Democrats, emboldened by the recall of Senate President Russell Pearce and flagging public interest in enforcement-focused immigration laws, plan to introduce a bill to repeal Arizona's controversial Senate Bill 1070.
But they admit their chances of success in Arizona's conservative-dominated Legislature are still slim to none.
Lawmakers passed the law in 2010, but it has never fully gone into effect. Opponents filed numerous legal challenges, and the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the case this spring.
This week, Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, will propose legislation to repeal SB 1070. It is the first legislative attempt to do so.
"There's a strong feeling within the Latino community that SB 1070 should be repealed," Gallardo said.
Rep. John Kavanagh, who along with recalled Sen. Russell Pearce sponsored the 2010 legislation, said SB 1070 is more popular than ever.
"Clearly this is nothing more than a political ploy to garner voter approval," the Fountain Hills Republican said. "It has zero chance."
Gallardo said he knows the bill likely won't get far, but he believes support for measures that attempt to deter illegal immigration by criminal enforcement has declined both in the Legislature and throughout Arizona.
"Look at the image this has provided to the state of Arizona," he said. "This is a black cloud that continues to hang over it. Some of the (legislative) members would agree that it might be best to pull the plug on it."
Republican leadership could kill the bill without ever giving it a single vote.
Legislative leaders decide which bills to assign to a committee and grant a public hearing. Without a public hearing, a bill dies.
Leaders also decide which bills to put before the full chamber for a vote. Without that vote, a bill dies.
Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, said it's unlikely any committee chairman would give the bill a hearing.
"I don't give it much of a chance," he said.
Most Democrat-sponsored bills die without ever getting a committee hearing, unless some Republicans sign on in support.
Gallardo said he hopes to get some Republican backing.
"Will there be anyone on the Republican side to make such a courageous stand? I doubt it," he said. "But I am going to reach out to them."
SB 1070, among other things, required local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws and required them to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.
Some business leaders oppose the law, saying it has sullied the state's reputation and negatively impacted business. Last year, that business community's influence killed several other immigration laws. With this being an election year, even the most conservative lawmakers may pay more attention to their desires.
And unlike the past two years, there is no Pearce at the Legislature to protect the law he wrote. Voters recalled Pearce in November, partly because of SB 1070.
"Voters said enough is enough," Gallardo said of the Pearce recall. "We want to get away from this negative image. I think this would be a good start."
Sen.-elect David Lujan, D-Phoenix, who replaces Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, said he believes now is the time to recall the law. Lujan served in the House in 2010 but did not show up for the vote on SB 1070.
"SB 1070 has been such a divisive bill for Arizona. It has created such a diversion," he said. "We need to take it off the books."
Gallardo may have more support from Arizonans than he would have had in 2010.
A Rasmussen poll conducted shortly after SB 1070 passed indicated that 64 percent of Arizonans surveyed supported the law. An Arizona State University Morrison Institute for Public Policy poll conducted this fall indicated that 78 percent supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. About 69 percent of Republicans polled indicated support for such a path to citizenship.
But Kavanagh maintains that support for SB 1070 remains as strong now as it was in 2010. He welcomes a revote on the issue.
"This is a widely popular bill nationwide," he said. "Revoting on SB 1070 would jack me up about 10 points in the polls."
"This bill is overwhelmingly popular with residents of this state," Antenori said. "The likelihood of support for this effort based on that popularity amongst Arizonans is slim to none."
More than two dozen states considered bills similar to SB 1070 last year. Four passed them. Alabama's law is now the most restrictive in the nation.
Arizona Republicans are expected to propose at least a few new immigration measures this session.
Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, will likely propose legislation similar to what he unsuccessfully introduced last year. Those bills would have required public schools to keep track of their numbers of illegal-immigrant students.
"It's designed to put a price tag on the impact," Antenori said.
Kavanagh has filed House Bill 2031, which would require police to impound any vehicle in which the driver is not properly insured. He said a disproportionate number of uninsured drivers in Arizona are illegal immigrants.
State senators have until Jan. 30 to file their bills. Representatives have until Feb. 6.