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. wildermedic

    I have been following this debate with a profound sense of humor. Mant people are saying that this law discriminates against Hispanics. I have found nothing in the new law that says cops have to just "Card" Hispanics at all, just individuals they suspect are illegals, be they any color.

    Many of you may not be old enough to remember the deportation of Germans who came here after WW II and lied about their affiliation with the Nazi Party or other death squads. They also were deported back to their country. They also broke the law, granted slightly different, but, they still broke the law.

    It makes sense that if you live in an area that is troubled with a certain "color" of people that are breaking the law why would you look for someone of a different color?

    I have lived and worked all over the world a lot of my adult life, we were required to carry ID at all times to prove we were in "Their" country legally. It's their country, you go by their rules and laws period.

    Bottom line is, they are breaking the law. If they want to come to this great country for a better life, more power to them, but do it legally!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. No Nonsense

    Well Mr. President, looks like I'm coming to the white house for dinner, and to start working for you without paying taxes, get free benefits, etc. Let me guess, you'd stop me from doing that, right? Of course you would, because it'd be an inconvenience to you and wouldn't make any sense at all. Well I'm fed up and tired of the inconveniences of losing jobs to illegals, losing health care and prescription benefits for our elderly, etc. It doesn't make sense and it's an inconvenience to me and the rest of the struggling Americans to have illegals here using up our Social Security and getting free Medical insurance, etc.

    Anyone who supports Obama on this topic is a complete Moron!!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. Canadian 111

    Are their no white illegal immigrants in the States!! See people don't see racial profiling unless it is you. I am a black woman and I see it all the time here in Canada. To lister to the posts you would think that Arizona only has Latino illegal immigrants!! Their are white immigrants all over both our countries. I never here of them being pulled over to be asked for their papers!!! This is wrong!! And everyone on this post know it is!! Wait until you are in that situation! Maybe you ran to the store for milk and some cop pulls you over asking for papers!! Arizona and any state making these laws will see the wrong in doing it. When a country is trying to stop illegal immigration, you may want to stop using them as cheap slave worker first!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Susie

    It is just about time – there is clearly a difference between legal and illegal immigration. In my opinion, every state should follow what Arizonia just did. Good for them, it is time we take back our country. If you live in my country you live under OUR laws and rules if not go back where you came from...

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. indigo

    Mr. Obama is insulting the millions of LEGAL immigrants. His message is don't follow the rules and the federal government will escort you to the FRONT of the line, ahead of everyone else.

    Obama no longer makes sense to me.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. dennis

    Under the bill, police would be required to question anyone they suspect of being undocumented. Being that said i dont feel it should be an issue..as long as if a policemen suspects foul and questions somebody..why get offended? cops question people left and right to find out things..if the person is here illegally they have no rights..people of this country who are citizens have right.but not illegals.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chris Sacramento CA

    This bill is exactly what we need in our country. Obama is a moron and needs to shut up! This bill does what the Obama administration has not done which is protect our boarders and enforces our immigration laws.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. Macleod2012

    What is so hard about carrying an ID? Every citizen is required to do this and has been for generations. Quit making a big deal out of something that has been in place for this long. If you are legal show your ID and move along....it fits in your wallet nicely and is even laminated ....just stop acting like they are mobilizing the SWAT team to go kicking in doors.....Dems are really fear mongering on this one...about to lose all those bought votes is what it is seeming like

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. WMiller

    Of course Obama objects to the Arizona law. He's obviously oblivious to what border states are dealing with. I hope that before November, Obama pushes legislation to "naturalize" all the illegal immigrants. This will just be another reason why the democrats are going to lose the election in numbers that were unfathomable when Obama was elected in 2008.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. TheBatCat

    Legal immigration? No problem. Illegal immigration? Big problem. Every nation not living in the Dark Ages has immigration restrictions, and for good reasons.

    According to the Arizona Republic newspaper online:

    "Senate Bill 1070 would make it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It requires local law enforcement to determine an individual's immigration status if an officer suspects that person is in the country illegally".

    Why do President Obama and others have such problems with revealing the truth? According to the same article, a poll reveals 70% support in Arizona for the bill. In political terms that's pretty overwhelming. I believe illegal immigration is going to make health care reform look like a stroll in the park. European-Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native-Americans and even many legal Hispanic-Americans will create a coalition that will pretty much be a freight train running over Washington, DC.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Keith B

    First of all, folks, do some research.

    If you'll go back 3 – 4 years ago, you'd realize that it was a Republican-controlled Senate that was pushing through legislation that would have allowed yet another 60 million immigrants into the country over the next 20 years.

    Lou Dobbs, CNN, had a field day with this.

    In one of the good moves GWB did (which was rare), he decided WITH the Democrats on this. I guess the Republicans would have had another 60 million immigrants in the US so the pro-business community could further exploit its citizens.

    You guys bashing Obama don't have a freakin clue as to what you even speak of.

    Grow up!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  12. Salk

    There's a war going on in Mexico and it's a sad day when Obama comes out against a state simply trying to secure it's boarders, instead he should be saying "Wow those people are desperate...How can I help" he needs to stop playing politics and grow up.

    When looking over the law it's fairly straight forward that the police can't stop you for being Purple, Green, Mauve or any other color, what it does do is require police to treat un-documented American visitors the same as you and I in any other country.

    If I get pulled over by the police the first thing they are going to ask me for is ID, this happens to everyone they pull over and is considered standard practice.

    This law simply states that if a person gets involved with police, that the police officers involved should enforce ALL of the laws of the United States even the controversial ones like illegal immigration.


    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. against illegal aliens

    yes we are all immigrants but we are all legal.

    im tired of all these illegals coming into our country. you dont belong here. go home. seriously. yes you want a new start and a better life but you dont understand coming here illegally will do NOTHING for you... besides leaving you in poverty inside the united states and taking another job from a legal citizen.

    chances are if you come here illegally you will be in poverty.

    i dont understand how they get housing or jobs in the first place. i wouldnt hire one at all, or even give them a place to stay unless they were here legally.

    what are some of you doing? supporting them?
    shame on you.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Porch Fan

    Way to go Arizona! Every Illegal should be kicked out of this country. It's not surprising that Obama would cater to them as he wants to have their votes. The federal government is out of control. They have done NOTHING about illegals. Arizona is only a start,

    April 23, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. ba

    Why don't we go after the US citizens who hire these illegals and throw them in jail. They are obviously breaking the law-several laws- they hire these illegals don't pay payroll taxes, don't report to the IRS.

    These are the scammers who need to be locked up. Think about it if there were no jobs for illegals they wouldn't come to this country illegaly in the first place. Every individual, small or large business owner should be criminally prosecuted. We can solve this problem quite easily. Today employers are supposed to verify that an individual applying for a job is legally allowed to work- providesocial security number-if they don't send them to the slammer.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
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