May 7th, 2010
05:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Arizona governor bucks senator's request over immigration law

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer requesting that hold off on implementing that state's controversial immigration bill."]Washington (CNN) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is rejecting a request from a top Senate Democrat to hold the state's controversial immigration bill for one year to give Congress time to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

In a letter dated Thursday and obtained by CNN, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, made the request to Brewer, a Republican.

Schumer, the Democrats' point man for immigration reform in the Senate, called Arizona's concerns about illegal immigration "legitimate security interests" and said he appreciates that Brewer "felt duty-bound to take action to address the security concerns in your state."

"But I simply do not believe the remedy Arizona has enacted will succeed in resolving the problem it is designed to address," Schumer wrote. He called the law, "wrong-hearted" and "likely unconstitutional." He also asked Brewer to call on Arizona's two GOP senators - John McCain and Jon Kyl - to "immediately begin discussions with me to enact" immigration reform.

On Friday, Brewer's office informed CNN of the governor's response.

"The governor is certainly grateful that Sen. Schumer has focused some attention on Arizona's border security plight," said Paul Senseman, Brewer's Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. But, Senseman continued, Brewer "is waiting for action on border security."

Attempting to highlight federal inaction on the matter, Senseman referred to a letter sent from border state governors, including Brewer, to Congressional leaders in April 2009. It called for more National Guard personnel to help local law enforcement agencies combat violence, crime and illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The governor has been waiting over a year," Senseman told CNN in reaction to Schumer's letter.

Critics have said the Arizona law, signed by Brewer last month, will lead to racial profiling. Supporters argue it will crack down on illegal immigration.

As originally passed, the bill would have allowed police to ask anyone for proof of legal U.S. residency, based solely on a police officer's suspicion. Brewer signed a bill to amend the law so that officers could check a person's status only if the person had been detained or arrested for another reason.

Brewer said the changes should ease concerns about racial profiling but opponents say the changes are not sufficient.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Jan Brewer
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Schumer doesn't care what he says as long as he gets on camera. He doesn't even have to have a speaking role. He's best at peering over someone's shoulder. What a dork!

    May 7, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Not only in America but across the whole world payment is becoming due, the ‘piper has to be paid’, and we would be utterly foolish to fail to recognize that it should have been expected and then instead just once again repeat the costly ignorance. For several decades it has been building and we have seen the cycles repeated with Savings and Loans, with Banks, with dot.coms, with real estate, with corporations, with Wall Street and with the financial industry, always the same, like ‘pyramid schemes’, motivated by greed, fed by aggressive deception and then crashing with the few having significant gains and the many taking a beating. Today near everyone, everywhere is going to pay the price for the ‘more for me, for nothing’ mentality.

    Should we continue to be susceptible to the con, to a large extent self-deceived by our own greed, and to continue to support business, community and church leaders, politicians and others who play the game of giving us subterfuge aimed to manipulate, then we can only expect more of the same. It isn’t that they are so good at the deception; really they are very apparent whenever people can be objective and check their biases, prejudices and excessive self concerns, but rather they just take advantage of people’s unreasonable self-interests. ‘When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is’ and we need to be honest enough to question our own selfishness and to question those who are obviously trying to appeal to it. Don’t fault those who say there is a consequence, a cost to things, instead be cynical with those that say it doesn’t have to be paid.

    May 7, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Bob

    There is nothing unconstitutional about enforcing immigration laws. It is time we enforce our laws instead of giving a free pass to those who openly violate our laws.

    May 7, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Steve (the real one)

    Schumer is NOT serious! The liberals WILL NOT do anything that will challange their voting bloc. There will be nothing with teeth. Heck, they will not even support the enforcement of current law now! Stand your ground Governor Brewer. The rest of us will boycott the boycotters!

    May 7, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    I'm so proud of Gov. Brewer and the Arizona legislature for gearing up to do what the Federal Government has refused to do. I hope 49 more states join in the fray. The open border policy that we've had ever since the last Amnesty for illegals is insane. Political Correct Reference to "racial profiling" is also insane.

    May 7, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. PalmReader

    Sorry, Chuck. Didn't you get the memo? The GOP has NO intention of working - they are simply biding their time until mid-term elections.

    GOPers have been on a no work flight path for well over ten years now. I imagine they'll be stuck on that same path for the next six years as well.

    May 7, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Joba

    If you do not live in A borderstate no one understands how bad it is. I winter in Arizona (Yuma) and have been told many times how there are bus load after bus load of illegals on Hiway 2 dumped out as close to the border as they can. USA needs to put pressure on the Mexican government to stop this. Ask the legal Latinos is Arizona how they feel and you will change your mind about not wanting this law.

    May 7, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Eunice

    "But I simply do not believe the remedy Arizona has enacted will succeed in resolving the problem it is designed to address," Schumer wrote. He called the law, "wrong-hearted" and "likely unconstitutional." He also asked Brewer to call on Arizona's two GOP senators – John McCain and Jon Kyl – to "immediately begin discussions with me to enact" immigration reform.

    Is Schumer serious? McCain doen't know it and neither it appears does Schumer, McCain's day's are over. Time for younger, newer blood. I am a democrate and I agree with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer .
    No one is mentioning in California during Demarco day or whatever about how the school admin. told several students they could not wear shirt with the American flag on it that it was disrespectful to the Mexicans. Uh hummm. Then go back to MEXICO and celebrate your day there. This is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and we are tired on others not respecting and trampling on the USA's rights. If you are not a USA citizen and do not want to obey our laws, then GO HOME.

    May 7, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  9. Lets expose Rush Limbaughs staff.

    Bring her before congress now and put her on trial.

    May 7, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Eric

    How is it "likely unconstitutional" when it's a near carbon copy of the existing federal law re illegal immigration?

    The only difference is the state codified into law that they will actually ENFORCE existing law. The feds couldn't be bothered to do the same.

    Schumer, your time is up, buddy. You need to polish up that resume.

    May 7, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Randy

    It's kinda funny. Anything the left wants to do is an emergency and needs to be done now now now. If the right does something....let's wait a year. Now who is obstructing?

    May 7, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Albo58

    As the good governor of Arizona should! Schumer is a complete party hack and worm that should always be treated with contempt and disdain by sane people!

    May 7, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Karen

    Congress will never do anything about immigration for fear of losing the votes.

    May 7, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Linda inCO

    We support the Governor of AZ and the Anti ILLEGAL Immigration bill.
    There are many issues this will address, and I hope CO can follow suit. Illegal is illegal, and many people are taking advantage of the laz borders for nefarous reasons.
    La Raza is by the way, a terrorist organization, teaching school children about over-throwing the US government and the "take over". Their words.
    Tom Tancredo was right, the Minutemen were right, this is a SERIOUS problem.

    May 7, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Linda inCO

    One more thing, if I have to carry my ID and birth certificate to help solve this crises, that is a small price to pay to ensure our borders will be secure.
    Big deal.

    May 7, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  16. Conservative Democrat

    Question: Are they cracking down on American businessmen who hire illegal aliens and then pay them under the table, without paying the proper taxes? I doubt it.

    May 7, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. Maria H-Miami

    I'm a U.S. Citizen (came from Europe) I just want to know why Schumer is not upset, angry and writing a letter to the school Principal in California that suspended students from school for wearing our U.S. Flag on Cinco de Mayo because he felt it showed disrespect to Mexico???????

    It is those from Mexico and other Foreigners that must show respect to the USA when in the USA.

    The U.S. Flag is my flag now and it must be so for any other Foreigner like me in the USA.

    Sure, you can decorate and hang flags from other countries during a celebration of such country, like St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Oktoberfest but never, never should that be confused with having to put the USA Flag away or aside out of respect for another country.

    I didn't move to the USA nor become a U.S. Citizen to have to show respect to another country by underminding the USA Flag!!!!!!!!!!

    I will not undermine the USA Flag!!!!!!!!! Absolutely NOT!!!!!!!!

    If you don't like it go back to where you came from.

    May 7, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    Schumer is nothing but a self licking ice cream cone.

    May 7, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Mike

    Thank You Arizona!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. Dawn

    What is Schumer doing in Arizona's business?He obviously doesn't get it. We are fed up & most of us are mad over illegals immigrants using our schools, hospitals, er's, welfare & food stamps. If they commit a crime, they head for the border. I live in California & I wish our governor & legislators had the guts that Gov. Brewer has shown. No amnesty & the only path they need is the path headed south. Illegal means illegal. Check the dictionary, Schumer.

    May 7, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jan Brewer would be smart to listen to Schumer, she is being used as a scapegoat and won't get re-elected. This woman has got to be dummer than Palin.

    May 7, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Patricia White

    I amused how come you guys so resend and behave like in a red neck style *ahhh...poor society is what elaborate thus days
    Bloody hell you guys must be more open mind about this point,is not about the law is about the law stimulate the racism and discrimination two thing you guys have to work out very hard,you can imagine if you are hispanic american in arizona,you're great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state, but suddenly you tookyour kids out to get Ice cream you're gonna be harrased, just because you appearence,

    May 7, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Keith Long

    Chuck Schumer is like the rest of the open borders crowd. To them, immigration reform means give amnesty to all the wetbacks and open the borders so millions more can come in. Then the employers will have all the cheap labor they need and millions more Americans will be out of work or starving on the wages the employers are willing to pay.
    Keith Long
    Council Bluffs, Iowa

    May 7, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. Bill in CA.

    Chuckie boy, just cool your cannot sneak blanket amnesty in the back door. You and your fellow libs poll #'s are bad enough. Keep it up and you are tanked!!!

    May 7, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Jackalope

    We had been taking winter vacations in Arizona, but I guess it's New Mexico this year.

    May 7, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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