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PHOENIX -- A group of Valley religious and law enforcement leaders gathered Tuesday to ask Congress to act immediately on immigration reform as the nation's economy continues to suffer.

"We need a system that can meet the demands of our growing economy," said Todd Sanders with the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. "Voters are sending the signal that it's time to pass meaningful immigration reform."

Last year, the Senate passed an immigration bill pushed by Arizona Sens. John Mccain and Jeff Flake, but House Speaker John Boehner hasn't allowed members to vote it. The bill would secure the border and offers a pathway to citizenship.

"The Bible is filled with immigrants -- all people are created equal in the image of God," said Tom Parker with Fuller Seminary. "We see this as an important issure as a matter of gospel. We can continue to be a light-bearing country, a country that stands out for how we treat others."

Tuesday's meeting was part of a press conferences across five states calling for immigration reform. The organization released a joint letter to Congress, calling on lawmakers to move on immigration reform or the country and state economies will continue to struggle.

"From an economic prospective, it is absolutely essential we pass immigration reform," said James Lundy with Alliance Bank of Arizona. "The future growth of our economy comes down to civil demographics."

Sandra Haros , Reporter

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