Gov. Brian Sandoval and Michael Roberson, the State Senate Republican leader who is running for lieutenant governor in the 2018 election, have differing views on how undocumented immigrants should be treated by law enforcement and the U.S. government.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or “DACA.”
The program provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. in the form of two-year, renewable work permits.
On Monday, Sandoval said, “I have no problem with DACA” in an interview held at the Fallon Lions’ Club annual downtown breakfast preceding the Labor Day parade.
DACA has produced “many fine young people in Nevada and across the country,” according to Sandoval, who signed a bill approved by the Legislature in 2015 that permits young DACAs or “Dreamers” to teach in Nevada public schools.
“These young people who were brought to the United States by their undocumented parents should not be deported to the countries of their parents’ origin,” Sandoval said. Many have served in the U.S. armed forces. Many have bachelor’s and graduate degrees. They are good citizens, the governor added.
Roberson, who is running for the lieutenant governor seat currently held by Mark Hutchison, who is not seeking reelection, is sponsoring a ballot initiative that would permit Nevada law enforcement officials to share arrest records with federal agencies of those who may be in the country illegally.
Approximately 112,000 Nevadans must sign a petition to have Roberson’s bill placed on the 2018 ballot. If the bill passes, it also must be voted upon again in the 2020 election, Roberson said at the Maine Street Labor Day breakfast.
If passed at both elections, the initiative would serve to deport illegal aliens who have been arrested for crimes, Roberson said. At present, local law enforcement officials are barred from sharing arrestees’ documentation status with federal agencies, said Roberson, a Las Vegas state senator, Senate GOP leader and an attorney in private life.
“Some of those arrested in Nevada are illegal aliens who have committed violent crimes,” according to Roberson. To those who have said his bill is anti-Latino, Roberson said that this is not the case.
Many Latino leaders across the state have told Roberson they will support his constitutional amendment because undocumented aliens, many of whom are Latino, “prey on the residents of Latino communities,” he said.