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Senate panel passes birthright bills

After a rocky start, the birthright legislation finally received committee approval on Feb. 22, overcoming the initial hurdle before the full Senate can debate and vote on the measure that is stirring so much raw emotion and is solidifying Arizona’s reputation as ground zero in the struggle to confront illegal immigration.

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Pearce drops “omnibus” immigration bill

Although he calls it a mere “clean-up bill,” Senate President Russell Pearce is pushing legislation to tighten immigration laws by denying illegal immigrants access to public benefits, from operating or titling vehicles to enrolling in community colleges.

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Jobs bill survives late Senate debate (access required)

Despite strong objections from Democrats and some Republicans, the Senate leadership Tuesday evening pushed ahead to debate the jobs bill, a maneuver that moves the business-tax-cutting legislation closer to passage.

Having cleared the debate, the bill now goes to the full Senate for a formal “aye” or “nay” vote, which is expected on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Whether the measure has sufficient support to pass — it needs only 16 votes — is uncertain.

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Constitutional obstacle course: the challenges facing the birthright citizenship bill backers (access required)

Frustrated by the federal government's refusal to solve illegal immigration, some lawmakers want the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve who exactly is an American citizen.

In trying to define citizenship, birthright busters will have to navigate not only through the U.S. Supreme Court, but the U.S. Senate, other states and even their own caucus.

RELATED: Birthright bills bring out the best in debate

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Deluge of political maneuvering sure to follow Kyl’s leaving

The retirement of U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will likely set off a chain reaction, as Republicans and Democrats position themselves to run for the open seat.

Most political observers believe U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Mesa, will soon announce he is running to replace Kyl. Other potential GOP candidates include U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, former U.S. Rep. John Shadegg and the entire slate of Republican statewide officeholders.

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