HUB TELEGRAM: The Arizona Legislature made its latest foray into the immigration debate on Wednesday by giving initial approval to stiffer penalties for immigrants who break the law while in the country illegally, forbidding judges from giving them any leniency in the courts.
Arizona passed a series of immigration crackdowns last decade that culminated with the approval of SB 1070, which launched protests, lawsuits and national controversy with its provision requiring police to try and determine the immigration status of people during routine stops.
The Republican-dominated Legislature has largely avoided passing immigration proposals since SB 1070, although Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, has sponsored several measures in recent years that have gone nowhere.
Smith chairs the Senate committee that passed a pair of measures targeting immigration Wednesday. Smith said he sponsored the bills to ensure that everyone is following the letter of the law.
Sen. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale, was the…
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