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Raucous week for Arizona immigration law hearing

State Police arrest a protester at the State Capitol in Phoenix Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.   A sweeping bill that targets illegal immigrants in public housing, public benefits and the workplace drew vocal opposition Tuesday from Democrats.  The Senate Appropriations Committee was considering the 29-page bill Tuesday, a day after it was introduced by Republican Senate President Russell Pearce, who authored last year's controversial SB 1070. That law touched off a nationwide debate on whether states can enforce federal immigration laws. Democrats don't have the votes to block the measure, but the topic brought out supporters on both sides and security at the Senate was heightened, with about a dozen uniformed police officers deployed in and around the building. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Jack Kurtz)

State Police arrest a protester at the State Capitol in Phoenix Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011. A sweeping bill that targets illegal immigrants in public housing, public benefits and the workplace drew vocal opposition Tuesday from Democrats. The Senate Appropriations Committee was considering the 29-page bill Tuesday, a day after it was introduced by Republican Senate President Russell Pearce, who authored last year's controversial SB 1070. That law touched off a nationwide debate on whether states can enforce federal immigration laws. Democrats don't have the votes to block the measure, but the topic brought out supporters on both sides and security at the Senate was heightened, with about a dozen uniformed police officers deployed in and around the building. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Jack Kurtz)

Six people have been arrested at the state Senate and at least two people barred from returning during a raucous week surrounding illegal-immigration legislation.

Senate President Russell Pearce vows tighter scrutiny of visitors, but the clashes raise questions about security procedures at the Capitol and who enforces them.

Pearce told The Arizona Republic that the state Constitution gives him authority over the Senate building. House and Senate security is provided by members of the Capitol Police, DPS and a sergeant at arms for each chamber.

At least one state lawmaker says Pearce shouldn’t have the power to keep people out of a public building.

Capitol police arrested four people Tuesday on suspicion of disorderly-conduct charges after they were accused of disrupting a news conference in a Senate hearing room.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

6 comments

  1. Who is being “raucous?” The pro-illegal alien groups. The pro-lawbreaker groups. Freedom of speech does not include disturbing the peace! Russell Pearce is doing his job – upholding the law.

  2. Wish the pro-illegal supporters would tell the illegals to take a tip from the people in the middle east. Go home and demand your own country take care of you. We can’t afford you anymore. Wave your flags, jump up and down and raise h—with the government of Mexico and other countries you come from. It’s their job, not ours.

  3. @ robin—upholding the law…my foot, he keeps pushing the envelope. Pimping, people like you, full of hate.

  4. Ya Robin, demanding that our government treat everyone equally is hateful and downright racists! Oh wait, never mind. Personally, being black, I think we should allow the entire continent of Africa to come to the US and if you don’t like that Pedro then you’re a racist! You pro criminal alien people are so funny.

  5. svivar9087, what’s wrong with hating lawbreakers?

  6. Immigration is an American tradition, and it’s how most of us got here. As a nation we’ve invested considerable resources to accommodate the immigration process. Why do we try to control immigration? I’m not an expert, but let’s suppose that controlling the rate of immigration is to prevent overloading social services, schools, medical, and our ability to meaningfully employ the increased body count.

    I’m not member of the foaming mouthed fringe (right or left), so let’s face it, legal immigration is necessary. Illegal immigration hurts us all. Perhaps a strategy to stem part of the illegal flow is to invest / develop the economies of the areas / countries contributing to this problem. Will this ameliorate the problem? Probably not, but it will help.

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