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
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  1. arizonaresident

    As an AZ resident, I'm appalled by quite a few of the legislative bills in progress. This is quite possibly the stupidest group of legislators ever. This bill is a pandering to the extreme right, Sheriff Joe style, to get the old folks and rightwingers all worked up over those "illegals". What about the "legals"? Do you get that all of us will be subject to "you must have papers"? I was born here! Do I have to carry my passport everywhere? DO YOU? Do you even have a passport to show? Or would you like to hang around in a cop car waiting for someone to verify that you were born here, lived here, owned a home here? My buds that are here legally from India happen to look Hispanic. Cops can't tell the difference, so they also get harassed. We're talking educated, working professionals who also own homes here and have families–LEGALLY. Is that fair? What is the matter with you people? Do you really think that this round of crap is a good thing? Would you think the same thing about this bill being passed in MONTANA where only the white people sneak across from Canada? Legal status is a whole different question than stopping people because of the color of their skin...a fact that black Americans have been putting up with for a century.

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

    Arizona is protecting their legal citizens rights and all states should follow their lead. President Obama is misguided if he thinks Americans are going to continue to standby while illegal immigrants tarnish America's sheen, ruin the American dream, and create an America where Americans no longer want to live.

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

    Obama is being naive. (Let's hope that's all it is.)

    There is nothing "fair" about allowing many tens of millions of people to flaunt our immigration laws. The massive surge of people (and the birthright babies they have here) that has swelled our population has impacted our country in ways most politicians don't seem to have clue about. Housing prices, health care, education budgets, infrastructure impacts, decimation of our forests...the list goes on. I'm not a guy just "blaming problems on immigrants." The above is true, people just haven't come to grips with the magnitude yet. This is not about immigrants, but about "ILLEGAL" immigrants.

    The numbers currently tossed about:L "12-20 million *undocumented* people" are absurd underestimations. It is "unfair" to our citizens for our government to give these people a free pass. And it is unfair to people who attempt to come in legally. I welcome anyone, from anywhere, who plays by the rules, as a full-fledged neighbor. Our government, under both parties, has been inept and feckless on this issue. Obama is playing politics and should be ashamed.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. jblass667

    The right is wrong again. This country was founded by illegal residents and continued to be inhabited by Illegals. There is a illegal resident problem and we need to address it. But doing it the hateful way is wrong. I keep hearing about safety, but the ones who been thereatneing our way of life are LEGAL residents. Stop saying they are taking our jobs, I do not see any AMERICANS lined up for house keeping jobs or maintenance jobs cleaning bathrooms and taking out the garbage. Lets call it what it is a way to be hateful without being called a hateful person.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jaybird

    Mr President
    If you disagree with Arizona immigration reform, you should taken the bull by the horns in the first place. We as a nation are fed up with whole illegal immigration mess. Be part of the solution instead of the problem. Most Americans has Arizona's back on this one.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. marygrace

    i totally agree with the President. I heard a local legislator saying hw trusted the judgement of local law enforcement would be fair...please..Maybe 70 pc of AZ citizens support the law but we cannot allow 'gang rule'. Law must protect everyone......not just what is popular for the month.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alex M

    For all of the people that claim “My Grandparent came here legally” Let me tell you something–
    Of course they came here legally –They came legally because it was easy “Period”—The Only requirement for them to make it to the US was to be healthy enough to make it through Customs. If those requirements were still standing, trust me, there would be no Illegal Immigration in the US.
    I bet you everything that I have that your grandparents would be have been crossing the sea “like the Cubans do” If the standards and regulations of today were in place back in the days.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. louis

    Burdens on JOBs!!!!!! Are you serious?? No jobs in America because we have been sold-out for cheaper labor in other countries.. We manufacture nothing here in America anymore! This ia why only the rich continue to get richer.. You blame it on immigration, and not Wallstreet!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Luz Santiago

    If the President would have kept his promise to the Latinos and created the Reform, this would not be happening in Arizona. Now, due to the ignorance of Russell Pearce, and I refuse to call him my Senator, look at what is happening here. MR. PRESIDENT, ARIZONA NEEDS YOUR HELP NOW NOT DOWN THE LINE, there are many, many, many latinos that are US Citizens here and we all lknow we are going to be "racial profiled". If you care about any of us, please do something to stop the hatred against the "Latinos" Illegals are not just Latinos there are many different races here.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. 007Princess

    The beauty of the internet. People have guts to spew hatred, ignorance and all kinds of things that they would not say when the mask of anonymity is taken off. But it does let people reveal their true feelings about these matters.
    The truth is that the issue of immigration in not so black and white. It will take guts, pain, humanity, money and a lot of work to fix and no one in government is REALLY ready to even go there with a 7000 ft pole.
    It generates a lot of talk but no action. Extremes on either end of the spectrum will not work. Check out 9500 Liberty for one example.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ian Day

    For all the people that are on Mr. Obama side, think about watching Fall of the Republic!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. Art

    Liberalism is a mental disorder, it's rooted in ones desire to sidestep the need for personal performance and correspondingly the reward or lack thereof that is associated with ones actions. The capitalist system is by no means perfect in that measurement of performance and determination of value for that performance are in many cases questionable, but it certainly alligns reward with desired outsome. As to AZ border issues, can you blame the mexican's for entering illegaly when we provide them what they cannot get in their country. My sister in law came to this country from Mexico and legally obtained citizenship, has a legal job and pays taxes! Obama is of course creating a nation of people who will abandon capitalism because there will be no reward for performance nor ownership of personal property – change like this would be alarming over 100 years, but 4 years is difficult for me to get my head around!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. T.O.

    Don't assume that everyone in this state agrees with the legislation. The state IS divided on the issue. For my part, I understand the need for some control of the situation. We've recently had a murder of a rancher on the border which has riled up everyone's sentiments. We do have a drug/gun problem closely associated with the illegal immigration that has run rampant. BUT, that does not mean we should require ALL immigrants to carry their immigration papers, and does not mean that we should be able to ask anyone to prove whether or not they are a legal alien. If you lived in the southwest, you'd realize that a large percentage of our population IS from south of the border. Whether they came 60 years ago, or 6 months ago. And a large percentage of that population is legal. Can you imagine living in fear that you might get "rounded up" in one of Sheriff Joe's raids simply because you look hispanic?

    There are better ways to protect us. This legislation doesn't and won't do it. If the fear of getting caught with drugs and illegal guns in this country doesn't scare a criminal from crossing the border, than how is a requirement to carry his immigration documentation supposed to even phase him? Oh, right, now I remember – Arizona just passed a law that allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon and doesn't even require a permit OR registration. As long as the gun was bought in Arizona that is. That sounds safe – the criminal doesn't have to be worried about getting caught with guns anymore.

    And one note on the "ruin" of our economy by illegal immigration as someone commented above. Immigrants ARE our economy. I work in one of the many industries that depends on cheap labor. If you want to talk about the ruin of an economy, ask those guys with the white shirts and ties who were playing with stocks, monies, and statistics like it was a fun parlor game.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tony

    Everything Obama has done as president seems to be designed to make America a third world country. So it's not surprising that he is now stomping on the 10th amendment of the Constitution by interfering in states rights.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  15. Abel

    WAY TO GO ARIZONA!!! Obama- start putting the AMERICAN PEOPLE FIRST, and quit coddling illegal behavior!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
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