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Scott Beason, one of Alabama's Republican state senators, is no newcomer to controversy. Earlier this year, he helped author what many consider to be the nation's strictest immigration law, which we examine in detail on Friday's NewsHour.
Besides interviewing him about the law's economic impact on the state's farms and crops, we asked Beason about some comments he made which some have called racist. In one, he referred to a casino's black patrons as 'aborigines'. He has since apologized. And at a party breakfast meeting earlier this year, Beason told Alabama Republicans to "empty the clip and do what has to be done," in order to address illegal immigration.
Beason calls these comments 'regrettable' and says the controversy has allowed him to talk with people he would never have had the opportunity to before.
We questioned Beason about all this, and here's what he had to say.