The Arizona Senate approved the tough illegal immigration enforcement bill by a 17-to-11 margin. The bill, which was approved by the State Senate earlier in the year, was approved with some minor modifications by the State House on April 13. The Senate approved the changes made by the House.
The fate of the bill that would make it a crime for an illegal alien to be present in the State of Arizona now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature. Gov. Brewer has not taken a position on the bill, but it's expected that she'll sign it into law. According to a report by the Associated Press, calls and emails to the Governor's office were running 3-to-1 in favor of the bill.
Sen. Russell Pearce wrote the bill to try and combat the state's 460,000 illegal aliens. He said the bill, which allows local law enforcement to ask individuals for proof of citizenship or legal residence, takes away restrictions put on police officers. The bill would also make it a crime to hire day laborers and transport illegal aliens.
Sen. John McCain, who cosponsored the 2007 Amnesty bill in the U.S. Senate, but is in a primary battle with former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, supports the bill.
"It's also a commentary on the frustration that our state Legislature has that the federal government has not fulfilled its constitutional responsibilities to secure our borders," Sen. McCain said.