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VP Biden Says NV Immigrants Lose And Trump Wrong About PTSD

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The U.S Supreme Court non-decision on President Barack Obama’s executive order to temporarily stop actions against children and parents who are undocumented immigrants could effect the lives of thousands of people in Nevada.

Vice President Joe Biden, who talked exclusively with KNPR’s State of Nevada about the matter, said the court’s action put into sharp focus why it was such a mistake by Senate Republicans to block a vote for a ninth Supreme Court justice.

When Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace him. But Garland was denied a hearing.

Biden said a “minority” of Republicans in the senate are leading the way, while majority senators are afraid they won’t get re-elected.

“Five months ago, I called seven Republican senators and asked them to vote on a Supreme Court nominee,” Biden said, adding that they replied: “’Joe, I know that we should, but we’ll get killed by the far right.”

Now, Biden said, he fears that the thousands of Nevadans and others who signed up for the deferred immigration status, based on Obama’s executive order, will become targeted by federal immigration officials.

The vice president also commented on Donald Trump’s derisive comment about military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Biden’s son, Beau, was an Iraq War veteran who became a prosecutor and died at the age of 46 of brain cancer.

Earlier this week, Trump said soldiers see a lot of horrific things. Some of those soldiers are “strong and you can handle it but a lot of people can’t handle it.” Many took that comment as Trump implying those with PTSD aren’t tough.

“I feel appalled, I don’t think he even knows what he’s talking about,” Biden said. “I don’t think he’s trying to be mean. He’s just so woefully uninformed.”

Biden keeps a daily count of those killed and injured in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Tuesday morning, he said 6,753 people had been killed and 52,419 soldiers have been wounded. “And look at the number of suicides per day from returning veterans. And this guy says, basically, ‘tough it out.’ My god!”

“His lack of any sensibilities at all,” Biden added, “just astounds me and, quite frankly, offends me.”

Biden went on to criticize Trump for his kind words about Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation.

“(Putin) has one goal: to make sure he breaks up the (European Union),” Biden said. “He invades Ukrainie, annexes Crimea and Trump didn’t know that Crimea was part of the Ukraine. … We live in a very complicated world and if he does win (the presidency), I pray to God he finds some of the best Republican minds to come in, and they’re out there, and actually run his government for him. I mean, this is a different guy.”

Biden also said he expects to visit Nevada in the next few weeks to support U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto.

Vice President Joe Biden

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.