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A New Direction: Cracking down on illegals is losing luster in down economy

With another election season fast approaching, border security remains a priority, but many lawmakers and political insiders say support for local immigration-enforcement measures appears to be waning. The prevailing mood is that lawmakers might not have the appetite to wage emotionally draining battles over illegal immigration at a time when the state faces a more immediate menace — a sagging economy and the loss of 300,000 jobs during the recession.

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Brewer pushing major presidential role for Grand Canyon State (access required)

In a state that has so often been an afterthought in presidential campaigns, Gov. Jan Brewer wants Arizona to have a role befitting its newfound national prominence in 2012.

Arizona has dominated the national discourse on illegal immigration and border security for the past two years, and it's one of the epicenters of the nationwide housing crisis.

Now Brewer wants to parlay that influence into a louder voice for Arizona in choosing the Republican Party’s nominee to face President Barack Obama.

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