Arizona Gov. Rejects NY Senator’s Invitation to Explain Immigration Law

Before the Supreme Court takes up Arizona’s controversial immigration law in April, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is planning a subcommittee hearing on the issue.

The high court is scheduled to begin hearing the case on April 25. One day earlier, Schumer will have the state bill’s original author at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship. Schumer is the chairman of that committee.

Schumer asked Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to come before the subcommittee hearing on immigration to speak about the law. She will already be in Washington, D.C., to testify before the Supreme Court. She declined his invitation, calling it a publicity stunt.

Former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce will testify before Schumer’s subcommittee despite losing a recall election last year brought about partly because of the outrage over the bill, according to the Huffington Post.

Schumer wrote a letter to Gov. Brewer asking for her participation in a dialogue about the border.

“As you frequently ask the President to visit the southern border to discuss border security, we expect that you will be eager to engage in a productive dialogue with the Congressional Committee responsible for acting upon any border security recommendations you provide,” Schumer wrote, according to the Arizona Republic.

Arizona’s SB 1070, the anti-illegal immigration law that has sparked controversy across the country, makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to be in the state without proper documents. A federal court judge in Arizona struck down the portion of the law that requires law enforcement to investigate the immigration status of people at traffic stops and make routine arrests. The Supreme Court will make a decision this year in part because other states are passing similar immigration laws.

Federal efforts have had a profound affect on border security over the past two years since the Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act pushed more than $600 million to support law enforcement. Border patrol numbers are up and illegal crossings are down significantly. Seizures of guns, cash and drugs are all up as well, according to the Post.
Schumer said he would like Brewer to speak to his subcommittee to explain if she thinks the bill is still necessary since federal efforts have been so successful. He said he would like her to share whether she thinks the new law will always be necessary.
For her part, Brewer has explained the law on countless television programs, radio broadcasts and interviews with media of a variety of political leanings.
With the spotlight on illegal immigration, it has been difficult for those who want progress on reforming the legal immigration laws to be heard. Efforts to reform the visa program are moving through Congress, but with significantly less press attention than Arizona’s law.

Annie Banerjee is an immigration lawyer in Houston, Texas, who helps legal immigrants come to this country to seek permanent citizenship or for travel or work.

Contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their web site at

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