Friday, May 24, 2024

Schumer Calls for Delay of Arizona Law

New York Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter yesterday to Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona asking her to delay the implementation of the recently passed anti-immigration law, SB 1070, for one year so Congress can have time to tackle reform at the federal level. The law is scheduled to go into effect in July.

Schumer also urged Brewer to invite Senator John McCain, who has come out in support of the new law, to join the conversation on federal immigration reform.

In his letter, Schumer urged “The only way to combat illegal immigration is through comprehensive immigration reform, as it is the only practical solution that can pass in both the House and Senate.”

The effort to address immigration reform, which stalled in the past Congress, seems to have new life since Arizona’s actions.

President Obama called the state’s law “misguided” and renewed his pledge earlier this week to work with Congress to craft a bill this year.  He acknowledged that the effort would be difficult without bipartisan support.

Along these lines, Schumer asked the Arizona governor to “publicly call on Senators McCain and Kyl to immediately begin discussions with me to enact comprehensive immigration reform legislation before enactment of SB 1070 becomes necessary.”

McCain has long been a champion of immigration reform that included a path to legalization for the millions of undocumented residing in the US.  However, this year, he is embattled in a primary race against a challenger, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, who is running on a strident anti-immigration platform.  The Arizona Republican primary will be held in late August.

Schumer worries that if the Arizona law is allowed to be enacted, federal reform will be harder to achieve. McCain has argued that the Arizona law is necessary because a federal approach is not working.

According to reports from the Associated Press, the governor promptly rejected Schumer’s request.

Washington Post