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Pawlenty’s immigration directive not needed, Dayton says

A state immigration directive issued by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2008 won’t be renewed because Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t believe it’s needed.

Pawlenty’s executive order had required state public safety, corrections and commerce officials to work with the feds to enforce immigration and customs law, including checking the prison population for illegal immigrants.

But Minnesota already does all that, Dayton spokesperson Kate Tinucci told the Associated Press.

“It doesn’t direct any specific action that we’re not doing already,” Tinucci said.

She said the governor checked with public safety officials and lawyers, as well as advocates for immigrants, before deciding on whether to keep any parts of the Pawlenty order.

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, a DFLers from Minneapolis, said many had wondered why Pawlenty issued the directive in the first place:

“We think that it was for — you know, he was planning to run for president,” she said.

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