Pro Immigrant Groups Applaud Immigration Bill Progress

By Jude Joffe-Block
May 22, 2013

Photo by Jude Joffe-Block
Activists for more inclusive immigration policies spoke at a church in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday.

PHOENIX -- At a Wednesday press conference, immigrant rights groups in Arizona applauded the fact that the Senate immigration bill made it through its first hurdle.

The comprehensive bill passed the Senate judiciary committee in a 13-5 vote Tuesday.

Activists representing more than a dozen pro-immigrant groups voiced their gratitude to Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake for their leadership on immigration reform.

Both Republicans are members of the Gang of Eight Senators that co-wrote the bill. Flake helped shepherd the bill through the judiciary committee.

"The strength of the Gang of Eight is that they pledged they were going to try to work with their fellow members of the Senate," said Petra Falcon, of the grassroots group Promise Arizona. "And I think they have accomplished that."

The activists said they doesn't like everything in the bipartisan immigration bill, but said said they are pleased the version approved by the judiciary committee includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million unauthorized immigrants as well as protections for immigrant worker rights.

The bill is expected to go to the Senate floor next month.