This anti-immigrant GOP candidate’s family history conflicts with the far-right agenda he’s pushing: report

This anti-immigrant GOP candidate’s family history conflicts with the far-right agenda he’s pushing: report
Image via Gage Skidmore

Adam Laxalt, a Republican Senate nominee in Nevada, has publicly expressed deep opposition toward DREAMers and illegal immigrants. But, now a new report has revealed his own family's history conflicts with his far-right platform.

According to Axios, remarks from Laxalt's own father Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M) have been unearthed. At the time, Domenici revealed his mother, the Senate hopeful's own grandmother, was undocumented.

Back in 2006, Domenici made remarks on the Senate floor about a past incident involving his mother who was detained because she "unknowingly was an illegal alien."

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His mother immigrated to the United States in 1907 when she was just 3-years-old and lived in New Mexico. He also recalled seeing his mother being taken away in the 1940s.

While he did not explain why she'd been categorized as an "illegal alien," he did recall the terrifying incident.

"They decided she had to be arrested because she was an illegal alien. So, sure enough, they came to do that and a neighbor had to come over to take care of us kids. I was about 9 or 10. I was pretty frightened," Domenici said during his speech while debating immigration legislation in the Senate.

The news outlet also explained why the latest revelation matters. "Republicans are making illegal immigration a crucial issue in the midterm elections, and Laxalt is seizing on this in Nevada, where more immigrants have been moving to work in the casino and hotel industries," the news outlet noted. "But family histories are complicated and can disclose uncomfortable truths that conflict with today's politics," it added.

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The latest developments underscore the blurred lines where Republican lawmakers and immigration are concerned.

Although Domenici attempted to classify his mother as an "illegal alien," Vincent Cannato, a University of Massachusetts historian with a focus on immigration, explained why the argument makes no sense.

Speaking to Axios, he noted that "the concept of being undocumented wasn't widely recognized before 1920 — except for people affected by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act."

"It's likely Laxalt's grandmother was detained because the federal government deemed her a potential enemy as World War II was starting," Cannato said.

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