Arizona Senate Shoots Down Immigration Bills

Lawmakers reject 'anchor baby' bill
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2011 1:20 AM CDT
Activists outside the Arizona Capitol protest the immigration bills as the Senate debates.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The Arizona Senate has rejected a package of controversial immigration bills, including measures aimed at forcing the US Supreme Court to rule against granting birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants. Other rejected measures would have made it a crime for illegal immigrants to drive a vehicle, and would have required school districts to check the immigration status of students, the Arizona Republic reports.

The chamber's Democrats all voted against the bills, while the majority Republicans were split. One Republican senator said he believed the state should be focusing on the budget instead of the divisive immigration issue. Senate President Russell Pearce, who has been working for years to change the law on birthright citizenship, said he was disappointed by the vote. "A majority of Americans poll after poll support resolving this issue, yet apparently we are not gong to give them the chance to do that," he said.

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