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Defending Arizona Senate Bill 1070 Has Cost Arizona Over $2 Million in Legal Fees

Arizona Senate Bill 1070 says, in part:

The legislature finds that there is a compelling interest in the cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona. The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement of the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.

The bill was designed to protect Arizonans but has faced much attention and controversy since its proposal and signing in April 2010. Law enforcement officers are required to be familiar with certain guidelines in enforcing the bill, as to avoid racial profiling.

Currently, it is reported that the legal fees generated from defending the state against lawsuits based on SB 1070 have reached over $2 million. Included in such lawsuits is a challenge brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. From December 2010 through September 2011 alone, legal fees totaled $486,657.

A majority of the legal fees have been paid out of the legal defense fund, established by Governor Brewer. The fund is comprised of donations, and over 45,000 people from all 50 states have contributed to the fund.

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