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Official: Immigration reform would benefit Arizona economy

PHOENIX -- Congress will light the fuse on Arizona's economy if they can get a deal done on comprehensive immigration reform, the head of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Glenn Hamer said says immigration reform should help bring us back up to full speed on job levels and then some.

"Innovators want to come here but we need dramatic improvement in the immigration system to meet those needs," he said.

Hamer pointed out that Arizona is now in the top 10 when it comes to job growth nationally. At one point it dropped to 49th.

Hamer said reform would ignite Arizona's economy across the board from agriculture to tourism and skilled jobs

"The economic impact would be off the charts."

The Economic Policy Institute said Arizona is behind only Nevada when it comes to returning jobs to precession levels. Arizona lost 300,000 jobs during the recession and we're still down by more than 150,000 jobs from where it was in late 2007.

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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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