Three cheers for Jan Brewer. The Arizona governor turned down Senator Chuck Schumer’s invitation to testify about S.B. 1070 at his April 24 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. [Sen. Schumer Invites Ariz. Gov. to Hearing on Controversial Anti-Immigration Law, by Daniel Strauss, The Hill, February 22, 2012]
If history is our guide, Brewer would be the only enforcement advocate on the panel. And there’s zero chance that Schumer would listen to anything Brewer said. Instead, the hearing would give Schumer an excellent opportunity to beat up on Brewer—or try to anyway. Brewer is no patsy; she stood up to President Obama on his visit to Arizona and was famously photographed wagging her finger in his face. [Read story; see video here]
In his letter to Brewer, Schumer sounded more threatening than welcoming. Schumer wrote:
“At this hearing, we will be examining whether it is both constitutional and sound public policy for states to enact broad laws, such as S.B. 1070 in Arizona, that are designed to deter and punish illegal immigration."
Schumer also wrote that he wants to question Brewer about why she signed S.B. 1070, if she thinks it’s still necessary and whether it should be made “a permanent law irrespective of whether conditions further improve along the southern border.” Read Schumer’s “invitation” here.
Brewer press aide Matthew Benson correctly described Schumer’s hearing as a “publicity stunt” and added that the federal government has had “years to deal with this problem. They haven’t.” In summary, Benson confirmed that Brewer doesn’t think the hearing would be “productive.”
And Brewer’s right. From his tone, Schumer sounds like he wants to grill Brewer. And what’s the point? Based on his 30 year Congressional voting record that has supported every alien entitlement and each proposed increase in non-immigrant visa totals, Schumer wouldn’t be swayed no matter what Brewer said.
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear Arizona arguments on April 25.