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Community leaders hold rally in support of immigration reform

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PHOENIX -

The clock is ticking for lawmakers in Washington to get some sort of deal done on immigration reform.

Most of them won't return to Washington until next week, but the so-called "Gang of 8" is already back at work hoping to have some sort of deal in writing in just a few days.

Sources say issues like border security and a guest worker program have already been ironed out. But even then, it could take months before we see any real change.

There has even been talk that it could take more than a decade for someone to be able to apply for citizenship.

While there are still many skeptics, supports of comprehensive immigration reform feel now is the time. Just the notion that labor groups and business leaders can agree on a guest worker program has some lawmakers optimistic.

"I have heard farmers have had a very difficult time finding the people who will do the long hours from the pay that they are asking. They are not paying minimum wage, they are paying above minimum wage but it is very difficult to get some of our everyday Americans to do that work."

State Representative Ruben Gallego is hopeful that immigration reform is near.

"It's time for comprehensive immigration reform, its good for the country, it's good for the economy. It's time to get this done," says Gallego.

Gallego was a speaker at rally Monday night. He was joined by a number of organization and young people.

"Being able to find a way for people to be part of our country should be something that brings all of our political parties together. Because that is strengthening our country," says ASU student Anisha Hindocha.

But the so-called Gang of 8 senators, which include Arizona's two senators, still haven't released their plan for immigration reform, and one even said talk of a deal was premature.

One of the biggest sticking points is still border security.

"And eight guys in a room saying the border is going to be secure is not enough. For 27 years, they have not been able to secure the border. If that can be done, then I think you'll find strong support for it," says Rep. Peter King, New York Republican.

"This isn't a time to dig in heels and say we are not doing this. This isn't a time for people to say well I don't like certain parts of it therefore I can't support it. Compromise isn't pretty," says Todd Landfried, Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform.

A bill is expected to be unveiled next week when lawmakers in return to Washington after a two week break.

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