Four weeks ago today, the Las Vegas Sun reported that Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, was considering joining a multi-state lawsuit challenging President Trump’s family separation policy. But Laxalt has yet to sign on to the lawsuit, leaving Nevadans wondering if he ever actually intended to fight to keep families together.
During arguments in federal court in Seattle last week, lawyers said the government has lost track of an estimated 700 children nationwide who were taken from their parents. Laxalt’s excuse for not initially joining the 18-state lawsuit was that he “was not asked” and, even though nearly all of the Trump administration’s immigration actions have been met with a legal challenge, Laxalt has sat on the sidelines. Instead, the Republican refused to acknowledge that Trump’s family separation policy was, in fact, Trump’s decision.
While Republican Governor Brian Sandoval joined other governors to stand up against Trump and Washington Republicans’ attacks on DACA, Laxalt declined to join similar efforts by attorneys general. But Laxalt wasn’t always silent on immigration issues. Mere weeks after taking office in 2015, Laxalt challenged President Obama’s executive action on immigration, breaking with Sandoval and joining a multi-state lawsuit.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Trump has forcibly orphaned hundreds of children, but Laxalt is once again choosing party over principles by staying silent. As attorney general for a state with one of the largest immigrant populations in the country, Laxalt has done nothing to stop Trump from tearing immigrant families apart. Laxalt owes Nevadans an answer now — but based on his record, Nevadans will be waiting a long time for him to do the right thing.”