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Witness testimony from today's Senate hearing on SB 1070

Photo by SEIU International/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A protester holds a union anti-SB 1070 sign, May 1, 2010

A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning on the constitutionality of Arizona's SB 1070 and state immigration laws in general brought some heated testimony, with witnesses that included former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, the controversial anti-illegal immigration law's chief sponsor.

Oral arguments are set for tomorrow as the U.S. Supreme Court takes on Arizona v. United States, an appeal brought by Arizona that challenges the federal government's assertion that immigration enforcement is the province of federal officials, and that SB 1070 is therefore preempted by federal immigration law. The Senate hearing today was much less relevant in the larger sense than whatever the high court will decide, but the arguments were interesting. Here are some highlights from today's witness testimony.