The legislation would have little chance of passing in a stalemated Senate or being approved by a GOP-held House, but it would allow Democrats to push their electoral advantage with Latino voters just as the presidential campaign heats up in July.
The plan is to allow Democrats a route to express displeasure with the Arizona law if the court allows it to stand, and it would force Republicans to take a clear position on the law during the height of the presidential campaign. The immigration law is deeply unpopular withÂ Latino voters, who could be key to the outcome of the presidential and Senate races in several Western states.
â€œIf the court upholds the Arizona law, Congress can make it clear that what Arizona is doing goes beyond what the federal government and what Congress ever intended,â€ Schumer said in an interview.
He called the Arizona law an â€œassault on the domain of the federal governmentâ€ that Congress will need to address if the court allows it to stand.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committeeâ€™s subcommittee on immigration, Schumer will hold a hearing Tuesday on the impact of the Arizona law. The state senator who wrote the statute will appear, as will opponents of the law.Â Arizona Gov. Jan BrewerÂ (R), the lawâ€™s chief proponent, was invited but declined to attend.
The Obama administration sued to prevent implementation of the Arizona law â€” which included a provision requiring local law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested who they suspect is in the country illegally â€” arguing that the Constitution gives the federal government jurisdiction over immigration laws and that the stateâ€™s statute interferes with federal efforts.