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Sweeping immigration bill passes House; draws protests

Those opposing Sen. Russell Pearce's immigration crackdown bill listed their concerns April 13 on the Capitol lawn, just hours before the House is slated to debate and vote on the bill. The Arizona Interfaith Network, a group of local clergy, and the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform (AZEIR) pointed out the problems they saw in the bill, highlighting the precarious position this puts law enforcement and local governments into, as well as the overall humanitarian rights trampling they see this bill promoting.

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Next stop for Pearce’s immigration bill: House floor (access required)

For years, beating the drum for increased local authority to pursue illegal immigrants has delivered some of Arizona's lawmakers waves of public support, and to a lesser degree, brought criticism. But because immigration issues tend toward the hyperbolic in Arizona, and the approaching election beckons lawmakers to appear tougher on immigration than those gunning for their seats, a bill that promises to render a great deal of that increased authority looks more likely than ever to become law.

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