A Nevada Supreme Court decision upholding a prison sentence for a Mexican national in a drug case could lead to huge costs to taxpayers as more illegal immigrants serve time rather than get probation, a public defender told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This decision is going to cost the taxpayers millions of dollars because we are going to put hundreds of illegal aliens in prison for low-level offenses,” said Howard Brooks of the Clark County Public Defender’s Office. “The logic is sound but it’s bad public policy.” Prosecutor James Tufteland did not view the decision as any major policy change.
The court said that if he were placed on probation, the defendant would be deported to Mexico and so would not be punished for his crime. “The decision in effect ends probation for illegal aliens because they can’t comply with probation requirements,” Brooks said.