Jan Brewer

Jan Brewer Says She Won't Attend Senate Hearing to Answer Questions on SB 1070; Writes Letter Answering Questions on SB 1070

New York Senator Charles Schumer has been trying to get Governor Jan Brewer to show up to his Senate subcommittee hearing on immigration in April, and gave the governor a few general questions that would be asked.

The governor's spokesman has said on a few occasions that Brewer isn't planning on attending Schumer's hearing, but she wrote a letter to Schumer yesterday making it clear she's not going.

Brewer writes that it's "inappropriate" for her to testify before Congress the day before SB 1070 goes before the Supreme Court, saying, "The Supreme Court is the proper venue in which to defend SB 1070."

Then she spent the rest of the two-page letter defending SB 1070, blasting the federal government, and indirectly answering the questions Schumer asked her.

"I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the issues you raised in your recent letter to me, including an assertion regarding what you described as 'the substantially increased security situation along our southern border,'" Brewer says, exactly one sentence after saying the Supreme Court is the "proper venue in which to defend SB 1070."

Schumer's initial letter gave three types of questions Brewer would be asked:

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.

A paragraph from Brewer's letter back to Schumer:

SB 1070 is a reaction to a crisis and an outgrowth of citizen frustration and anger at a federal government seemingly unwilling to enforce its laws and secure our border. SB 1070 is also the purest form of Constitutional Federalism. That is, states have a duty and the authority to defend their citizens, especially in the absence of sufficient federal action. Parallel enforcement of federal standards by states is commonplace and has been routinely upheld by the Supreme Court.

That sure seems to be answering questions one and three from Schumer, and it may just be us, but a later paragraph in her letter sure looks like the answer to number two:

We frequently hear from administration officials that our borders are "more secure than ever before." But, here is the hard truth: Less than half of our nation's southern border is under operational control, according to the most recent estimate by the Government Accountability Office. Additionally, as of last summer, Customs and Border Patrol had only completed pedestrian fencing across about 350 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile southwest border.

If those aren't really answers to Schumer's questions, that's OK, because ousted Senate President Russell Pearce will be there to talk about it.

Read the entire letter Brewer have wrote, obtained by the Arizona Republic, by clicking here.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley