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Schumer calls McCain's bluff on AZ law

I like this one a lot. Senator Chuck Schumer has just sent a letter to the governor of Arizona, asking her to delay the implementation of the immigration law (SB 1070) in order to give Congress time to implement Federal immigration reform.

Schumer argued that Federal reform, rather than just securing the borders, is the only long term solution. But the best part may be this: Schumer also urged the Arizona governor to publicly invite John McCain, who has embraced the Arizona law amid a primary challenge from his right, to rejoin the conversation on Federal reform:

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. A bipartisan bill would likely require completion of significant border security measures, such as the border reinforcements sought by Senators McCain and Kyl, before any other measures could take effect. A bipartisan bill would be a "border-first" bill, but it would not be a "border-only" bill because securing the border is a necessary but insufficient remedy for fixing our broken system.

I therefore ask you to call on Arizona's legislature to delay the date of enactment of SB 1070 for one year in order to permit Congress sufficient time to enact comprehensive immigration reform to address Arizona's security needs. This reform, however, cannot pass unless members from both sides of the aisle work together to reach a compromise. Consequently, I also ask that you 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.

Enacting the Arizona law, of course, only makes Federal reform harder to achieve. It puts both sides on high alert, causing them to dig in harder and making compromise even more elusive. And McCain, like other proponents of the Arizona law, has argued that the onerous state-based approach is necessary because the Feds just won't do their damn jobs and secure the border already.

So Schumer is calling McCain's bluff. He's inviting McCain to delay the Arizona law for just one short year to see if Congress can't implement a bipartisan Federal plan that's heavy on border security measures but also reforms the immigration system. Of course, McCain's primary is coming up in far less than a year, so it isn't going to happen.

Good stuff.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 6, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Immigration , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Comments

A Dem calling a GOPers bluff? Oh god, what kind of world are we living in?!?!

You want to know the one that I'd love to see? I'd like to see Reid bring up Immigration Reform and personally thank Sen. Graham for drawing attention to the situation when he filibustered HCR because of it.

Something like:

"We know this is an important issue to Sen. Graham, as just a month ago he stated that one of his main reasons for filibustering Health Care Reform was because he wanted to see movement in the Senate on Immigration Reform. I want to apologize to him for taking so long, but we felt HCR needed to be finished, and Reforming Wall Street can't wait. But I promise him that we will move on this issue sooner, rather than later."

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 6, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I can see why you like this, Greg. The response from the AZ Senators and the Governor will say a lot about how serious they are in using policy to solve a problem. If they are serious, they engage with this idea (even if they don't adopt it).

If they aren't, expect the heavy rhetoric and gnashing of teeth that masks their lack of solutions and willingness to get something done.

Here is a good test for the GOP.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 6, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I can see why you like this, Greg. The response from the AZ Senators and the Governor will say a lot about how serious they are in using policy to solve a problem. If they are serious, they engage with this idea (even if they don't adopt it).

If they aren't, expect the heavy rhetoric and gnashing of teeth that masks their lack of solutions and willingness to get something done.

Here is a good test for the GOP.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 6, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Double post the result of some really weird error message. Apologies.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 6, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@Greg:

I know you don't have direct control or anything...but I feel I have to say it.

The slow reload times on this page honestly make me visit it less, and limits my desire to comment. It's really an uninviting format.

I don't intend to leave...but could you pass my concerns on? A paper this large should be able to do better.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | May 6, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, there's such a huge block of text between our comments and where we type. It's kinda distracting to have that disclaimer type text above the comments box section.

Anyways, everyone watching the DOW? It sunk over -800 but is hovering at around -500. Was below 10k for a bit it seems.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 6, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

OT but schweet:

"Richmond - In a reversal of its recent announcement on offshore drilling off the coast of Virginia, the Obama administration today announced its decision to suspend Lease Sale 220 off the coast of Virginia citing the ongoing review of OCS safety issues. The announcement comes in light of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the past two weeks."

h/t BlueVirginia.com

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 6, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

BBQ -- I will bring it up with the powers that be. I'd hate to lose your contributions.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 6, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

You mean it takes a new law to do something about the violence by illegals? Here I thought murder was already against the law as well as gunning down Sheriff Deputies.

Posted by: robtemery | May 6, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

@BBQ "A Dem calling a GOPers bluff? Oh god, what kind of world are we living in?!?!"

Them Dems done gone round the bend, I tell ya. (I hope they stay there, too!)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"So Schumer is ...inviting McCain to delay the Arizona law for just one short year."

And, of course, McCain has no power to do that. Weak, weak stuff from Schumer.

"a bipartisan Federal plan that's heavy on border security measures"

Fool me once...

Phil Jackson, Lakers coach:

"Am I crazy, or am I the only one that heard [the legislature] say ‘we just took the United States immigration law and adapted it to our state,’” Jackson said.

"If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, if I’m not mistaken."

Posted by: sbj3 | May 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Since everything happening around is believe to be political plot, I think McCain's plot will be better off joining efforts to pass an Immigration Reform this year. Its really clear that he lost the support far right to J.D. Hayworth, so maybe he can gain most of the independent votes in Arizona.

Posted by: Tellingthetruth | May 6, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

American people calls for Stronger Immigration laws but at the same time MOST polls also shows the Support for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform, so the first alone (security) won't work better than the second one (C.I.R.) that contains a stronger immigration support nationwide, so its just common sense to support it NOW.

Posted by: Tellingthetruth | May 6, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: "And, of course, McCain has no power to do that. Weak, weak stuff from Schumer."

Not at all. Schumer is calling on the governor to delay the enactment, and asking her to invite her two Senators to get busy on federal reform legislation.

Now, you will point to GREG's comment: "He's inviting McCain to delay the Arizona law" which is an obvious misspeak if you read what SCHUMER actually wrote.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Fine -- he's inviting McCain to SUPPORT DELAYING the law in order to REJOIN THE CONVERSATION on Federal reform.

Okay?

:)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 6, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Fine -- he's inviting McCain to SUPPORT DELAYING the law in order to REJOIN THE CONVERSATION on Federal reform.

Okay?"

Not really. This is nothing more than a cheap political ploy that would go nowhere without the help of reporters such as yourself. "ooh! A strongly worded letter from Chuck - I'll get right on that!" I can just imagine your reaction if conservative Senators did similar with other state's laws.

Did McCain "leave" a "conversation" about immigration reform? Is there some reason - other than Schumer's assertion - that security can't be worked on first ...and separately?

Posted by: sbj3 | May 6, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I knew what ya meant the first time, Greg.

LOL

:o)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@sbj "Did McCain "leave" a "conversation" about immigration reform? Is there some reason - other than Schumer's assertion - that security can't be worked on first ...and separately?"

Good question for you to go ask McCain#1...you remember him?.... He was the guy that for YEARS wanted comprehensive immigration reform. Even worked on legislation. Even supported Bush's attempt to get something passed just a couple of years ago.

Until he ran for POTUS and became McCain#2..arch-conservative.

Chuck Schumer is attempting to lure McCain#1 back from the brink. It might not work. It's up to McCain.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Simple question:

What happens if someone jumps the fence and wanders around a gated community without an ID and a resident of the community calls the cops saying someone that doesn't look like they belong here is roaming the streets? The cops arrive. They would ask the wanderer a few questions. If wanderer does not have a valid reason for being inside the gated community, the cops would escort them out, wouldn't they? Isn't a country, like the USA, a "gated community", too?

Posted by: TheRumpledOne | May 6, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

As an Arizona resident for my entire life up until two months ago, I am angered by this categorization of Sen. McCain. He has always been a die-hard proponent of comprehensive immigration reform - but no one ever wanted to listen. It wasn't important - to anyone except those who live on the border. Now, because Arizona finally took matters into her own hands - since the federal government a) won't pay for illegal immigrants in Arizona's jails, prisons and hospitals and b) won't make the issue a priority in the national debate - it's all of a sudden a huge issue and McCain is not cooperative. He is an ARIZONA Senator and will hopefully hold out for the comprehensive reform we all deserve. Shame on Sen. Schumer for implying he would do anything else. Sen. McCain has been advocating for reform far longer than Schumer - and worked several times with late Sen. Kennedy (note: bipartisan) on immigration bills, but they never got off the ground because immigration was never an important enough issue on the federal level.

Posted by: JG08 | May 6, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ARIZONA IS NOT TO BLAME? WASHINGTON CAUSED THIS MESS.

Every anti-illegal immigrant organization in the United States and the majority of the pro-sovereignty population will fight Amnesty. Washington and pro-amnesty politicians over several decades of both parties, have brought this illegal alien invasion mess upon themselves and its people? They even went as far as cutting budgets instead of building the--REAL--double fence? Many Americans may shun away from being called a racist. American and legal residents don't demonstrate because they are liable to be attacked by illegal alien extremists. As Politically correct" laws have become a major encumbrance to our safety. The same with using " Racial profiling" by the open border zealots, that is compromising any safety net we have in any state, the border or airport terminals This soft Obama administration is going to cause a massive calamity through its Liberal ideology? Somewhere on our soil is a cell of people who hate our guts, whether foreign terrorists or home-grown terrorists and they will succeed in killing innocent citizens-legal residents. It is already known that Cartels in Mexico are assisting these criminals from the Middle East. Somewhere soon homeland Security intelligence will fail to pick up criminal activities and death like 9/11 will happen in this nation. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign countries, but our lawmakers argue over appropriating several billion dollars, on building the real double fence or stationing the National Guard permanently on the border as Mexico does with Guatemala? How about bringing our troops home from other countries and demand they invest in their own military to protect our people?

Posted by: infinity555 | May 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"I am angered by this categorization of Sen. McCain. He has always been a die-hard proponent of comprehensive immigration reform."

Thanks, JG08, for that comment. If McCain plays his cards right this little missive could blow up in Schumer's face and become quite the gaffe.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 6, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

JG08,

In all honesty, I think many of McCain's moves in the past were all political posturing for when he would be running for President.

Take finance reform. He knew he couldn't get the kind of financial backing to make it out of a primary so he kneed that type of financing. Comprehensive immigration reform was another of his big bi-partisan pushes to show he was willing to work with the other side.

Did he come out strong against the citizens united case?

Hardly.

How about now. Is he willing to cross that isle again and work with the Dems to get one of his long time initiatives passed?

Doesn't look like it.

McCain is the worst of the worst of politicians. At least when you've got a Jim DeMint, you know where that scumbag is gonna drop.

McCain? Who knows where he'll side. Whatever it takes to win I guess.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 6, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Whatever it takes to win I guess

Which is why, as suekzoo points out, he became McCain#2 when running for POTUS. Didn't work out so well for him then. . . and I'm hoping that it doesn't work out so well for him now. Or, for that matter, other pols (I'm looking at you here, Blanche and Arlen) who are trying the same thing from the left.

Posted by: Michigoose | May 6, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@mike "Is he willing to cross that isle again and work with the Dems to get one of his long time initiatives passed?"

I believe McCain recently vowed "no cooperation for the rest of the year" in his hissy fit over HCR.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

OT, because people in the last thread were flummoxed by the WH position on auditing the Fed here is there statement today from Treasury Deputy Sec. Wolin:

"We oppose the Sanders amendment in its current form," Wolin said. "Transparency of Fed is critically important... But we also think it is important that the Federal Reserve board have independence. We think that countries that have had... the perception of political influence in their central banks have had real problems."

"Would the president veto a bill that included the amendment? "We are continuing to work with Senator Sanders, Senator [Chris] Dodd (D-CT) and others to make sure we can accomplish these twin objectives," Wolin replied. "We will move forward in those discussions before we get to discussions about vetoes."

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

OT but that DOW dip of around 1k was pretty terrifying for a second. Many financial web sites were down for 10+ minutes.

The online trader sites were lagging and it was difficult to get transactions through.

I was experiencing serious lag all over the internet. Everyone must have been trying to find out wtf was going on.

Things seem to have settled a bit for now. Some rumors are spreading of an error that triggered it and was exacerbated by automated trading programs, these computerized traders that can buy/sell millions based off complex scientific formulas, of which are used by the large trading firms and often come up as being an unfair advantage since they have the most direct access to the Wall Street exchanges.

Anyways, I'm off for now.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out: A business backed group is now up to $1.5 million in ad spending to defeat Bill Halter in the Arkansas primary:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/shadowy_outside_group_spending.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 6, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the DOW is going to close down about 350 points today. Sheesh.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 6, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@i555: American and legal residents don't demonstrate because they are liable to be attacked by illegal alien extremists.

Where do you get this drivel?

"We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign countries"

You mean, We spend hundreds of billions of dollars invading countries that have nothing to do with 911, overthrowing their governments, allowing chaos and lawlessness to thrive for years, and killing 100s of thousands of civilians along with ignoring our previous invasion of a country that hosted 911 conspirators.

"How about bringing our troops home from other countries and demand they invest in their own military to protect our people?" who are they? Aren't we all americans?

"It is already known that Cartels in Mexico are assisting these criminals from the Middle East."--to do what? A link would make this more believable.

"Somewhere on our soil is a cell of people who hate our guts" and I think you are part of it.

Posted by: srw3 | May 6, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain has been advocating for reform far longer than Schumer - and worked several times with late Sen. Kennedy (note: bipartisan) on immigration bills, but they never got off the ground because immigration was never an important enough issue on the federal level.

This is the same McCain that said he would vote against his own immigration bill, right?

Posted by: srw3 | May 6, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

srw3, let me just say I'm enjoying your contributions, stick around.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 6, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

TheRumpledOne, I don't think you are aware of the irony of your comments. The US is a gated community...

Posted by: srw3 | May 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

@ lmsinca : thx I am actually beyond left from the old plumline. I started as srw3 just to log on to wapo many moons ago. When greg switched to the wapo blog platform, my old log in comes up.

Posted by: srw3 | May 6, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

@sbj: If McCain plays his cards right

You mean like when
-he decided that he would vote against his own immigration reform bill
-he suspended his campaign at the start of the financial crisis
-he had a hissy fit about HCR and vowed no cooperation for a year
-he adopted and then dumped Phil Graham as a primary economic advisor
-he elevated Joe the plumber to rock star status
-he picked Palin and said that she was qualified to be president
-he sang Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran
-he said he would respect Colin Powell and other generals on DADT until Powell and many other generals came out for repealing DADT

I could go on but you hopefully get the picture. McCain is a bitter, ineffectual, petulant, inconsistent, career politician. nuff said

Its so hard to know.....

Posted by: srw3 | May 6, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic article. Kudos to McCain. McCain has been fighting this border problem with zero help from the feds. McCain has a 10 point plan to help move the immigration reform, he has never turned away from this problem. McCain was promised Obama would make immigration tops on the priority list and Obama has failed on that promise. McCain is who we need fighting for our State.

Posted by: antidonkey | May 7, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

It has been stated before, but it obviously bears repeating. It has been a longstanding legal/constitutional principle in this country that states cannot make laws that impact on immigration matters, period. There are very good reasons for this. Already we are seeing how Arizona is affecting matters of reciprocity, affecting the relations of our own citizens living abroad. As a global nation, with companies everywhere, Arizona's negative effects in this area are something largely unforeseen -- and that is precisely the reason that these legal/constitutional principles exist in the first place. It's an area where we need to conserve our legal tradition, for our own good.

Posted by: johnnormansp | May 7, 2010 3:29 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone actually _read_ the arizona bill?? Go to http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Bill_Number=1070&image.x=6&image.y=7 and read it for yourself.

A cursory reading will show the legislation only permits inspection of residence documentation while already in connection with a legal contact:

FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON.

Read the dang thing for yourselves instead of all the media hype...

Posted by: superduf | May 7, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Half of the country went to war to preserve slavery; amnesty to illegal aliens who are working for next to nothing: Dream on. When Hispanic votes mattered, McCain was all for illegal aliens; now that Hispanic votes don’t matter, McCain wants National Guard troops to be deployed along Arizona's border with Mexico. [Senator Graham wants immigration reform postponed to 2012 at which time he will use to run for president].

Posted by: 90909090 | May 7, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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