Arizona officials bring case for immigration reform to Washington

By Michelle Peirano | Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – A delegation of Arizona state and local officials came to Washington Wednesday to press for comprehensive immigration reform, saying the time for action is now while the nation is paying attention.

“Congress is listening and respects their views,” former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg said of the ongoing dialogue in the state between reform supporters and those who question whether an immigration bill would help them socially and economically.

Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg holds a newspaper in which Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. the GOP's 2012 vice presidential nominee, called for immigration reform in the wake of the Boston bombing. It's proof that reform is not just a Democratic issue, said Shadegg, a Republican.
Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg holds a newspaper in which Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, called for immigration reform in the wake of the Boston bombing. It’s proof that reform is not just a Democratic issue, said Shadegg, a Republican.

The forum, organized by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, included advocates for immigrants, current and former members of Congress and the Maricopa County attorney. The mayors of Mesa and Avondale were also on hand.

They came to push for approval of a reform package, like the one introduced last week in the Senate that could create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally, if the border can be secured.

Not every state official agrees. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu issued a statement this week that the nation cannot discuss the many elements of immigration reform while the border is not secure and current officials are still in charge of closing the border.

Continued: 

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