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Legislative Panel OKs Tough Anti-immigration Bills (Feb 15, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Senate committee has approved bills denying Oklahoma citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants and one dubbed "Arizona-plus" that would allow police to confiscate property, like homes and vehicles, belonging to those in the country illegally.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved both bills on Tuesday on a straight party-line vote, with Democrats opposing the measures.

Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey, who wrote the bills, said he disagrees with the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that babies born in the U.S. automatically become American citizens. The Oklahoma City Republican says his bill on asset forfeiture and seizure would give law enforcement an incentive to capture and jail illegal immigrants.

Democratic Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre described the bills as "mean-spirited," and accused Shortey of political pandering.

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