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PHOENIX -- The Mexican government is urging a U.S. court to prevent Arizona from enforcing a minor section of the state's immigration law that prohibited the harboring of illegal immigrants.

Lawyers representing Mexico asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a filing Wednesday to uphold a lower-court ruling that blocked police from enforcing the ban.

Mexico argues in its friend-of-the-court brief that the ban harms diplomatic relations between the United States and undermines America's ability to speak to a foreign country with one voice.

The harboring ban was in effect from late July 2010 until U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked its enforcement on Sept. 5.

Bolton had said two weeks before shelving the ban that she knew of no arrests that were made under the provision.

Associated Press,

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