Two lawmakers file bills targeting illegal immigrants

At least two Nevada legislators are pursuing bills on illegal immigration for the 2009 legislative session, even though similar bills didn’t get very far last time.

Assemblyman Bob Beers, R-Henderson, has requested a bill to punish employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants, and Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, has asked for a bill that would prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving most kinds of state assistance and from getting Nevada driver’s licenses.

Cobb’s bill would be similar to one he introduced in 2007 that would have prohibited people living in the United States illegally from receiving welfare and unemployment compensation.

He acknowledged that illegal immigrants are already prohibited by law from receiving these benefits, but said such laws are not enforced.

“We want to make it clear these new regulations will be enforced,” Cobb said.

Beers said his bill will be based on Oklahoma legislation and would penalize employers who “circumvent the law” by knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

He’s not optimistic about the bill’s future.

“I don’t expect this one to go anywhere, either,” Beers said. “But if, as a representative, I see laws being flagrantly broken … and do nothing about it, I’m being a hypocrite and violating my oath of office.”

Cobb said he will continue working toward such “common sense” legislation even if unsuccessful.

“We’ve got to keep bringing this issue to the forefront so Nevada voters have a real understanding of who their representatives are,” Cobb said.

But the legislator anticipates “very active support” from Republicans for his bill.

“Hopefully we’ll bring on a few Democrats as well,” Cobb said.

He said he and Beers are not working together on the bills.

Both men were first elected to the Assembly in 2006 and are up for re-election this year.

They both also were recently rated among the three most conservative members of the Assembly, along with Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, in an analysis by conservative political analyst Chuck Muth.

Cobb said that during his last campaign he learned that illegal immigration was the “number one issue” among his constituents.

He and Beers blamed Democrats in the Legislature for blocking bills related to illegal immigration.

“We have a lot of people in politics who are going to be screaming about discrimination when this bill comes up,” Beers said. “For some reason, obeying the law is now discrimination.”

Cobb’s bill also would prohibit non-U.S. citizens from voting, which they are already prohibited from doing.

Both he and Beers said they believe some undocumented immigrants have somehow circumvented that prohibition and have been voting illegally.

“We need to make it very clear that we in Nevada allow the vote only for those who are U.S. citizens,” Cobb said.

Fernando Romero, president of Hispanics in Politics, disputed the notion that ineligible people have been voting in Nevada.

“It’s hard enough to get (eligible) people to vote,” he said.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said he doesn’t believe voting by illegal immigrants is a “big problem” in Clark County.

“My personal opinion is, if you were here illegally, why would you want to draw attention to yourself by illegally voting?” he said.

Lomax said while there’s no way to know for sure how many ineligible voters are actually casting votes, his office does run driver’s license or Social Security numbers provided on voter registration forms through Department of Motor Vehicles or Social Security administration databases to make sure the numbers match the names and birth dates provided.

Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said the problem with Cobb’s and Beers’ bill requests is they address issues for which legislation is already in place.

“Certainly we need to look at the enforcement end of it, but it’s up to the judicial and executive branches to enforce, prosecute and convict,” Oceguera said.

He noted that the Legislature in 2007 adopted a bill to allow the Nevada Tax Commission to levy an undetermined fine on companies that hire illegal workers.

But Cobb said the bill was a “watered-down” version of its original, and he noted it allows fines to be levied only after the U.S. Attorney General’s office has made a final determination that the company hired illegal immigrants. The law is unenforceable as written, he said.

Romero believes all such immigration-related legislation should be handled at the federal level.

“I think the matters will be addressed nationally in the next Congress,” he said.

Congress in 2007 considered the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, but the bill failed.

Since then, Beers said, the immigration issue “has become heartburn rather than being a forefrontal migraine.”

“It’s just moved down into the gut,” he said.

As of July 4, 165 measures had been requested for drafting for Nevada’s 2009 legislative session. The list is being updated on a weekly basis.

The list can often be vague, since there is a single descriptive line for each measure proposed for drafting. But it does give a hint of what lawmakers want to address when they get together seven months from now.

Both Beers’ and Cobb’s requests, for example, are described thusly: “Makes various changes concerning foreign nationals.”

Cobb’s bill also would create penalties for exploiting illegal immigrants. He said people sometimes threaten to turn illegal immigrants over to immigration authorities or the police if they refuse to work for less than the minimum wage.

The bill also would prohibit non-U.S. citizens from receiving the Millennium Scholarship, he said.

A 2007 bill that would have denied the scholarship and loans to illegal immigrants attending state schools and universities failed.

Another 2007 bill that would have made English the official of language of Nevada also was unsuccessful.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at or 702-383-0285.

Richard Harrison, ‘The Old Man’ of ‘Pawn Stars’ dies
Richard Harrison, ‘The Old Man’ of ‘Pawn Stars’ has died. He was the patriarch of the Harrison family and the driving force behind the popular History channel program. Harrison’s death was announced this morning on the Gold & Silver Pawn Facebook page. The announcement said Harrison “was surrounded by loving family this past weekend and went peacefully.” He was 77 years old.
Protesters Line Streets for President Trump's Arrival in Las Vegas
Hundreds lined the streets in front of Suncoast to protest President Donald Trump's arrival in Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Thunder Mountain monument stands as a tribute to Native American culture
Caretaker Fred Lewis talks about Thunder Mountain monument in central Nevada, made from concrete and found items. The five-acre site is a tribute to Native Peoples of the West. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New CCSD superintendent Jesus F. Jara aims for 1st in the nation
On his third day as Clark County School District superintendent, Jesus F. Jara talks about his vision for the future during a visit to Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Ceremony Recognizes Refugee Students, Graduates
Rosy Mibulano, a graduate of Las Vegas High School who came to America from the Congo in 2015, was recognized in a ceremony for refugee students in Clark County. Like many other students relocated to Las Vegas from countries around the world, Rosy had a challenging high school experience, from learning English to adjusting to American customs and taking care of her family. On top of that, she wants to go to school to become a nurse so she can take care of her mother, who suffers from diabetes. The annual Refugee Recognition Ceremony celebrates the enormous lengths these young adults go through to create a new life for themselves. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like