A bill approved by the state Legislature would require city and county police agencies to have their officers tackle federal immigration violations.
The Senate's 20-9 vote Monday completed action on the bill (HB2807), which had been approved by the House previously. It goes next to Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Local agencies could meet the requirement by getting training for their police and jail officers, putting federal immigration agents in units within their departments or cultivating relationships with federal authorities to confront the problem.
A small number of local police agencies in Arizona have already sought special training to learn enforcement of federal immigration law.
The training lets police officers make immigration arrests while carrying out their regular duties.
It also allows jail officers to speed up the deportations of criminal immigrants after they complete sentences on state violations, thus getting them in the hands of federal authorities quicker and reducing local corrections costs.
The bill would also prohibit county and city governments from having policies that prevent or restrict them from receiving or exchanging information about people's immigration status in certain instances.
Those cases include determining a person's eligibility for public benefits that are off-limits to illegal immigrants, confirming the identity of an arrested person and verifying a person's status if the status is required under law.
The bill drew support from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Arizona Police Association and opposition from Phoenix and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.