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Associated Press, Published July 30 2010

Arizona governor considers changing controversial immigration law

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking legislators to consider whether they should change the state's immigration law in response to a judge's ruling blocking parts of it.

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman confirmed Friday that the governor called top legislative leaders to broach the possibility of changing provisions of the law on Thursday, a day after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction putting on hold parts of the new law that would have required officers to dig deeper into the fight against illegal immigration.

Senseman said the possibility of having legislators meet in special session to consider changing the law is merely being explored. He said Brewer is still pressing ahead with her appeal of Bolton's order.

Senate President Bob Burns said he'd need to know a lot more before he supports holding a special session.

The issue led to demonstrations across the country Thursday, including one directed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix, in which protesters beat on the metal door of a jail and chanted, "Sheriff Joe, we are here. We will not live in fear."

In total, 71 people were arrested during the Thursday protests, officials said Friday.

Brewer's lawyers went to court to overturn the judge's ruling so they can fight back against what the Republican calls an "invasion" of illegal immigrants. The state of Arizona has received more than $1.6 million in a fund to help defend the new law, including $75,000 on Wednesday, the day parts of the law were blocked.

Brewer said Friday she would "absolutely" take the judge's decision all the way to the Supreme Court, but she dodged didn't answer reporters' other questions about the immigration law at a news conference with U.S. Sen. John McCain about a decision to base new combat jets at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale.

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Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.