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Immigration hardliners seemed to have true believers, but some Republicans are straying from the flock (access required)

With Republicans in firm control of Arizona’s government apparatus and Sen. Russell Pearce leading the Senate, more aggressive laws against illegal immigration seemed certain to emerge from the 2011 legislative session. But cracks are showing in the reputed Republican bastion built on dominance in the Arizona Legislature and Governor’s Office.

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Omnibus immigration bill squeaks through (access required)

Although the legality of Arizona’s SB1070 has yet to be decided in court, that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from attempting to pass what backers describe as closing holes in existing laws but what critics call an even more sweeping immigration measure.

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Senate panel passes birthright bills

After a rocky start, the birthright legislation finally received committee approval on Feb. 22, overcoming the initial hurdle before the full Senate can debate and vote on the measure that is stirring so much raw emotion and is solidifying Arizona’s reputation as ground zero in the struggle to confront illegal immigration.

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