Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Gov. Brian Sandoval Says Today’s Ruling On Arizona Immigration Law Shows Need For Federal Reform

By Sean Whaley | 10:59 am June 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Arizona immigration law case points out the need for Congress and the president to come together and reform the country’s immigration laws.

“While I have always supported Arizona’s Tenth Amendment right to enact laws to address its unique concerns with public safety and have said all along the law is not needed in Nevada, I understand and respect the Supreme Court’s application of the Supremacy Clause,” he said.

Photo by Michael L. Dorn via Wikimedia Commons.

In today’s ruling, the court struck down much of the law passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by GOP Gov. Jan Brewer.

One provision, requiring police to perform immigration checks on those they arrest or stop for questioning, was upheld by the court.

But other provisions, including one authorizing police to arrest immigrants without warrants where probable cause exists that they committed a public offense making them removable from the country, were struck down by the court.

Also rejected were sections making it a state crime for “unauthorized immigrants” to fail to carry registration papers and other government identification; and a ban on those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit or perform work.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., expressed concern at the section of the law that was upheld by the court.

“I am greatly concerned that the provision putting American citizens in danger of being detained by police unless they carry their immigration papers at all times will lead to a system of racial profiling,” he said in a statement.

“Immigration reform should continue securing our borders; punish unscrupulous employers who exploit immigrants and undercut American wages; pass the DREAM Act; and require the 11 million who are undocumented to register with the government, learn English, pay fines, pay taxes and go to the end of the line to legalize their status,” he said.

The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada praised the ruling.

“This ruling is a victory for everyone who respects basic human rights and equal treatment and protection under the law,” PLAN organizer Mario De La Rosa said in a statement. “While we had hoped for the entire law to be struck down, we agree with the court’s decision to rule against SB1070′s most egregious violations of the United States Constitution.”

De La Rosa said the group will continue to advocate for and work towards a more humane and fair immigration process, and will work to block any efforts by Nevada policy makers to enact similar laws.

Several Nevada lawmakers introduced immigration-related bills in the 2011 session, but they failed to win support.


Immigration Bills Fall Short As Deadline Passes

By Andrew Doughman | 10:42 am April 18th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Bills related to immigration at the Nevada State Legislature did not make it past an important deadline last week.

One bill from Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno, would have required Nevada to use an electronic database to verify a person’s employment eligibility.

Another from Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, would have mirrored an Arizona law whose proponents crafted to curb illegal immigration, but whose detractors say encourages racial profiling. That law is currently tied up in the court system.

The dearth of immigration bills makes Nevada somewhat of an oddity in the United States. Other states are considering or have passed immigration legislation. Most lawmakers have sought to apply more stringent standards to current laws.

Utah, however, has passed a law that would allow police to check immigrants’ status, but would also allow illegal immigrants to obtain a permit to work in Utah.

In Nevada, even the sponsors of immigration bills seemed resigned to the death of their bills as a bill deadline loomed last Friday.

Hansen and Hickey did not press a Democratic committee chair to ensure the bills passed.

The bills did not have the votes to pass out of committee, they said.

Hansen said that tepid comments from legislators in addition to ambivalence from the business community and unions ensured his bill would not be considered.

The immigration issue, however, has not been primary to any discussion at the Nevada Legislature. The state’s fiscal woes have ensured most discussions relate to the governor’s proposed general fund budget. Bills changing the state’s education policy have also gained traction.

But immigration is not popular. Assembly Republicans have listed several legislative priorities, which would have more effect on public sector and trade unions and trial lawyers than on immigrants.

According to the Pew Center, however, Nevada hosts a high percentage of illegal immigrants compared to its population.

Nevada’s foreign-born population has also grown during the past decade to nearly 20 percent of the population, according to the American Community Survey. This population comprises both citizens and non-citizens.








Immigration Bills Spark Heated Debate In Legislature

By Andrew Doughman | 1:10 pm April 6th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Two bills relating to illegal immigrants sparked heated debate in an Assembly committee this morning.

One from Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, would impose penalties and restrictions on illegal immigrants in a way similar to a controversial Arizona law enacted this past year.

Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno, proposed that the state adopt the federal “E-Verify” system, an electronic database that verifies someone’s employment eligibility.

Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, had to ask numerous times for both the support and opposition to keep their comments relevant to the bill.

“I want to stick to the merits of the bill because any time we single out one group or another we do a disservice to the state as a whole,” she told those listening to the hearing.

Meanwhile, observers on the social media site Twitter accused each other of racism and bigotry.

Hansen’s bill would require proof of identity to vote, restrict eligibility for Nevada’s Millennium Scholarship to U.S. citizens, prohibit non-citizens from obtaining driver’s licenses or receiving certain state benefits.

He said the bill is mainly about jobs.

“The number one issue that was confronted with was the economy and the second was illegal immigration,” Hansen said of his talks with voters while campaigning for office last year.

Hansen said that the state’s undocumented workers are preventing Nevada’s unemployed people from finding employment.

He cited figures that show Nevada has a high number of illegal immigrants. A recent Pew Hispanic Center study also found that Nevada ranks No. 1 in the nation in terms of the percentage of illegal immigrants comprising a state’s total population.

Hansen’s bill would cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars if passed into law. This is because it would require state agencies to spend more money to comply with the bills numerous requirements.

“You have half the kitchen sink here is what you have,” Kirkpatrick said of Hansen’s bill.

Hansen’s bill also would require the state to use the federal “E-Verify” database that verifies someone’s employment eligibility.

Hickey’s bill would require contractors bidding for state public works projects to use that system.

“I think this is a small first step,” he said. “This is not talking about all employers in this state, but starting with public works projects, which are tax-payer-funded ones.”

Opponents to the bill said that the federal database upon which E-Verify relies is rife with error. Contractors also objected to the language of the bill because it would make them responsible not only for their organizations, but for their subcontractors as well.

“The E-verify system is an attempt to try to do something that we support, but it has just not proven to be effective,” said Warren Hardy, lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Nevada.

The bills sparked reactions from the numerous Hispanic legislators who sit on the Assembly Government Affairs committee.

Assemblywomen Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno, and Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas, said that anyone testifying should restrict testimony to immigrants rather than Hispanics.

Others suggested that the bills would polarize the Hispanic electorate.

“It’s because of Republicans like [Assemblymen] Hickey & Hansen why R’s will have hard time making inroads with Hispanic voters in NV,” said Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, via his Twitter account.

The government affairs committee took no immediate action on either bill.


Gov. Sandoval’s Security Returns To Normal After Arizona Shooting

By Sean Whaley | 3:32 pm January 11th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval said today his security has returned to normal levels after it was determined the tragic Saturday shooting of an Arizona congresswoman was an isolated incident.

“We had some more protection until (the Department of Public Safety) was able to determine whether that was an isolated incident or part of a pattern of violence and my understanding is that it was an isolated incident so we have returned to normal with regard to my security,” he said.

Sandoval called the incident, which resulted in the deaths of six people including a federal judge, a “terrible tragedy.” The shooting wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

“My heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims in that matter,” he said.

Sandoval said he is also looking at removing the large granite boulders that were placed at the entrances to the state Capitol grounds in April 2010 for enhanced security. The boulders were put in place after former Gov. Jim Gibbons received a threatening message. Some have criticized their appearance.

Granite boulder used for security at state Capitol

“We’ve talked about that,” Sandoval said. “One of the things I’ve got to look at is how much is it going to cost. Right now, if that is an expenditure that perhaps the state can’t afford. But that is something I have inquired about.”

Audio clips:

Gov. Brian Sandoval says his security is back to normal after Arizona shooting:

011111Sandoval1 :15 to my security.”

Sandoval says he is looking at removing boulders used for security around Capitol:

011111Sandoval3 :18 have inquired about.”

Arpaio Considers Run for Governor of Arizona

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:06 am May 3rd, 2010

The AP is reporting that 77-year old five-term Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio will soon announce whether he’ll run for governor of Arizona.

Arpaio toyed with the idea in 1998, 2002 and 2006, but decided against it each time.

Arpaio’s last campaign finance report showed he had raised $1.2M.  Sure seems like a cash stack fit for a gubernatorial run to me — especially as he is not yet in his final year as sheriff.

With AZ immigration reform in the headlines (and a “pet” issue of the often-controversial and never boring Arpaio), there’s only one thing to say:

Run, Joe, run!

Update (4:15 PM): He ain’t runnin’.

Face to Face: Assemblymen John Hambrick, Mo Denis Weigh In on Immigration

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:47 pm April 26th, 2010

Tonight on Ralston’s Face to Face, Assemblyman Mo Denis and John Hambrick talked about the new immigration law in Arizona.

SB 1070 states:  “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official, where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the Unites States, a reasonable attempt shall be made when praticable to determine the immigration status of the person.”

Mo Denis questioned the definition and after-determination of the word “reasonable,” saying, “It’s going to be different to different people,” and asking about those who might be profiled, “What do they look like? Are we talking Canadian? Are we talking Asian-American? Are we talking Hispanic?”

Denis expressed concerns with the high ratio of Hispanics residing in Arizona, saying, “I think that is problematic because I think you’re then singling out one specific race.”

Hambrick disagreed. “When you have 460,000 and the vast majority happens to be a particular ethnic group, you cannot racial profile, the pool is so large,” he said.

Hambrick defended the Arizona bill based on relatively high in-state support.  “When 70% of a state, according to media reports, agree with it, that is not 70% that are Anglo.  70% of the state, that is a good mixture, whether it is Latino or Anglo. They agree it is needed,” he said.

“Unfortunately a rancher died a few weeks ago, and there was a catalyst,” he said.

Hambrick said many voters feel the federal government has let them down on the issue of immigration.

“This administration made promises prior to coming in that certain benchmarks would be met in the first year. That has not happened,” he said. “Hopefully what happens now in Arizona will be a catalyst to force Washington to get off their bottoms.”

Hambrick acknowledged there are issues with enforcement and racial profiling but said training of enforcement officers is the answer.

“The government has said that there will be training,” said Hambrick.

“What is reasonable?” he asked. “Yes, it is in the eye or the mind of the person that is behind the badge that has made that stop.”

“Their life experinces, and the different communities they come from, if the police officer happens to be Hispanic and is dealing with a Hispanic, there is a different reasonable expectation of what will be happening there,” Hambrick said.  “If it’s an Anglo and a Hispanic, again, the community will have to judge whether that police offer has done his job adequately, fairly and objectively. And that will be determined by a court.”

Answering a question about fears that the law will become oppressive and that every ethnic person will have to walk around with proof of citizenship in their pocket, Denis said it is a valid concern.

“We are familiar with 287-G, that’s been going on even here, we have been dealing with that, trying to get people to step forward on crimes, and now they are afraid,” Denis said.

(Denis said 287-G permits Nevada authorities to ask about a person’s immigration status when they are in county jail.)

“And, but, you know, people do not trust that,” said Denis. “They think that maybe some of the police officers—  You know, we have had meetings with some of the individuals here, and there are some concerns that really need to dealt with, and even with that issue, so I can see where, you know, if you’re looking for somebody reasonable, what is it that somebody looks like… And do we really have to all walk around with papers, so we can prove our citizenship?”

Both Hambrick and Denis agreed immigration reform could be an issue in the campaigns, and that Nevada voters are generally concerned with immigration policy.