GOP business backers urge immigration reform

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A group of Arizona Republicans and business leaders on Wednesday urged Congress to act on immigration even as President Barack Obama is poised to take executive action to shield millions of people in the country illegally from deportation.

Members of the advocacy group include state Sen. Bob Worsley, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Barry Broome, president of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Worsley said the Arizona effort is part of a nationwide push to tamp down anger among GOP members of Congress and channel it toward reform instead. He noted comments from some Arizona Republicans he viewed as counterproductive.

"Our Republican Congressional delegation has been getting a lot of national press on their comments," Worsley said, "and it's not been on solving the problem, it's been `how do we punish or reverse what he's doing.'"

Rep. Paul Gosar, for one, signed on as a sponsor of a bill authorizing the House to sue Obama over his planned immigration action.

"As the president continues to threaten the American people with an executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, House Republicans are taking the necessary steps ... to stop the president's unconstitutional overreach," Gosar said in a statement Tuesday.

Worsley said a better reaction for Republicans would be to sidestep Obama's actions by passing a GOP immigration bill fixing the nation's broken system.

"To get true visa form, border security, true legal status - not citizenship, not amnesty - you can't do any of that by executive order," he said. "You've got to go through Congress."

The president plans to address the nation Thursday on his plans. He said in a video released Wednesday by the White House that Washington has allowed the issue to "fester for too long."

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