Protesters block Carson Street over AG Laxalt’s joining immigration suit (with video)
More than 100 protesters demanding Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt back off his support of the lawsuit challenging the president’s immigration policy blocked Carson Street in front of Laxalt’s office on Wednesday.
But PLAN Director Bob Fulkerson’s stated objective of getting eight or nine protesters including himself arrested was foiled when police diverted traffic around the blockade.
“They can sit there all day if they want,” said Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Fulkerson, one of the nine sitting across the southbound lanes of the street, said they weren’t leaving: “We’re prepared to be here for the long haul.”
“They’ll be here a long time then,” said Furlong adding he knew their goal was to be arrested.
Several of his deputies, Capitol Police and Nevada Highway Patrol troopers stood by to make sure the group and their supporters were safe and stayed under control.
Furlong told one of the organizers, “Just make sure no one gets hurt.”
They stayed a little more than half an hour before moving on to the Plaza Conference Center three blocks south. Officers present said the group was well behaved and polite to them throughout the protest.
Democratic Senators Kelvin Atkinson and Ruben Kihuen joined the protesters and called for Laxalt to drop the lawsuit.
Fulkerson said the group planned during the day to also protest to the state Controller and state Treasurer, then to the Legislature.
The protest started when all 100-plus protesters crowded into the front lobby of the Attorney General’s office chanting, “Adam Laxalt, you can’t keep hiding. We the people are uniting,“ and “Keep families together.” They called for Laxalt’s deportation.
They demanded to see Laxalt in person but he wasn’t in the office. He was seen leaving in a vehicle behind the office just a few minutes before the protesters arrived.
Chief of Staff Nick Trutanich told protest leaders he would be glad to meet with several of them to discuss Laxalt’s stance on immigration and his decision to join the lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s immigration policies but they shouldn’t continue interrupting the business of the Attorney General’s office.
The group left the office after about 10 minutes and blocked normally busy Carson Street for a half hour or so.
Laxalt hasn’t backed down from the lawsuit, despite staunch opposition from progressive activists and apprehension from Gov. Brian Sandoval. The 36-year-old former Navy Judge Advocate General testified before a House Judiciary committee in February and called the president’s executive order an unconstitutional federal overreach.
Activists say that if the lawsuit prevails, it would have an especially heavy toll in Nevada, which has the nation’s highest rate of immigrants living in the country illegally.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.