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. Mary

    I can't believe people are still with the idea that illegal immagrants come to take the jobs of american citizens!? The types of jobs that illegal immigrants do is hard labor, labor that american citizens are UNWILLING to take on because they are "better" than that. And of course because they are "entitled" to government benefits like unemployment and cash aid. Illegal immigrants are some of the MOST hardworking people in our country because that's the way they feed their families by working. I will agree that the way the come into the country is not correct, but tell me what other way do they have? These people come here becuase they want a better future for their families and are unable to provide for them in their countries. And it's sad to say that there is A LOT a american citizens sitting in a jail cell today because they killed someone or raped a child, but yet those people have a right to be here in the United States and we as citizens pay for the roof over their heads and their meals for YEARS? I understand that like all races their a few bad apples but let's not judge all of them the same.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. nina

    White folks in Arizona need to remember that the state was part of Mexico. So in reality they are the illegal immigrants of the state and this law will help in driving them out.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ted

    Mr Obunga,

    Let's see how could this be such a bad thing. You are a mex, you look like a mex, you might be a mex, let's ask you if you are one. What is so bad? I mean how many whites, blacks, Japenese, Koreans, Chinese, are jumping across the border to come to the states.


    How many of you like the Federal Government telling you what to do? In case you haven't looked at your paystubs for awhile, there is a significant cost for having the government more involved in our lives. I don't want their damn health care or being stock holders in private companies or telling executives what they can make! Go get bent! American's need to pull their collective heads out of their behinds and stop this ridiculous government spending and execessive involvement in our lives.

    Obviously, I didn't for this jacked up administation that is in place. This is just another example of them shoving their nose in where it doesn't belong.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. SolidSteve

    I agree illegal immigration is a problem through all borders of the US. If the bill passes; I'm waiting for the first legal Mexican American to be stopped and arrested. What excuses will be given? There is a difference between the Illegal Immigration problem and the violation of civil rights.

    I believe the Northern states should pass the same law to catch illegal immigrants coming across their borders?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. chris

    if you really dont understand nobama 's inactions on this problem and his taking sides against the tax paying American worker. then you need to understand thier logic : that they are not ILLEGAL immigrants they are just undocumented democrats ! hail to the king !

    April 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Matt

    "What would they do if a cop stopped their daughter on the street and asked for proof of citizenship? If the child doesn't have this proof – which they most definitely won't – they can go to jail."

    The law allows them to ask for it when they pull people over. Are you saying that your kids will be driving with no identification? That it is unreasonable for police to ask identification when they pull you over? That is ridiculous. They always have that right, now they're just expanding what they look at a little for people breaking the law.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. steve independent for over 40 years

    I think that it is telling that the people who seek to defend the president are reduced to claiming that the proposed bill is liken to Hitler's conduct. These people could not possibly be Jewish and obviously do not have a proper sense of history. In fact, the Nazis rounded up LAWFUL citizens of their respective countries, e.g Germany, Poland - not unlawful residents of those countries like the proposed bill AND the Nazis did not send those they rounded up back to their country to be free but send them to concentration camps to be executed. In sum, the almost sole reliance on Hitler by those who support the president underscores the complete absence of any merit to the president's remarks.

    By contrast, almost, if not all of the comments by those who oppose the president made factual statements were are undeniably true. Indeed, all of those who support the president did not contest a single factual assertion by those who disagreed with the president's comments.

    Thank goodness for the common sense of the American people. I have faith in them to do the right things in the long run.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. R Edwards

    Sounds like obama want's to run the stat of Arizona's business and screw it up too. You know there is a thing called state's right;s. obama and the Federal government have no business whatsoever medleing in the affairs of the state of Arizona. Here in Alabama we offer the drivers license test in 12 languages. We should offer it only in English. Illegal immigrants already get far more free government assistance than they deserve. More than the legal tax paying citizens can get. Enough is enough. I can only hope that we can survive 2 more years of obama then we can get rid of this thorn in America's side. We as a country and a Republic must not allow this form of socialism to continue. We're better than that. I know it to be true. People need to start thinking for themselves and stop believing everything that the liberal news media is putting on the air and we need to stop supporting the liberal college proffessors who use tax dollars to brain wash our college students. We can use our mind for our own benefit if only we would.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. race48

    ILLEGALS have been coming into the US for years and they are not all from Mexico like some people think. They come from all over the world they come to visit and over stay and never go back, they come to study and never go back and they enter illegal.

    The problem is we have all of these bleeding hearts who want to give them everything and anything at the cost of those who were born here and those who became US citizens.

    My grandparents came from Mexico, Mom and Dad were born in the US and all of their children. We have in our family professional working adults some even in Law Enforcement.

    Mom and Dad made sure that we all were able to learn English, able to write it and speak it, we did keep Spanish in our family but for the most part English was our number one langauage.

    I for one want those illegals out of the US if they are not here to work and pay taxes then get them out, those that come here to sell drugs, steal, or worst send thing back.

    We have the Immigration Laws on the books we just don't enforce them, and again we have those bleeding hearts and guess who they are American citizens who stand up for these people.

    God Bless America

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Maurice Bowie

    For everyone here who is in support of this legislation that was passed – you're all ignorant or misguided.. Not one of you read the bill, but may have heard some talking points about it. The fact of the matter is this: With this passage, it gives the police the authority to stop someone while driving or walking to check their citizenship.. It also encourages neighbors to call the police if they suspect that someone is here illegally without proof. Now ask yourself; if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of legal latino & latina people in Arizona, would you feel offended that law enforcement would require you to produce identification and proof of residency when you are doing nothing illegal? Right, so would I. At this heart of this – is racial profiling. What if it were European People who were subject to the this law... Because you're white now you would fall under the same kind of potential scrutiny as the folks in Arizona.. It's sad that some people in this country are so inwardly challenged "morally" and don't really care about an issue or are willing to crush someone's civil rights so as long as it doesn't effect them, but when it does, they are quick to kick, holler and scream to fix it. You people are the worst kind of people.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. vendorwrites

    This is just another MESS for our new President to clean up. I know that what Arizona is threatening to do, it would harass everyone including those who are here legally. I know that I would not want to be racially profile by the police.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. Not Chicken Little

    Obama continues to show that he is CLUELESS. He is NOT a king. If the Federal government were doing its job this would not be necessary. Obama is letting our country be overrun with illegals, and it's on purpose. Throw the bums out in 2010 and 2012!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. JoJola

    This bill is a total violation of civil rights. How are you going to determine who is here illegally? There is no way this can be done except by racially profiling people. For those who complain about immigrants taking "your" jobs, why do you think there are so many over here illegally in the first place? It's because the main people who are complaining about them being here felt "manual labor" was beneath you so you sought other "cheaper" means of getting the job done. So, let us put the blame where it actually belongs, with your corporations (like the hotel chains) and the "elite" (rich folks) who hire them to clean homes and raise their kids. Something could have been done about illegal immigrants a long time ago but the proverbial harvest was ripe and the laborers were few and the so called "True Americans" reached out to immigrants to do their harvesting. Now that they are here in droves, you want to send them back. News flash, it’s not going to happen. They are here now, so we all might as well get use to it and stop talking like they are taking away your jobs. If you would have started mowing your own lawns, harvesting the farm lands and raising your own children in the first place, we would not be having this conversation. DEAL WITH IT AND SHUT THE HECK UP!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    No one liks their rights trampled but Arizona is living with a problem that most of us in the country do not see on a daily basis or even close to the same extent. The federal government is trying to be the only law in the land and the states are fighting back. I believe it is going to get uglier as the year progresses. We are after all a collection of states. I am sure it is going to get interesting.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Chris B.

    It is clear from the responses to this issue that an overwhelming number of people commenting on this list support the move by the state of Arizona. Comments on the opposite side of the issue are clearly in the minority.

    I understand that legal residents in Tuscon find it almost impossible to obtain medical services at hospitals in Tuscon, AZ due to the overwhelming number of illegals who clog the medical system. It is about time that the border states did something about this acute problem as it is evident that the federal government is only interested in votes rather than fixing the problem.

    I guess they call it "Comprehensive Immigration Reform"? This certainly obfuscates the issue of "illegal people" in our country? I came to this country legally 23 years ago and played by the rules only to find that I as a tax payer who worked my way up from a $4.25 per hour job, now have to pay for services for illegals who do not pay taxes. We need to hold the employers accountable for hiring illegal aliens and make the penalties very severe. Breaking the law should NOT be rewarded. There are current laws on the books but they are NOT ENFORCED..

    April 23, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
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