Peter O'Dowd

A video of a Republican congressional candidate in Southern Arizona is causing a stir on Election Day. The controversy stems from comments she made about people of Middle Eastern descent.

Peter O'Dowd

A place with one of the harshest climates in the Southwest –- Phoenix -- records more days over 100 degrees than any other major city in the country. But climate models predict metro Phoenix, with its population of four million, will get hotter.

Here in John Larsala’s driveway, the view is bleak.

“You see our tree is dead,” Larsala said. “All these trees are dying because I can’t put water on it.”

The grass is dead too. In fact, there is no grass anymore.

Peter O'Dowd

Standing on the edge of an unfinished railroad bridge outside of Brownsville, Texas, businessman John Wood can see across the Rio Grande into Mexico.

"We are tied together," Wood said of the two countries. "It's kind of like an umbilical cord."

The rail line will connect Brownsville with Matamoros, Mexico, when completed. It's the first of its kind to connect the countries in a century.

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday on Arizona’s immigration law, known as SB 1070. It was a mixed ruling. The court struck down most of the law, but upheld the most controversial provision.

The state of Arizona has already spent nearly $3 million defending the law. And the investment was worth it, according to state leaders like Governor Jan Brewer. She called the court’s ruling a victory for states like Arizona struggling with illegal immigration.

An immigration expert says young people who were illegally brought to the United States by their parents should be still be cautious, despite President Obama’s announcement today that they’ll be spared  from deportation.

Peter O'Dowd / KJZZ

Trade between the United States and Mexico reached half a trillion dollars in 2011. Cross-border commerce is growing despite escalating drug violence in Mexico.

The final tally came out to $500 billion in goods and services traded between the two countries, according to a paper by the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies.

Peter O'Dowd / KJZZ

Here's a turnaround worth noting: The housing market in Phoenix is emerging from a historic slumber. Foreclosures are down, and new home sales are re-energizing the market -- up 35 percent from a year ago.

Let's get down to street level, shall we? How 'bout Ravenswood Drive near Gilbert's eastern edge.

Ken Peterson is a Vice President for Shea Homes. We're in a development called Spaces. And listen to this, air compressors and nail guns all around us.

Peter O'Dowd / KJZZ

 A federal judge stopped the most controversial parts of Arizona's 2010 immigration law from going into effect. But supporters say that hasn't prevented the law from achieving one of its stated goals: Thousands of people who were living in Arizona illegally have left.

Jossie is one of them.

"A lot of time when the police was driving behind me, start shaking my body, stop breathing," says the mother of two teenagers, who now lives in Albuquerque, N.M.

Jossie is still afraid of getting deported, so we agreed not to use her last name.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on the most divisive immigration law in recent memory. Arizona's Legislature passed SB 1070 two years ago, but much of it has been put on hold pending the court's decision.

Still, supporters say the law has achieved one of its stated goals: Thousands of illegal immigrants have self-deported, leaving the state on their own. The real reason — and consequence — of such a demographic shift may be more complex, however.

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

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