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Over the last several years, state legislatures have increasingly sought to enact laws relating to immigration, arguing that the large population of undocumented workers and Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform have unduly burdened the states. The State of Arizona has been on the leading edge of this trend. In 2007, it enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which penalizes employers for knowingly or intentionally hiring or employing undocumented foreign nationals and requires all Arizona employers to use the federal E-Verify system to verify whether employees are authorized to work in the United States. Last summer, it enacted the controversial Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, Senate Bill 1070, a law that sought to criminalize the presence of undocumented foreign nationals in the state and give local law enforcement the broad authority to check the immigration status of individuals where there is a “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented, among other provisions.

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