Or could it be because there is a hotly-contested House race there?
Critics are suggesting that Rep. F. Jim Sensenbrenner's committee has scheduled hearings across the country to give some embattled Repubs a lift in the fall elections, the NY Times reports. Many of the hearings are being held in districts where there are close races.
Several immigration hearings are being held far from the border with Mexico, in districts where Republican lawmakers are engaged in competitive races for the House, including Evansville, Ind.; Concord, N.H.; and Glens Falls, N.Y. Hearings are also being held in Dubuque, Iowa, where Republicans are fighting to hold on to the seat being vacated by Representative Jim Nussle, and in Hamilton, Mont., where Senator Conrad Burns faces a tough challenge.Politically motivated? Au contraire, says Sensenbrenner's spokesman, Jeff Lungren:
Mr. Lungren said many of the hearings were being held in border states where border security and illegal immigration from Mexico were critical concerns among voters. But he did not rule out the possibility that politics had played a role in the scheduling of the hearings.Right.
“Policy is the substance of an issue,” said Mr. Lungren, the spokesman for Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Politics is helping to explain the substance of it. The two go hand in hand.”