Immigration reform advocates cite poll, Georgia support

Immigration reform advocates cite poll, Georgia support

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ATLANTA -

Advocates for an immigration reform bill in Washington, D.C., say a new poll shows heavy support for the legislation in Georgia.

Those advocates say they see a significant level of support for an immigration overhaul. They say they hope the results of this poll, conducted by Partnership for a New American Economy, will have an impact on Georgia's senators

"Sixty-one percent of Georgians across political parties, more Republicans than Democrats, support this bill in Congress," said Charles Kuck, of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

For Georgian, supporters of this bill include the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, as well as labor and agri-business groups.

"This poll is done to give evidence to our people in Congress, our Senators and Representatives, that Georgians want reform and they want reform now," Kuck said.

President Obama has taken steps to make the legislation a top priority. Now that the U.S. Senate has voted to take up the bill, the stage is set for weeks of debate. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss have been cautious in approaching the legislation. They and other Republican leaders have said the measure will face changes.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, recently said, "I'll vote to debate it and for the opportunity to amend it. But, in the days ahead there will need to be major changes to this bill if it's going to become law."

Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party criticized the senators for voting to allow the debate.

"This bill is not about securing the border. This bill is about granting amnesty to 11 million people that are in our nation illegally," said Dooley.

The legislation provides a 13-year path to citizenship for undocumented workers, while also taking steps to streamline the system for legal immigration.

Debate on the bill in the Senate is expected to take three weeks. Prospects in the U.S.  House are more uncertain.

Sen, Isakson has said that he will call for changes to the immigration bill that would strengthen security along the border of the U.S. and Mexico.

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