Ariz. Bills Would Bar Illegals From Driving, Marriage

Committee also peels back 'birthright' citizenship
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2011 1:06 PM CST
Ariz. Bills Would Bar Illegals From Driving, Marriage
Protesters gather around Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Jack Kurtz)

(Newser) – An Arizona Senate committee passed a new immigration bill yesterday that would prevent illegal immigrants from driving or buying a car, getting married, or sending their children to school. They also passed a bill ending “birthright citizenship,” in defiance of the 14th Amendment. Under that bill, Arizona will issue two kinds of birth certificates, the Arizona Republic reports: one for babies that meet the state’s new definition of citizenship, and one for those who don’t.

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The committee is still considering another bill that would force hospitals to check patients’ immigration status. “If you’re in the country illegally, you don’t have a right to public benefits, period,” Russell Pearce, the state senator who introduced the bills, tells Politico. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the legislature to rail against the bills, which Democrats argue are a distraction. “If jobs are our focus … these immigration bills don’t do it,” says one senator. “They hurt our image.” (Read more Arizona immigration law stories.)

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