(Victor Joecks, Las Vegas Review-Journal) – Forget sanctuary city. Some Nevada politicians want to make Nevada a sanctuary state.
That’s what Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, has proposed in SB223, which would make it illegal for state and local law enforcement officers to help or even share information with federal immigration officials except in the narrowest of circumstances.
It’s not like Nevada is aggressive about immigration enforcement right now. If someone reports a crime, the Metropolitan Police Department doesn’t ask about immigration status. Metro doesn’t conduct immigration raids. It’s not until someone is booked into jail that Metro starts working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify whether a person is here illegally.
Metro and ICE have a Memorandum of Agreement that governs the process. It allows Metro officers to receive ICE training and gives them authority to perform certain functions as an immigration officer. The key is sharing information with ICE databases. Without that, ICE doesn’t know whether an illegal immigrant is in jail or when he’ll be released — necessary information to decide if it wants to start deportation proceedings.
If ICE chooses to deport someone, it reimburses local governments for using their facilities to hold illegal immigrants. At a February meeting of Assembly Government Affairs, Henderson City Manager Robert Murnane said the city received about $10 million last year for housing ICE and Clark County detainees. A Henderson official said the jail holds an average of around 200 illegal immigrants a day, although not all are from Nevada.