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Arizona reform advocates hail immigration proposal

PHOENIX -- Elected Arizona officials who advocate for immigration reform are hailing a proposal by eight U.S. senators to overhaul the current system while questioning some of the proposal's provisions.

U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Phoenix) said Monday's proposal by Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and four others was "very hopeful and encouraging."

But Pastor added, "I don't think we need to put conditions on different parts of the legislation. The pathway should be on its own and the securing of the border should not be related to that," he said.

The proposal seeks "Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas," according to documents obtained by Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Tucson said the principles of the proposal outs "the wind at the back" of those seeking comprehensive immigration reform. But he also is questioning the proposal's emphasis on securing the border and enforcement.

The Tucson Democrat said at a state Capitol press conference that the proposal gives only provisional visas to illegal immigrants until the border is deemed secure. He said border governors get too much power to determine when that is met.

Others called the proposal "a good day for America."

President Barack Obama releases his immigration reform proposal Tuesday.

KTAR's Jim Cross contributed to this article.

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