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Arizona Sen. Flake pleased with immigration bill's progress

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, listen as the Senate Judiciary Committee meets in a markup session to examine proposed changes to immigration reform legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 9, 2013. A bill to enact dramatic changes to the nation's immigration system and put some 11 million immigrants here illegally on a path to citizenship is facing its first congressional test as lawmakers contest specifics in the 844-page legislation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

PHOENIX -- The Gang of Eight's immigration reform is moving forward and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said the bill could be on the Senate floor next month.

"It's a better bill today than it was," Flake said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee started refining legislation Thursday to secure the borders and grant eventual citizenship to millions living in the United States illegally.

One proposal that advanced and Flake supported came from Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. It specifies that a requirement for 90 percent of border crossers be stopped or turned back will apply to the entire southern border, not just "high-risk" sectors.

"This bill has more border security elements than any immigration bill that has ever been introduced. In terms of manpower, infrastructure and surveillance, you name it, it's got it. This is good Arizona and good for the country as well."

Flake said he's hopeful the committee will finish its work late next week and then be on the Senate floor in early June.

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About the Author


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

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

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. 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. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

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

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

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