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Feds to make arguments over Arizona immigration law

PHOENIX -- A federal court is allowing lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice to participate in arguments on April 2 over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's bid to overturn a ruling that bars police from enforcing a minor part of the state's 2010 immigration law.

Brewer is appealing a decision by a lower-court judge who ruled in favor of civil rights groups that sought to block the law's prohibition on harboring illegal immigrants.

The Justice Department had filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the appeal and asked to participate in the April 2 arguments.

Brewer's lawyers said the harboring ban is aimed at confronting crime and doesn't conflict with federal policies.

Opponents said the ban is trumped by federal law.

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