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AZ Lawmaker Withdraws Bill for Warnings about Southern AZ

Verbally battered by local officials, a border area lawmaker said today she is abandoning her proposal to warn area residents and visitors about dangers from illegal immigrants. 

The proposal by Representative Peggy Judd (R-Wilcox) would have required the state Department of Homeland Security to monitor intelligence for "dangerous conditions in regard to illegal immigration activities." What caused concern is the agency would have been empowered to warn the public in various ways, ranging from direct e-mails to local media and social networking sites. That caused an outcry from border area mayors and tourism officials who feared the notices might drive off visitors. Judd offered to rewrite the measure to not only narrow the scope of what was being monitored but to limit who would get the warnings.

"Now it would be only available by a registration through the Department of Homeland Security web site or another web site related to the border," said Judd. "So it would never be on a tourism web site or a Realtor web site. It wouldn't be given out freely like that."

But Judd said local officials said they were not interested and want the measure to die. She said that's unfortunate.

"We know it's awesome in Nogales," Judd said. "We know things are OK right here in the city limits. But when I go to visit my grandma in Tucson, I would like this information."