After more than two hours of discussion, and by a 7 - 6 vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved SB1611, Russell Pearce's latest effort to one-up last year's SB1070.
The four Democrats on the committee, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, David Schapira, Paula Aboud, and Olivia Cajero-Bedford, were joined by Republican Sens. Sylvia Allen and Rich Crandall, in voting against the bill.
The Crandall vote wasn't surprising as he voted against the anti-14th Amendment bills earlier in the evening, but I have no idea where Allen's vote came from. She's normally on board with all of the nativist garbage.
The debate was long and mostly involved Sen. Sinema going over the bill page by page with Pearce, the bill's sponsor, and pointing out everything that was wrong or just sloppily-written.
When Pearce wasn't resorting to "the law is the law and we must enforce it" to buttress his arguments, he was 'pooh-pooh'-ing concerns that the language of the bill might have some unintended consequences with statements like "it's a great spin" when Sinema brought up the point that Pearce's bill would penalize small children for crimes that they cannot legally be liable for because of their age). He was similarly dismissive of concerns that his bill would cause abused women to be turned away from domestic violence shelters if they didn't have proper documentation. He also tended to simply avoid answering questions that he didn't like.
He also tended toward hyperbole instead of verifiable facts - consular-issued ID cards are the "greatest threat to homeland security" and citing "facts" and statistics of dubious veracity in support of his position.
Allow me to sum up his position:
Those darn Mexicans!!
I wish I could write more, but I'm tired and I'm ticked off. It's 11:30 p.m. The Approps meeting is still going strong. It's time for bed.