Sen. Russell Pearce speaking to reporters in 2011 as legal challenges were being mounted to SB 1070, the legislation designed to let police in Arizona question and detain people suspected of being in this country illegally.

PHOENIX — Russell Pearce, the sponsor of Arizona's 2010 comprehensive and controversial law about illegal immigration, died Thursday at his home at age 75.

The Mesa Republican gained international attention with his SB 1070, dubbed the Fair and Legal Employment Act, which was designed to give the state a role in identifying and detaining those not in this country legally.

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