Senator John McCain, one of the co-authors of the Senate bill outlining a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, is now putting the hard sell on Arizona's four Republican House members, Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon, Dave Schweikert and Trent Franks.
McCain has enlisted a variety of influential groups to help him in this endeavor -- The Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the Arizona Restaurant Association, the state's banking and small business trade groups, and many local religious leaders are joining McCain in supporting immigration reform.
The bill is now being considered by the House of Representatives, and has met with serious opposition because it includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already residing in the U.S. McCain hopes to convince one or more of his fellow Arizonans to support the bill, and that they will in turn persuade their fellow House Republicans to change their minds.
“It would be very helpful if they would just agree to sit down and negotiate with us,” McCain stated in an interview with Bloomberg Business Week. “All four of them have been rather quiet.”
McCain's main strategy to persuade the four Arizona Republicans is to convince them that reform will bolster the state's economy. According to data produced by Regional Economic Models, Inc., the proposed reform would deposit $5.5 billion into the state's coffers by 2045, and would increase total personal income to Arizona families by $2.5 billion by 2020.
However, such promises of economic boons have failed to convince many Republicans thus far, because they so staunchly oppose the pathway to citizenship. Many, like Speaker John Boehner, are also opposed to the plan because they say it doesn't provide strong enough border security, despite astonishing amounts of money that will go to border security under the bill as it was proposed.