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Immigration fight heats up in Nevada Legislature

CARSON CITY — Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson introduced a counterpunch Monday in Nevada’s partisan debate over undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities.

Roberson, R-Henderson, introduced Senate Bill 333, which would prohibit cities and counties from enacting ordinances or policies that ban or discourage cooperation with the federal government on immigration issues.

SB333 is a parry to Senate Bill 223, introduced in February by Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, and a host of other Democratic lawmakers. That 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 also 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.

Roberson at the time called Cancela’s bill “irresponsible” and “outrageous.”

His proposed legislation would require the state attorney general to investigate any complaints against local governments, which could lose all state funding if violations are found.

Senate Bill 331, also sponsored by Roberson, requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to turn over to the secretary of state information on undocumented drivers who have authorization cards to drive. It requires the secretary of state to remove any noncitizens from voter rolls and county clerks to cancel their voter registration.

Nevada approved authorization cards in 2013. It was designed to make roads safer. Advocates argued many undocumented residents drive illegally, and giving them a legal means to obtain driving privileges would ensure they understand the rules. They also said they would more apt to obtain auto insurance.

Since the law was enacted, more than 30,000 driver authorization cards have been issued by the DMV.

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

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