Sen. Flake discusses immigration reform in Tucson - Tucson News Now

Sen. Flake discusses immigration reform in Tucson

Senator Jeff Flake (R) speaks at a lunch Monday in Tucson. Senator Jeff Flake (R) speaks at a lunch Monday in Tucson.

Since the beginning of the year, a group of eight U.S. senators have been working on comprehensive immigration reform. That group includes both Arizona senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Today, Senator Flake delivered an update on talks during a visit to Tucson.

The Tucson Hispanic of Commerce asked the senator to come and speak to them over a month ago, and now, timing couldn't be better as the senator told the crowd today that specific language on immigration reform legislation could come as early as next week.

Senator Flake covered a range of issues, and said the group of eight senators, known as the "gang of eight" who are crafting this legislation have reached a broad agreement on a guest worker program, including specifics like wage rates. He also talked about the path toward citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. He says citizenship won't happen for ten years, following a probationary period.

A lot of people are concerned about cost, and today the senator said the legislation will bring revenue in from fees, fines and back taxes paid by the people who want U.S. citizenship. Still, the senator admits it will be an investment.

Many say the hold-up on reform has been over concerns about border security, and right now, there's no good way at measuring what a secure border looks like. Senator Flake said the Department of Homeland Security is currently working on finding a way to measure what that looks like.

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