Sen. Flake knocks immigration proposal

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Sen. Jeff Flake doesn't think a Republican bill curbing immigration is a good idea. (Source: CNN/CBS 5/3TV) Sen. Jeff Flake doesn't think a Republican bill curbing immigration is a good idea. (Source: CNN/CBS 5/3TV)
Kelli Ward, a Republican challenging Flake for his seat next year, disagrees with Flake's position and urges lawmakers to vote for the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Kelli Ward, a Republican challenging Flake for his seat next year, disagrees with Flake's position and urges lawmakers to vote for the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, said the measure would only increase illegal immigration. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democrat, said the measure would only increase illegal immigration. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday knocked his party's latest effort to slash the number of immigrants coming to the United States.

The Republican-backed RAISE Act cuts the number of legal immigrants admitted into the U.S. by 50 percent over 10 years.

It also sets up a merit-based immigration system that gives potential immigrants with higher job skills a greater chance of getting into the country legally.  

[READ MORE: How to earn 'points' to come to the US under Trump's immigration plan]

"We need to make sure we are responsive to the needs of our economy, and I’m concerned that drastic cuts to the number of immigrants fails [sic] to meet that goal,” Flake said in a statement.

The bill has languished in the Senate since February and will likely have a hard time getting the 60 votes it needs to clear the Upper Chamber.

[READ MORE: Trump backs GOP plan to push legal immigration changes]

Kelli Ward, a Republican challenging Flake for his seat next year, disagrees with Flake's position and urges lawmakers to vote for the bill.

"You know, I think the RAISE Act is the exact right direction our country should be taking. It's going to modernize and make our immigration system much smarter," she said Wednesday.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

Ward is a former state lawmaker who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. John McCain last year.

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Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

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