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Backers of immigration reform hope to recover pre-shutdown momentum

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U. S. Rep. Keith Ellison and other advocates of immigration policy reform are calling on Congress to pass a measure by the end of the year.

After weeks in which the government shutdown and debt limit debate dominated debate in the beltway, the Star Tribune reports Ellison and other immigration activists hope to rekindle momentum on the issue. The newspaper reports the executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, John Keller, said at a Monday news conference “It’s the closest we’ve been to passing immigration reform in the last generation.”

Even during the shutdown Ellison tried to keep immigration in the forefront by getting arrested during a demonstration that blocked traffic near the Capitol in Washington.

President Obama has identified immigration reform along with a budget and a farm bill as his leading priorities. But a Republican aide tells NBC that - while the party remains committed to fixing immigration policy - the shutdown fight has left some hard feelings that could make it hard to work together with Democrats.

Twin Cities Business recently spoke with a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce official who says the future of the state's labor force relies heavily on immigrants.

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