SB 1070

Jan Brewer Not Planning to Testify Before Senate Subcommittee on SB 1070, but Russell Pearce Raises His Hand

New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer sent a letter to Governor Jan Brewer last week, asking her to give testimony before his Senate Subcommittee on Immigration about Senate Bill 1070.

Schumer's office said the point of Brewer's testimony would be "to hear whether she still believes the law to be necessary given the gains made in securing the nation's southwestern border."

The governor's spokesman proclaimed the invitation was just a "publicity stunt," which sounds like the governor's appearance at the hearing will be a no-go.

Ousted Senate President Russell Pearce, however, is willing to take her place.

Pearce reportedly told Valley reporter Howie Fischer he doesn't care if Schumer's just trying to score political points, he's the guy Schumer should be going to for testimony anyway.

"I know every section of the bill," Pearce told Fischer. "There's nobody better to explain it to them."

Schumer's request to Brewer asks the governor to testify about whether she thinks SB 1070 is still necessary.

The letter cites the increased federal funding for border security and programs in legislation Schumer passed in August 2010.

Here's exactly what Schumer said he wanted to hear from Brewer about:

Given the new level of security at our Southern Border as result of the August 2010 law, it would be extremely beneficial for the Committee to hear from you with regard to: 1) why you signed SB 1070 in 2010; 2) whether you still believe SB 1070 is necessary in light of the substantially increased security situation along our southern border; and 3) whether you favor SB 1070 being made a permanent law irrespective of whether conditions further improve along the southern border. We would also appreciate any other insight you can provide regarding the legality and prudence of enacting state immigration laws. 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.

Pearce apparently thinks that's applicable to him.

New Times asked Schumer's press aide a few days ago whether there had been any communication between the Senator's office and Pearce, but we received no response.

There's still some time to get someone to defend the law at the hearing, as it's scheduled for April 24 -- the day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on the law.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley