New York Senator Charles Schumer recently sent Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a letter requesting she set up a time to testify on the state’s controversial immigration laws. The main topic of conversation? Why she feels the state needs its own set of immigration laws. Brewer has declined the invitation.
Brewer signed the state’s SB 1070 law in 2010. The law gives local and state police and officials more power to conduct immigration enforcement measures, including the ability to check individuals for permanent residency cards or forms of citizenship during the course of investigations unrelated to immigration matters.
However, Schumer believes that the state’s stringent laws are excessive, especially when considered with Congress’ 2010 decision to hire more than 1,000 new Border Patrol agents for the United States’ southern border, and more than 250 agents for the country’s ports. With these measures already seeing “dramatic results,” according to Schumer’s letter, he wants the governor to testify as to why additional measures should be instituted at the state level.
Schumer’s letter cited a quote from Brewer, in which the governor stated that “SB 1070 was Arizona’s way of saying that we won’t wait patiently for federal action any longer. If the federal government won’t enforce its immigration laws, we will.”
While Brewer already has plans to be in Washington, D.C., during the week Schumer slated for the Congressional hearing, Brewer’s press aide, Matthew Benson, has told several news sources that Brewer has no interest in engaging with Schumer in this fashion, calling Schumer’s invitation a “publicity stunt.”