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Arizona congressman: Immigration reform close, but not done

PHOENIX -- Comprehensive immigration reform still has hurdles to overcome, said Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor.

"The problem is that the so-called Gang of Eight on immigration reform wants to make the negotiations with anybody leaking it," he said. "Once you leak information, then you get people favoring and opposing reform and before you know it, you get more conflict and chatter outside of the negotiations. "

The Gang of Eight includes Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain.

Another of Pastor's chief concerns is how to define a secure border. That is a major trigger point in the reform for millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. who want to become citizens.

"I think the legalization is something they've worked out because you're hearing more commonality on it," he said. "With the AFL-CIO and National Chamber of Commerce working out a deal with the guest worker program, that puts them pretty far ahead."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Favorite news memory: The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges -- which was outstanding --, Lonesome Dove.

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, The University of Montana Grizzlies and Texas Rangers.

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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