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Activists angry at Attorney General rally after Supreme Court immigration decision

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 22:21:12-04

Nevada immigration activists are furious following the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocking in a decision that threatens President Barack Obama’s immigration policy – and taking their anger out on Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

Dozens of activists held a press conference and crowded Laxalt’s office on Thursday following the Court’s 4-4 ruling in a case challenging the constitutionality of the president’s executive orders granting temporary deportation protection to millions of people not legally in the country. The ruling sets no national precedent but means a lower court’s rejection of the orders will likely stand.

Activists like Astrid Silva aimed their anger at Laxalt, a Republican who in January 2015 joined the state to a federal lawsuit along with 25 other states that challenged the orders.

“That’s not a public servant,” she said. “That’s a person that’s out for his own ego. And I think it’s a disgrace to Nevada.”

Laxalt, who didn’t meet with the protestors, said in a statement that he was pleased with the court’s ruling.

“The president has consistently acted outside of his constitutional authority, be it with regard to healthcare, education, environmental policy, land use regulation, recess appointments or labor rules,” he said in a statement. “Hopefully this decision will yet again signal to this president that he cannot act unilaterally within our constitutional system simply because Congress in his view, ‘fails to act.’”

In November 2014, Obama expanded the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program (DAPA) to provide temporary protection from deportation for roughly four million people not legally in the country.

Activists say between 67,000 and 89,000 people in Nevada would be eligible under the two programs.

The future of DACA and DAPA likely depends on the outcome of the November presidential election. Republican candidate Donald Trump has promised to eliminate the programs, while Democrat Hillary Clinton called the ruling “unacceptable” and promised to expand the scope of both programs.