Updated, May 20 at 8:00 a.m.
Immigration activists and union members are demanding Nevada withdraw from a lawsuit challenging two federal deportation deferral programs.
These programs would protect millions of people living in the U.S. illegally. But, a federal judge in Texas put those programs on hold.
The protest outside of Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office Tuesday in Las Vegas is the day that Deferred Action for Parents of America was supposed to go into effect. The other program – Lawful Permanent Residents – is also on hold due to the judge’s ruling.
“Families suffer every day because they are being torn apart,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of for the Culinary Union. “It’s time we as a state and as a country do better by these hardworking women and men.”
Arguello-Kline also called on Attorney General Adam Laxalt “to do the right thing” and remove Nevada from the lawsuit against President Obama’s Executive Order on immigration.
Members from the Culinary Union will be joined by representatives of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada and Mi Familia Vota for Tuesday’s protest. The activists will deliver a letter to the attorney general with their message.
Laxalt on Tuesday issued a statement saying his decision to join the lawsuit was an effort to "protect and secure the interests of the state."
"The objective of this lawsuit is not, as activists ahve recently publicized, to target any particular group," Laxalt said. "Instead, Nevada's participation is about protecting the rule of law and our constitutional system, an issue which transcends immigration policy entirely."
In February, Laxalt told members of Congress that he joined the lawsuit to defend the rule of law.
He echoed the sentiment in a conversation with KNPR's State of Nevada in February.
"Congress has put defined rules on how they want immigration to be and to move forward and he has just single handedly altered those rules and that’s just something he cannot do,” Laxalt said.
However, Laxalt's decision to join the lawsuit is in opposition to his client Gov. Brian Sandoval, who said the issue shouldn't be decided by the courts.
Yvanna Cancela, political director, Culinary Union Local 226
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