Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) today invited Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) to testify before a Senate panel about the state’s controversial and far-reaching anti-illegal immigration law.
“I write to invite you to testify at a hearing on Tuesday, April 24 ... entitled ‘Examining the Constitutionality and Prudence of State and Local Governments Enforcing Immigration Law,’” Schumer wrote in today’s letter to Brewer.
Schumer is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, and he also heads the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications unit.
His invitation comes a day after Republican presidential candidates met for a debate in Mesa, Ariz. The state’s law was praised by most of the GOP candidates, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who called it a “model” for the nation.
Republican presidential candidates have been walking a fine line on immigration issues as they seek to show their base they are tough on illegal immigration in an effort to win the nomination, but not to the point that it alienates Latino voters in the general election — particularly in swing states such as Nevada and New Mexico.
“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 wrote.
The hearing is scheduled for the day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the state’s case against the federal government over the constitutionality of Arizona’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.
He added that he is interested in hearing from Brewer since the implementation of a 2010 federal law that provided more than $600 million of reinforcements for border security.
“This legislation has achieved dramatic results at the border,” Schumer said. “The Border Patrol is better staffed today than at any time in its 87 year history, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 under President [George W.] Bush to more than 21,300 today.