Nevada Immigration Reform Initiative (2012)
The initiative emulates an April 23, 2010 approved immigration bill in Arizona. A repeal was filed days following it's approval. It also resembles a proposed initiative in Ohio to reform immigration throughout the state.
According to Christensen, the proposed initiative will:
- direct law enforcement to determine the immigration status of a person during a lawful stop or arrest
- prohibit state from banning "sending, receiving or maintaining information related to a person's immigration status or exchanging it with any other federal, state or local governmental entity for the purposes of determining eligibility."
- allow legal residents to sue if government policies appear to limit enforcement of federal laws
- prohibit hiring and picking up day laborers
- prohibit illegal immigrants without work authorization from applying for a job or soliciting employment
- make it illegal to transport, harbor or encourage illegal immigrants
- authorize impoundment or forfeiture of vehicles driven by illegal immigrants or used to transport them
- prohibit an employer from knowingly employing an unauthorized immigrant
In support of the initiative, sponsor Chad Christensen said,"It's time for the people of Nevada to stand together and let our voices be heard. Illegal immigration is costing the taxpayers in Nevada $700 million a year." Christensen argues that this is not an issue that can be delayed.
Republican voter poll:
- Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. Mason-Dixon conducted a poll during May 2010, on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The telephone poll surveyed 500 "likely Republican primary voters." The survey asked voters whether they supported or opposed a Nevada law similar to the "Arizona immigration reform" passed in 2010. According to the poll, 85% were in support, while 8% were opposed and 7% said they were undecided. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
On June 18 the ACLU of Nevada and the Nevada Open for Business Coalition filed a lawsuit with the Carson District Court. The lawsuits requests that District Court Judge James Wilson block the proposed initiative. Specifically the suit asks the judge to prevent the initiative from being proposed to the legislature or to voters. According to the groups the initiative violates the state's single-subject law. Additionally they argue that the proposed measure "promotes racial profiling and would hurt the state's economy." Of the alleged single-subject violation the Nevada Open for Business Coalition specifically said, "It embraces numerous subjects — everything from enacting voter identification laws to creating task forces and advisory boards and to criminalizing the stopping of a vehicle to pick up passengers for work,” the coalition states." The NAACP and others are included in the filed lawsuit. According to reports the ACLU and the NAACP created a group called "What Happens in Arizona Stops in Arizona."
Path to the ballot
- 'Las Vegas Review-Journal,"POSSIBLE BALLOT REFERENDUM: Senate candidate proposes initiative similar to Arizona immigration law," May 6, 2010
- KTNV,"Senate candidate Chad Christensen wants an immigration law similar to Arizona's," May 28, 2010
- Las Vegas Review-Journal,"Nevadans support illegal immigration crackdown ," May 13, 2010
- Las Vegas Review-Journal,"Opinion Poll," retrieved May 13, 2010
- Associated Press,"Groups sue over Nevada immigration initiative," June 20, 2010
- Las Vegas Review-Journal,"INJUNCTION SOUGHT: Groups file challenge to Christensen petition on immigration: Proposal mirrors controversial Arizona law," June 19, 2010
- The Record-Courier,"Hispanic leaders challenge Arizona-style immigration petition," June 19, 2010
- Courthouse News Service,"ACLU, NAACP Unite to Fight Arizona-Like Immigration Law in Nevada," June 18, 2010