U.S. Senate panel takes up SB 1070

April 23, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear arguments on Arizona’s immigration law until Wednesday, but SB 1070 will be on the minds of some in Washington, DC Tuesday. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security will hold a Tuesday morning hearing on 1070. According to the panel’s Chairman, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, the senators will discuss the Constitutionality and Prudence of State and Local Governments Enforcing Immigration Law. Bruce Merrill, Senior Research Fellow at the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at ASU, says the hearing will be part policy discussion, and part political theater.

BRUCE MERRILL: When you’re in the middle of an election year, everything is political. There isn’t anything that’s occurring anywhere that any politician says that doesn’t have a political motivation. However, there are some really important public policy issues here.

BRODIE: Merrill says his research suggests Arizonans feel the feds have let them down on border security. Jack Chin, a law professor at UC Davis who’s studied SB 1070, and used to teach at the U of A law school, says senators will use the hearing to communicate with the Supreme Court.

JACK CHIN: They want this hearing to be in the papers, and the ideas that come out of it to be before the court when the court hears the SB 1070 case.

BRODIE: There are four people scheduled to testify Tuesday morning: the author of SB 1070, Russell Pearce, State Senator Steve Gallardo, former US Senator Dennis DeConcini and Todd Landfried, with the group Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform. Senator Schumer had invited Governor Jan Brewer to testify, but she declined.


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