April 23rd, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Obama slams Arizona immigration bill

President Obama criticized a controversial new immigration bill in Arizona on Friday, calling it "misguided."

"Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.

"In fact, I've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country."

He added, "As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future - a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world."

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Immigration
soundoff (410 Responses)
  1. Bring back Lou Dobbs

    The president admitted: "Our failure to act responsible at the federal level..." but gives no indication in his comments as to what "acting responsibly" means. So, as "CEO" of the federal government, what is he going to do to correct the failure he has just publicly indentified (but not clearly defined)?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kanebrake

    Obama is out of line in this criticism. Arizona has every right to protect its interests and borders. Not to mention the federal government has an OBLIGATION to help them because protecting the southern border is part of their job.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bev

    I think this should be the law of the land.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jody

    Blame Communist Corporate America and the Commy Republicans on this one. Ever since Commy Regan initiated NAFTA, the borders have been left open for cheap labor. After all, who has been rebuilding Americas roads, bridges, homes, remodeling, picking fruit and vegetables, tobacco, cotton, slaughtering chickens and cows, all in extreme weather conditions hot and cold, all of this and more for next to nothing in pay, living in deplorable Jim Crow dilapidated living and working conditions for the last 25 years?'

    Anglo- America you are the most hypocritical race ever to exist on earth! You claim to be so Christian, but you love money, drugs, and materialism more than you mother and father and children and decency and people and justice and fairness.You claim to love freedom, but you continue to enslave people of color not only in your own back yard, but all over the world! God will call you into judgement soon, you don't have much longer to live, then we can all be finally free and enjoy the earth like it was meant to be, God's Way!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. HeavyHorse

    We spent money on an electronic fence that cost more than building a real one, we sent the national guard to iraq and emplyers can get away with a nod and a wink to hire illigals..This is the fereral governments idea of border security.Sorry Illegal is just that..every illegal is an insult to the honest hardworking immigrants who did it the right way.Mr president either fish, cut bait or get out of the boat..but DO something.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. ACB

    Let's imagine for a second that the law that the police was told to enforce was gun control. How would you like it if the police carried out random searches on anybody based on mere suspicion ?- Well this law is worse, because the police will only stop hispanics and other dark skinned people while all the white WASPs will get a pass.

    There is nothing wrong with enforcing immigration laws, but it should not be done based on how people look!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. robert

    this immigration bill is wrong, the cops are just going to act like a bunch of cowboys.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stephen

    I came to the USA as a 6th preference immigrant from the UK; it took me @ 2 years to get my Green Card – and I was admitted as a profesional with special talents (hence 6th preferance {for those that know]) and, after 5 years on US soil (and that excluded oversas trips) I was eligible for US citizenship. I think that everybody who wants to come and live in the USofA should have to go thru what I went thru and become a Citizen of this incredible Country.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Lviv

    What amazes me is that Americans do not understand a simple fact: immigrants represent the best character this planet has. This is not about education level. This is about character. Immigrants, by its anture are the most ambitious people on Earth. They swim accross rivers and walk accross deserts to get to America and we do not get it. I do not understand why would any country try to turn this kind of people away. this is why their kids, if given an opportunity, statistically perform great – their parents are pushing them because this is their character. It amazes me that Americans would rather have lazy people living here rather than ambitious ones.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Wow !!! Finally people are waking up ! Add up Obamacare that is going to drain trillions of dollars from our country, add to it Cap and Trade that will destroy our ability to produce goods at a reasonable price and will force each and every one of us to shell out more money for food energy and everything else that one can think of, add to it the looming amnesty of illegals and sustained weakness on borders, add to it the weakening of this country's defenses and unwillingness to protect it from external enemies of out PC, add to it the new attitude of mister BO of being tough on our staunchest friends (Israel) and soft and sweet with our enemies and world dictators (Iran, Venesuela, Cuba, North Korea), add to it support to such organizations as CAIR, - don't you see a pattern here? This country is headed for destruction from within, deliberate destruction. I don't care if you are a democrat, a libertarian, a conservative, or a republican. If we continue down this path, your current affiliation soon won't matter any more...

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Charlie Cheswick

    In other words, everything anybody does is "misguided". Only President Obama has the wisdom to guide this country. If you do anything to the contrary, you are "misguided". Fall in line America!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. CSpan Rocks

    Most of you are incapable of judging this issue. You don't know the facts and don't understand the issues. Back off and go read something.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dan

    As a hard working white American I am embarassed by those "born" Americans who think that this birthright puts them above the many hardworking immigrants to this country, legal and illegal. What makes them any better? Their parentage? Maybe their great grandparents had the ambition and guts to come to this country, but that doesn't make them any better than the new immigrants who had the same ambition and guts.

    As for "legalization". The problem with illegal immigrants is mainly the result of the government, handicapped by the undermanning caused by the "keep government small and weak" crowd, not being able to keep up the the paperwork. Catch up with the paperwork and most of these illegals will become properly legal, either as naturalized citizens or under work visas.

    Any confident and hard working born American should not be afraid of competing with immigrants. We start with a lot of natural advantages just being born here.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. robert carl

    Anyone who is of latino, asian, black or mixed race understand the bad implications of this decision. As an American or legal resiident will be from anyone of these origins they will be open to unfair treatments that will now become law. Any nation that has to move forward from unfair racial devide should never travel down this road. The problem with illegal-aliens should be enforced from the direction of prosecuting business that employs illegals for the sake of paying low wages.There many ways of enforcing the Immigration laws that turning to racial profiling. This is not about the President but should be about who we are and respecting the other person.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. MidWest

    Obama: bill "undermines basic notions of fairness"

    First, let me state I have been a good supporter of Obama. But his comment and stance have changed that.

    What about the ILLEGAL immigrants' "fairness", in effect, ILLEGALLY cutting in front of the line ahead of the HONEST people who seek to enter the US LEGALLY by going through the proper channels.

    What about those Ihonest Iraqi people who have risked their familiy's and their own lives to aid our troops in Iraq as translators, guides,...and now want to legally become US citizens but are denied that. So ILLEGAL immigrants go to the head of that line too? There was a big expose on one of the news shows about how forgetful we are – Scandanavian countries are taking in 10x the number of Iraqis as we are. God help and bless America, looks like we'll need it.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
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