Newspaper column: Bill proposes to turn Nevada into a ‘sanctuary state’

Return with us now to those thrilling days under the Articles of Confederation when every state made up its own rules regarding immigration and naturalization of foreigners, back before the Constitution gave Congress the sole authority to establish such rules.

In arguing for enactment of the Constitution in Federalist Paper No. 42, James Madison wrote, “The new Constitution has accordingly, with great propriety, made provision against them, and all others proceeding from the defect of the Confederation on this head, by authorizing the general government to establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States.”

Now along comes Democratic state Sen. Yvanna Cancela of Las Vegas, along with a host of fellow scofflaw Democrats, with a bill in Carson City that would turn Nevada into a “sanctuary state” by forbidding law enforcement cooperating with federal immigration authorities in identifying persons in their custody who are in this country illegally.

Senate Bill 223 states: “No state or local law enforcement agency, school police unit or campus police department shall: (a) Use money, facilities, property, equipment or personnel of the agency, unit or department to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest a person for the purposes of immigration enforcement …”

Cancela was quoted by the Reno newspaper as saying the bill “limits the ability to participate in immigration enforcement as far as what’s under federal purview.”

She went on to say, “The uncertainty that (President) Trump has created because of his executive orders, because of his political – frankly – hate speech around them has created a lot of problems not only for local law enforcement, but individuals. I think it’s our responsibility as legislators to provide as much clarity not only to law enforcement but families who are affected by those policies.”

Currently, under a program called 287(g), cooperating police departments that take a suspected illegal immigrant into custody notify U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents and they have 48 hours to pick up that person. In the past, ICE has been notoriously lax in showing up within those 48 hours, but, according to numerous press accounts, this is no longer the case under the new Trump presidential administration.

Under SB223 this would come to a screeching halt, despite the fact all lawmakers are required to take an oath of office swearing to “support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States … that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding …”

In reaction to the bill, Senate Republican Minority Leader Michael Roberson released a statement to the press, saying, “This ‘Sanctuary State’ bill is, without question, the most recklessly irresponsible piece of legislation that I have witnessed during my six plus years in the Nevada Legislature. This Democrat bill will undoubtedly result in violent criminals, who have no business being in our state, to be released back into our communities to wreak more havoc on Nevadans.”

One of the arguments made by sanctuary proponents is that illegal immigrants are loath to report crimes for fear they will risk deportation and this increases criminal activity. But state and local law enforcement currently does not ask those who report crimes about their immigration status, only those who are in custody, those most likely to continue criminal activity if ICE is not given the opportunity to deport them because they pose a danger to the entire community — illegal immigrants included.

To add potential impact on state taxpayers to real danger of criminal activity, it should be noted that President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, and presumably sanctuary states.

He signed an executive order directing government officials to identify federal money that can be withheld to punish sanctuary cities.

So what could this mean for the “sanctuary state” of Nevada should SB223 pass in a Democrat majority Legislature?

The state’s total budget for the past two years was $26 billion. Fully $9 billion of that came from federal funds, according to the state budget.

Passing SB223 could have serious consequences to the bottom line of the state of Nevada, but that has never stopped the self-righteous Democrats, has it?

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

20 comments on “Newspaper column: Bill proposes to turn Nevada into a ‘sanctuary state’

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    Will this bill also protect LEGAL citizens from Federal over reach?

  2. Don’t be silly.

  3. deleted says:

    Democrats sticking up for states rights, and the 10th Amendment is….bad?

    The orange man has turned “conservatives” upside down.

    I know I asked only a few days ago, when a version of this article was published before, for anyone to point out the part of the Constitution that requires a state law enforcement officer, or other state representative, to in any way cooperate with a federal authority acting within the scope of the federal authority for immigration purposes, and as of yet, nothing.

    Seems like there just isn’t one, and therefore, why isn’t this article about how courageous the democratic representatives in Nevada are for defending our republic?


  4. There is safety and expense argument.

  5. Lynn Thornhill and 25 friends says:

    Dumb Idea. We DO NOT WANT to be a santuary city, county, state.

  6. Reziac says:

    $9 billion shortfall? No worries, Dems will make it up by raising taxes on the rest of you.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. deleted says:

    Also wondering why this article doesn’t do what so many before have done (when a democratic president was saying it) attack any big gov’ment type who would dare use the cutoff of federal funding as a tool to usurp the states rights of a state doing what the beloved 10th Amendment says states get to do?

    I thought this was some kind of principle issue with the right?

  9. Absolutely wrong to cut off fed funds if a state doesn’t lower its speed limit to 55 mph, but the precedent has been established and the threat is real. Glad to rail against it.

  10. Lynne DeLorenzo says:

    Have you lost your minds altogether? What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!! You’d be happy to sell us all down the river for the hope of amassing some future votes?! Despicable!! No wonder the democrats are bleeding congressional, governor & mayoral seats all over the nation!

  11. deleted says:

    Is it wrong for a state to assert it’s rights pursuant to the 10th Amendment as the democratic legislators n Nevada re trying to do?

    And if it is, on what Constitutional basis?

    I mean how do applaud a legislator, on a principle basis, when standing up for “states rights” on an issue like DUI standards, but attack a legislator, on any principled basis, who stands up for the states rights NOT to cooperate with the federal government on immigration issues?

    Imagine, if instead of this situation, the federal governent DEMANDED that the state cooperate would you still condemn a legislator backing the same measure proposed above? If not, then it doesn’t seem like the issue is a principled one, just an arbitrary one.

  12. WhatMe Worry? says:

    The state can assert its rights under the 10th Amendment. The Fed can assert it rights cutting funding to such states. See warnings to Ala., Tex., and other states along with cuts to Mont funding back in the 70s. Montana had the resources to thumb their noses at the Fed and after another peeing contest the Fed quietly withdrew.

    Is there any fall back plan to cover NV citizens in the event the Fed with holds various funds?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully WMW, we could expect Nevada’s “own” bastard to do his job and file a lawsuit against the federal government on equal protection grounds.

    Or better yet, given his inexperience and ineptitude at much other than stumping for his next job, we could retain someone good to do it.

  14. Athos says:

    Let’s make sure that the rule of law is never taught or observed in our classrooms. That’s a lesson we could all get behind, right?
    That’s the message we really want to teach our children, isn’t it?

  15. Randy Stanley says:

    This is extremely worrisome, as we can expect things like this from legislators from Vegas but we currently have a governor that seems to hold a solid line with the Democrat party`s ideas and ideals.

  16. […] Bill proposes to turn Nevada into a “sanctuary state” Return with us now to those thrilling days under the Articles of Confederation when every state made up its own rules regarding immigration and naturalization of foreigners, back before the Constitution gave Congress the sole authority to establish such rules. […]

  17. Bill says:

    I love it when liberals discover the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Perhaps they will discover the 2nd as well and re-read the First Amendment to understand that it protects persons espousing conservative ideas in places like colleges and universities. And finally, it appeals to my sense of irony that the darling of the democrats, Harry Reid, once vociferously decried illegal immigration and birth babies without a peep of protest, whereas the good legislator from Southern Nevada objects to upholding the law, at least as to one subject. If a State government or subdivision or other entity does not cooperate with the Federal Government it would seem that they shouldn’t be surprised if the Federal government doesn’t subsidize their intransigence. Be careful of what you wish for.

  18. deleted says:

    “States Rights!”

    For as long as orange ball is in office, and conservatives support his attempts to subvert the Constitution, I fear for our republic.

  19. Steve says:

    Build HOV lanes or lose federal highway funds.

    Seems there is precedent.

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