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Updated Aug 27, 2013 - 8:10 pm

Sens. McCain, Flake talk up immigration plan to Arizona crowd

MESA, Ariz. -- During an hourlong town hall-style event before about 200 people, U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona outlined their support for the Senate-passed immigration reform plan and called on House members to follow suit.

The topics covered at the Mesa Arts Center gathering included boosting jobs, providing a pathway to citizenship for approximately 11 million people living here illegally and border security. Flake and McCain said the Senate bill addresses all of those issues and without amnesty.

"In our travels around the state, everyone recognizes the status quo isn't acceptable. And there are differences in what this final bill needs to contain," McCain said.

McCain said he recognized that many in the House and even the Senate oppose the legislation but they're in agreement on one thing:

"Status quo is unacceptable. That gives us hope that we can sit down and come up with a solution," he said.

Flake said the recent arrests of employees at several Danny's Car Wash locations in Phoenix is "Exhibit A on why reform is needed.

"Here's where you have e-verify, but it doesn't tell you if someone is using someone else's Social Security Number. People falsified records or at least those are the allegations."

Several dozen people who oppose and support the Senate passed immigration plan gathered outside the center.

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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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