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The leading GOP and Democratic Party candidates for California governor share a position: None is eager to endorse Arizona's new law requiring local police to check people's legal status based on "reasonable suspicion" that someone might be an illegal immigrant.

GOP candidate Meg Whitman said last Friday she couldn't comment on the law. By Tuesday, she released a statement saying "should such legislation be proposed in California, I would oppose it because I believe there are far more effective and suitable ways to fight illegal immigration."

Steve Poizner, Whitman's main rival in the June 8 primary for the GOP nomination, had a tepid reaction to the law. He's taken a hard line in TV ads against illegal immigrants, blaming them as a strain on the state budget. "We will watch closely to see how the law in Arizona is implemented and whether it produces positive results," Poizner said in a statement.

He said he'd rather try other measures -- such as cutting taxpayer-funded benefits -- before trying an Arizona-type law.

Democrat Jerry Brown has released a statement with a legal assessment: "The Arizona law is legally problematic. This is an issue of federal responsibility, and the federal government needs to step up, secure the border and enact sensible immigration reform."


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