His legislation would not only combat a future court ruling but would undo the court’s decision last year upholding states’ mandatory E-Verify laws.
No Republicans attended the hearing.
Sen. Jon Kyl, who represents Arizona and is the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said the hearing seemed designed to pressure the Supreme Court rather than to find out information.
“The timing of the hearing on the eve of the Supreme Court argument, and the fact that the chairman of the committee did not consult with any of us, did not consult with either Sen. [John] McCain or me, for example, about this Arizona law, about what witnesses he would ask from Arizona, for example, suggested to us this was either an attempt to influence the court decision, which would be improper, or simply to create a political sideshow,” Mr. Kyl told reporters.
Mr. Schumer invited Mrs. Brewer to testify, but she declined. The senator said Mr. Pearce was the only one who would agree to come before the panel to defend the law.
He said that indicated a broader reluctance of Republicans to try to work out an immigration agreement with Democrats.
“We don’t have anyone sitting down and saying, ‘Here’s what we want to do to solve this immigration problem,’ ” Mr. Schumer said.
One issue that will not be before the Supreme Court this week is racial profiling under the law. While President Obama and other top administration officials said they feared that S.B. 1070 would lead to profiling, their lawsuit is purely about federal versus state power.
Still, several witnesses said Tuesday, profiling is already happening even though most of the law has been blocked.
“If you have brown skin in my state, you’re going to be asked to prove your citizenship,” said former Sen. Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat who represented Arizona for 18 years before giving up his seat, which Mr. Kyl won.
“I’m embarrassed for my state. I apologize for Arizona’s actions,” Mr. DeConcini said.