Schumer Drafting Measure to Block Arizona Crackdown

Article excerpt

Byline: Bloomberg News

The Senate's third-ranking Democrat said he will push legislation to block Arizona's illegal-immigration crackdown if the Supreme Court upholds the state law.

Proponents and opponents of the Arizona law, which is being challenged by the Obama administration, sparred over its legality at a Senate hearing Tuesday, one day before the court heard the case.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said his measure will make clear that Congress doesn't intend for states to enact their own immigration enforcement strategies. He said it will allow states to apprehend suspected illegal immigrants only as part of an agreement overseen by the federal government.

"States like Arizona and Alabama will no longer be able to get away with saying they are simply helping the federal government to enforce the law," he said during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on state and local enforcement of immigration laws. Those states are "writing their own laws and knowingly deploying untrained officers with a mission of arresting anyone and everyone who might fit the preconceived profile of an illegal immigrant," he said.

With Republicans in control of the House, Schumer's proposal would have little chance of becoming law, though Democrats who control the Senate could hold a vote to get senators on record on the issue during this election year.

A study released this week by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington, said the migration of undocumented immigrants from Mexico is abating. …