Rep. Titus to NV-AG Laxalt

Given that Nevada’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism, Rep. Dina Titus (NV-CD1) sent an official letter today to Nevada’s Attorney General, Adam Laxalt, imploring that he join with other states’ AGs to oppose and reject the president’s executive edict discriminating against not just Muslims entering our country (for business or vacation) from seven specific middle eastern majority-muslim countries, but an edict that impacts individuals who have lived in our country for years and who have “green cards” identifying them as LEGAL resident aliens.

So far all we’ve heard from Mr. Laxalt is crickets, but for the moment, let’s talk a little bit about Green Card holders.

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Muslim GREEN CARD holders, meaning resident LEGAL aliens, who just happen to have gained their “right to life” through the misfortune of being born in certain countries our apprentice president wants to scapegoat, have been prohibited from reentering the country for 90 days if they happened to be traveling. They were detained at airports and prohibited from returning to their homes.

Do you understand what this means?

It means that if they have lived in New Jersey for 20 years with their family and were just unlucky enough to have been traveling for business or just merely on vacation, they are now forbidden to return HOME for 90 days. Will they lose their jobs? Will they lose their homes? Where will they go in the meantime? Will they stay at a hotel? Or will they be residing as homeless folks on some street corner in some other nation?

It also means that if a mother happened to have gone to her father’s funeral abroad at this unlucky time and tried to return home to her children, she was prohibited from doing so by executive fiat. She’s not allowed to do so for 90 days. Who’s taking care of her children? Will she lose her job that helps to put food on the table for her children? Will some state take them away from her for abandonment?

Don’t even try to tell me this is just about the need to conduct proper vetting. These people are GREEN CARD holders. A green card holder is a LEGAL alien. He or she has essentially the same rights as a citizen with respect to residency and employment. They HAVE been properly vetted. These actions against them are 100% ILLEGAL.

But the absurdities with this Executive Edict doesn’t stop with Green Cards.

Already, Doctors coming to our country to perform critical care for U.S. patients have been turned away. People who need critical surgeries that have been scheduled at major critical care hospitals, e.g., Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, etc., are being told they will not be allowed to travel to the U.S. and enter the U.S. for critical surgeries which in some cases will lead to their imminent deaths.

Interpreters who worked closely with our troops in hostile areas, who have already gone through extensive vetting, and whose lives would be in jeopardy in their home country, who have the proper paperwork and visas in hand were being refused.  Luckily, legal personal stepped in to remedy the situation.

The acting U.S. Attorney General has indicated the Justice Dept. will NOT defend the president’s executive order.  But, Sen. Jeff Sessions, the president’s choice for US-AG will be up for a vote shortly and it’s rumored that Mr. Sessions is in lock step with the president.  Given that, you need to realize that if it can be them today, it can be you and me tomorrow! And if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, you are not paying attention. Those are NOT actions that take place under a Democracy.

CREDO Advocacy: Tell AG Laxalt to Drop His Anti-Immigration Lawsuit

Thanks to the courage of thousands of youth activists in the immigration reform movement, last fall President Obama finally took executive actions that protected five million immigrants and their families from the pain of deportation. CREDO members were proud to support these actions with their activism and contributions to United We Dream.

NV-AG Adam Laxalt
NV-AG Adam Laxalt

But this victory is now at risk. Right-wing extremists have pressured Republicans in 26 states, including Attorney General Adam Laxalt, into pursuing politically motivated, anti-immigrant lawsuits to block the Obama administration from implementing executive actions meant to provide relief for millions of immigrants and their families.

Once again, families of millions of immigrants are facing the risk of being pulled apart. And it’s all because a group of right-wing Republican state officials led by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are pursuing a craven, politically-motivated legal strategy just to pander to their racist and anti-immigrant conservative base. We have to fight back now.

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop your frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

President Obama’s executive actions, commonly known as expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), could provide widespread relief to nearly 5 million children, young adults, and their parents under constant fear of deportation (More Info). DAPA would defer deportation and grant temporary work permits for millions of undocumented immigrants while changes to DACA would expand exemptions from deportation to 330,000 more children and young adults (More Info).

DACA-DAPA

Even though the president’s executive order on immigration was not all that we asked for, it was a historic move that would protect families of millions of aspiring Americans from being ripped apart due to our broken immigration system.

We know the right-wing majority in the House has never had any intention of passing meaningful immigration reform. And since the Republicans are now in charge of the Senate, there’s no chance that Congress will fix our broken immigration system any time soon.

Without a permanent solution in place, these actions by the Obama administration will provide the immediate relief that so many immigrant families need to keep their families together.

But extreme right-wing ideologues are pursuing a politically craven and heartless strategy – arguably amounting to an abuse of our legal system – that will potentially result in undocumented parents being ripped away from their children and deported (More Info).

Tell Attorney General Adam Laxalt: Drop this frivolous lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions protecting the families of millions of aspiring Americans.

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Allowing these lawsuits to stand will only prolong the suffering of families of millions of hardworking aspiring Americans who are seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

We must act now to publicly pressure Attorney General Laxalt to show compassion by dropping the frivolous lawsuit to undo President Obama’s executive actions. 

Thank you for fighting for the rights of immigrants.

Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

The 9th Circuit Did NOT Invent Equal Protection

— by Rich Dunn, NVRDC 2nd Vice Chairperson

“After the voters of Nevada passed a law designating that marriage be defined as a union between a man and a woman, Nevada’s Democrat (sic) attorney general has co-opted with the ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and decided that ‘we can’t win after the Ninth Circuit changed the rules’ (by deciding in another case that any law that deals with homosexual people requires heightened scrutiny with regard to possible discrimination).”
-Teri A. Cotham of Gardnerville in a letter published in the Feb. 18th Nevada Appeal

Teri doesn’t seem to have heard about United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court case which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, thereby granting federal benefits to same sex couples who are married under state law. That’s the case upon which the Utah and Virginia same-sex marriage bans have been ruled unconstitutional, and upon which Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban will no doubt be overturned, regardless of whether the State of Nevada chooses to defend it. And it’s worth noting that the Windsor case came from the Southern District of New York in the 2nd Circuit, not the 9th Circuit.

Teri also doesn’t appear to understand what role the 9th Circuit played in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case she appears to be citing. That was a 50-page ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Prop 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative on the 2008 ballot, was unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment.

The 9th Circuit issued a stay to give Prop 8 proponents an opportunity to appeal, then passed that appeal on to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear it, ruling that proponents of initiatives such as Prop 8 don’t have standing to defend the resulting law. On that basis, the court directed the 9th Circuit to lift its stay and vacate its concurrence, allowing Judge Walker’s ruling to stand. And that is how Prop 8 was overturned.

Lastly, Teri seems unaware that the concept of subjecting certain kinds of legal challenges to “heightened scrutiny” is based on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. When a law has the potential to infringe upon a civil right, the government is called upon to defend it. If it’s found to be too broad in scope, fails to accomplish its stated purpose, or unreasonably infringes upon constitutionally protected rights, it will be struck down in any circuit, not just the 9th Circuit.