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Bennet to tour Arizona-Mexico border Wednesday

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Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, discusses immigration reform at a North Denver restaurant.

DENVER — Four members of the “Gang of Eight” that’s leading negotiations in Congress on a comprehensive immigration reform package will tour the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, Ariz. on Wednesday.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, will be among them.

Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona will lead the group, along with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

The group will be visiting the border to meet with border enforcement officials and see some boarder operations and security measures, according to Bennet’s office.

The trip also includes meeting with immigration advocates and leaders.

Following the tour, the four senators will hold a press conference in Nogales.

The “Gang of Eight” released its initial proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for undocumented people after border security is stepped up, in late January.

For Democrats, balancing the legislative imperative of crafting a deal Republicans can accept with the Hispanic community’s expectations hasn’t been easy, as Bennet found out in February when he first pitched the bipartisan plan to a packed room of Latinos in Denver.

At the White House Monday, President Barack Obama set a goal of having Congress debate immigration reform in April.

“We’ve known for years that our immigration system is broken,” the president said at a citizenship ceremony at the White House. “After avoiding the problem for years, the time has come to fix it once and for all.”

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