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Donations in Support of Arizona's Immigration Law Near $20G

Ariz anti-illegal immigration rally

June 5: Arizona residents rally in support of the state's new immigration law near the state capitol in Phoenix. (AP)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's office has received nearly $20,000 in private donations to help the state mount a legal defense against lawsuits related to its tough new immigration law.

Nearly 440 people in 46 states and the District of Columbia have contributed to the fund. According to a list of donors provided to The Arizona Republic newspaper, the smallest contribution is $1 and the largest is $750.

Brewer announced last month that she had hired private counsel to represent her in the federal lawsuits pending against the state. She is named as a defendant in four of the five cases.

Arizona's new immigration law is scheduled to take effect July 29. It requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio plans to launch his 16th crime and immigration sweep on July 30, the day after the new law is set to take effect.

The sheriff's office hasn't revealed where it will conduct the sweep.

During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city -- in some cases heavily Latino areas -- to seek out traffic violators and arrest other alleged lawbreakers.

Critics who are challenging the law have asked a judge to block enforcement of the law before it takes effect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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