Texas Immigration Bill Approved By Senate

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Senate Republicans flexed their muscle again, shoving aside the angry and tearful objections of Democrats to pass a bill that gives police officers broader powers
to ask people they detain about their citizenship status.

The 19-12 vote shortly after midnight Wednesday morning came after nearly eight hours of emotional debate in which Democrats railed against the bill as racist and a tool to harass Latinos.

The bill pushed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry now goes to the House for consideration, where it is expected to easily pass.

The Republican super-majority in the House approved a similar version during the regular session.
Perry and supporters say the bill will help police fight crime committed by illegal immigrants.

Opponents, including law enforcement chiefs in the state's largest cities and immigrant rights activists, say the measure will allow rogue officers to target Hispanics.