CARSON CITY – The 2013 Legislature will consider a proposal to adopt legal ways to reduce the illegal immigration population in Nevada and another to let election workers request photo identification before voters can cast ballots.
Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, who submitted the bill draft requests that were released Monday, doubts he can pass his bill dealing with illegal immigration because of Democratic opposition. He introduced a version of the bill in 2011, but it was rejected.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week rejecting part of Arizona’s immigration law, Hansen said he asked the legislative attorney to draft a bill that included parts that were found constitutional.
That is the clause that allows police to request identification of people they suspect are in the country illegally after they have stopped their vehicles for another violation.
"If they cannot produce valid identification, why are they driving?" Hansen asked. "I want laws encouraging as many options to keep illegal aliens out of Nevada as possible. The real reason we need these laws is the federal government is not doing its job."
But he acknowledge that if the state passes such a law, then it would remain U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s responsibility to pick up any illegal aliens whom Nevada police detain. They could decide just to let them go, he added.
He said Nevada has a lot of unauthorized residents, and they are driving down the pay of legal workers because they will work for less pay. He said employers should be disciplined for hiring people in the country illegally.
"I am doing this to honor a campaign promise," Hansen said. "If it were on the ballot, it would win overwhelmingly and over half the Hispanics would vote for it."
Hansen also does not predict success for his photo ID requirement for voters. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Arizona photo ID law in April, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana voter ID law in 2008.
While some people may contend the photo requirement is racist and an attempt to block minority voting, Hansen said his goal is to prevent fraudulent voting by anyone.