “recklessly irresponsible” and “outrageous.”

“This Democrat bill will undoubtedly result in violent criminals, who have no business being in our state, to be released back into our communities to wreak more havoc on Nevadans,” Roberson said in a statement.

Trump campaigned on a promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants and tighten border security.

This month the Associated Press detailed a memo draft that was considered by the White House, which called for the mobilization of National Guard troops across 11 states, including Nevada.

The memo proposed using as many as 100,000 troops to act as immigration enforcers in finding and deporting undocumented immigrants. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said he would not consider calling on the National Guard to act as an immigration enforcement agency.

“I’m not sure it’s even legal,” he said when asked about the memo.

Sandoval said Congress needs to pass clear immigration laws so “everyone knows what the rules are going to be going forward.”

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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