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Arizona Governor Turns Down Senate Invite

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) does not intend to appear before a Senate immigration panel to defend her support of the state’s controversial and far-reaching anti-illegal immigration law.

“I don’t think that appearing before Sen. [Charles] Schumer’s committee would be the most productive use of time,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said.

Benson’s comments come after Schumer wrote to Brewer on Thursday, asking her to appear before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, which he is the chairman of.

“Sen. Schumer and Congress have had plenty of time to address the border security issue; this looks like a political stunt,” Benson said.

Schumer was disappointed Brewer declined his invitation and said he hopes she changes her mind.

“Gov. Brewer has long said border security is one of the nation’s most pressing issues, so it is odd that she is unwilling to even come to Congress to defend her views,” Schumer said in a statement from his office. “It makes you wonder whether there is genuine interest in finding real solutions to our broken immigration system. We hope the governor will reconsider.”

The hearing is scheduled for the day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Arizona’s case against the federal government over the constitutionality of the state’s immigration law.

The schedule was designed to “make it easier for you to attend the hearing in the event you will already be travelling to Washington, D.C., to attend the oral argument,” Schumer wrote in the letter inviting Brewer to appear.

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