June 26th, 2012
12:56 PM ET

Immigration fight changes Arizona, groups say

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - The biggest change in Arizona since the state adopted a tough immigration enforcement policy two years ago has been a more tolerant climate for immigrants, representatives from several groups said Monday.

"There has been a change in Arizona, without a doubt," said Clarissa Martinez, director of immigration for the National Council of La Raza, which led a coalition of civil rights groups in a tourism boycott of the state after SB 1070 became law in the spring of 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that three of the law's four key provisions infringed on the federal government's constitutional jurisdiction over immigration. The high court let stand the provision allowing police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

There were dire warnings by critics when the law took effect in July 2010 that it would keep businesses and people from moving to the state and that it would drive families away. There is no good measure of how many Hispanic families, fearing persecution by law enforcement, moved from Arizona.

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