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Updated Aug 27, 2013 - 8:11 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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