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The Arizona law requires state and local police to determine if people are in the country illegally, previously a function carried out by U.S. federal immigration police and some local forces. There are some 10.8 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States, an estimated 460,000 of them in Arizona. The state’s immigration law takes effect in late July.
Critics of the law argue it is unconstitutional and a mandate for racial profiling, and fear it will destroy trust between Hispanic communities and law enforcement in the border state.
Supporters say the law is needed to curb crime in Arizona, which is a busy entry point for Mexican cartels smuggling drugs to the U.S.
There are fears that a swine flu outbreak that has leapfrogged from Mexico, across North America and into Europe could become a global pandemic, rekindling memories of the SARS crisis that caused widespread turmoil six years ago.
The flu virus spreads quickly between humans and although it has so far only killed people in Mexico, governments across the world are taking measures to try to reduce its impact.