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Arizona governor: Border residents don’t feel safe

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to the assembled media on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Tucson International Airport after an aerial tour of the Arizona border. The governor spoke on the latest status of border security efforts in Arizona, including the Tucson Sector - which remains the most heavily-traveled section of the U.S. border for illegal crossings. (AP Photo/Arizona Daily Star, Mike Christy)

The border with Mexico won't be secure until the people living near there feel safe from drug and human trafficking, said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Tuesday after touring the region just hours before President Barack Obama championed his immigration plan in the State of the Union address.

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Tide changing in Arizona’s immigration politics (access required)

(From left) Former Sen. Russell Pearce, Rep. Steve Smith, Sen. Al Melvin, Rep. Ruben Gallego, President Barack Obama (File photos)

At the recent Republican statewide meeting in a north central Phoenix church, pews were packed with party loyalists listening to elected officials speak about issues facing the state and the nation.

But the topic that would have dominated the conversation in past years — illegal immigration — was scarcely mentioned.

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Arizona lawmakers struggle to stay on priorities

capitolweb

It's early on in the Arizona legislative session, but so far the proposals described by one top Republican as "esoteric" and criticized by Democrats as unconstitutional have dominated the headlines — despite promises from GOP leaders to focus on top-tier issues such as balancing the state budget and improving education.

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