Gibbons: Nevada doesn’t need Arizona-style immigration law
Tribune Capitol Bureau
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Gov. Jim Gibbons said Monday that Nevada doesn’t need an immigration law like the one approved in Arizona last week.
“Nevada has a problem with illegal immigrants in the state but doesn’t have an international border,” he said.
Gibbons said Arizona’s law was the result of its border with Mexico.
“The real problem in Arizona is it was forced to take action because of the lack of action of the federal government, which has failed miserably,” he said after the Board of Examiners meeting Monday.
The law allows law enforcement in Arizona to stop anyone they believe could be illegal and demand proof they are lawfully in the country.
“I don’t think we need to do that,” Gibbons said, adding that Nevada already has a law allowing fines on businesses that employ illegal immigrants.
Gibbons also said law enforcement can’t simply stop anyone who is Hispanic – the same concern raised by civil libertarians.
Later on Monday, Gibbons issued a release demanding the federal government increase enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Saying border protection is a federal responsibility, he said: “Federal inaction is compelling states like Arizona to take state action and forcing state taxpayers to foot the bill.”
He also called on the president and Congress to modernize immigration laws to include technology such as facial recognition, biometric ID cards and other advancements.
During a debate Friday night, his opponent Brian Sandoval said he “absolutely would support the Arizona law.”
The third Republican in the primary race, Mike Montandon, didn’t come out in support of the Arizona law, saying simply, “I can’t believe we are having to sit here and debate and answer the question, ‘Should illegal be illegal.'”
Gibbons also reaffirmed Monday his opposition to Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste dump.
He said the government has spent $14 billion on Yucca Mountain and, if that had been spent on research into reprocessing and how to dispose of or reuse the waste, “we wouldn’t be arguing about Yucca Mountain today.”
Gibbons said he is in favor of creating a plant that can reprocess that waste, but opposes burying it underground.
“Yucca Mountain is a bad idea. It always has been a bad idea.”
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