Misguided sanctuary bill for Nevada

Since President Trump announced a crackdown on sanctuary cities after he took his oath in January, a handful of cities and towns are doubling down on their sanctuary city status.

The President proposed to strengthen the border and crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Since the days of our nation’s founders, this country has been one of laws. Designating a city or town sanctuary status gives local lawmakers a false sense of security in defying federal immigration policies. While some sanctuary cities may turn over hardened criminals to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, others such as churches, shelters and charitable groups are doing everything within their power to shelter undocumented residents.

Democratic lawmakers such as state Sen. Yvanna Cancela of Las Vegas and her fellow Democrats would like to make Nevada a sanctuary state whereby local and state law enforcement agencies would be prohibited from using funds, personnel, equipment or facilities to enforce immigration laws. This would pit local law enforcement against federal government immigration law, which, we feel, governs what states and cities do.

The Las Vegas Review Journal, for example, focused on the main parts of Cancela’s bill:

Restrict the collection of information on an individual’s immigration status;

Prohibit a hold request from the U.S. government unless there is an independent finding of probable cause;

Require an arrest warrant before a person is transferred to ICE.

We are not a nation of laws with this bill; we, as a society, have become permissive parents by defying rules.

Millions of immigrants have arrived in this country and took the proper steps to apply for legal status to enter and work in the United States. This bill does nothing more than reward illegal behavior.

Law enforcement agencies around the state have denounced Cancela’s bill. Minority leader and State Sen. Michael Roberson referred to the bill as “recklessly irresponsible” and “outrageous.” We agree on that assertion.

However, the situation goes further than that. The system needs to be fixed, something that was “kind of, sort of done” during the Reagan Administration and with President George W. Bush and Congress in 2006.

Congress has also turned its head away from Kate’s Law, legislation that proposed to jail undocumented immigrants who were deported but returned to the U.S. In the sanctuary haven of San Francisco in 2015, an undocumented immigrant returned to the U.S. after deportation. He fatally shot Kate Steinle, the namesake of this bill, at Pier 14.

While Cancela’s heart may be in the right place along with her Democratic constituents, we don’t believe sanctuary cities and towns serve a purpose except to usurp the authority of the federal government and disrespect law-abiding immigrants who use the system properly.

LVN Editorials appear on Wednesdays.


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