The Senate voted against Arizona's right to enforce immigration laws, 55-to-43, by allowing Justice Department funds to be used in the lawsuit against the state. The vote prevented a floor vote on Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) amendment to the unemployment extension bill making its way through Congress. The amendment would have blocked funding to the Justice Department from being used in its lawsuit against Arizona.
Five Democrats crossed party lines and voted with Republicans and showed their support for Arizona's latest effort to deal with the its large illegal alien population. Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and John Tester (D-Mont.) voted in support of Arizona.
Republican Senators George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) voted with the Democratic majority and against Arizona.
Arguments in the federal government's lawsuit against Arizona began today. Judge Susan Bolton is expected to make decision on the government's request to suspend the law until the lawsuit is completed. Enforcement of the law is supposed to begin on July 29.
Public opinion remains strongly in favor of Arizona's right to enforce immigration laws with 61% of Americans supporting passage of a similar law in their own state. Fifty-six percent of Americans oppose the government's lawsuit against Arizona and only 28% support the suit.
View a complete Roll Call of the vote against Arizona.
Originally Published: Thu, Jul 22nd 2010 @ 1:58pm EDT