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Senate gives its support to Arizona immigration law

CONCORD - The state Senate Wednesday lent its support to Arizona's tough immigration law that requires law enforcement to check the legal status of people they stop.

Overturning its Internal Affairs Committee, which recommended killing House Concurrent Resolution 2, the Senate on a 15-9 vote and without debate approved the bill. The House had earlier approved the resolution which has the effect of law until the end of the two-year session.

After a public hearing on the resolution, committee members had said they would prefer to wait because the U.S. Supreme Court had only recently heard oral arguments and had not ruled.

Supporters of the resolution have said the Arizona law is needed because the federal government has failed to enforce its current laws and as a result millions of illegal immigrants live in this country.

But opponents argued the resolution would send the wrong message to the immigrant community, and the law could well be unconstitutional.

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