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Immigration on the agenda

Senate President Russell Pearce (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Senate President Russell Pearce (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

On the heels of saying he expects the Senate to vote on a budget as soon as tomorrow, Senate President Russell Pearce yesterday added three controversial immigration bills to the docket for today’s caucus discussions, signaling the bills may soon be debated by the entire body.

The discussion in the Senate Republican caucus should give supporters a better indication of their proposals’ chances this year. Democrats are expected to be united in their opposition to the measures.
 
The proposals include two bills that seek to challenge the long-held interpretation of the 14th Amendment that American citizenship is bestowed on nearly everyone born in the United States, including the children of illegal immigrants.
 
Another bill aims to tighten immigration laws by denying illegal immigrants access to public benefits and preventing them from operating vehicles, getting public housing assistance and enrolling in community colleges.
 
Assuming the bills get informal approval in the majority caucus, their next step will be a formal debate on the Senate floor, and, if they survive that, a vote by the full chamber.
 
The immigration bills — SB1611, the omnibus bill, and SB1308 and SB1309, the “birthright” legislation — represent but the latest in a dogged effort by lawmakers for Arizona to enact and enforce immigration laws.
 
Backers argue that state-level action is necessary because the federal government has failed to solve illegal immigration, a complex and emotional issue.
 
But critics say Arizona already has the most stringent laws confronting illegal immigration in the country, and it is time for the state to focus on more pressing issues, like solving a historic budget shortfall and aiding a very wobbly economy. 
 
Critics also argue the proper venue to tackle illegal immigration is Congress, and state statutes are preempted by federal laws.

One comment

  1. The Republicans can pass all of these. If they don’t, they are finished. No more double talk and b.s., just do the necessary.

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