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. TOM

    The police ask everyone for their ID when being questioned so what is all the crying about it has worked for decades. Illegals should not be given a drivers license. I think the President needs to reverse NAFTA and bring the jobs back to the US.

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

    well now the aliens should be happy. arizona is going to help you out of the shadows and give you a free ride home! if you are a flag waving mexican, than you should have no problem going back to your "beautiful" country. really if you let drug cartels run your country then thats your problem, have kid after kid you can't afford to feed? your problem. go home a better your own country so we can better ours. but that won't happen until 2012!

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

    Everyone breaks the law regardless of who you are and I don't see you being taken to jail. The illegals pay as much taxes as any other legal resident/citizen in the United States. Arizona is infringing the rights of everyone with this law.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. John

    It is obvious this country is a country of White idiots, morons, and racists who only wish to preserve the rights of White people. First Whitey wants to check all Hispanics. Next it will be Blacks then Asians then ALL non-Whites. Let's start requiring Whites to show that they are here legally. How many of you Whitey's wants to be stopped and interrogated about your legality?????????????/

    April 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. vincent

    President Obama,
    You have stated that this new law hopefully to be signed will threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness.
    The basic notion of fairness applies to people who were born here or have LEGALLY immigrated to the USA.
    Where, Mr. President, is the basic notion of fairness when an illegal drives a car without a license, puts a law abiding citizen in the hospital and the law abiding citizen has no recourse because the ILLEGAL alien CANNOT lawfully obtain automobile insurance?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kerry

    LongLivePresident – you are one of the blind sheep that think everything Obamam does or says is just glorious. You obviously do not live in AZ either. Fact is the border should have been militarized as soon as 9/11 happened. It is a major security breach. And Obama's ineptness has been apparent from day one. He lacks class, experience, and courage.

    ATL Guy – you are completely ignorant. THere are already laws on the books in every state that require that anyone show proof of who they are right now. And should you not have that i.d. on you – you can be arrested. ANd really its not just reps demanding this its people of all kinds of political affiliation – but typical of the brainwashed crowd to blame it on reps and call them hitler. Go back to school before you post again.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. pfunk0320

    Funny my son is a high school senior and since the age of 5 the school system has tried to teach my son Spanish! For what? If someone doesn't speak english then me, my family have nothing to say to those people. Try getting a job these days at Mcdonalds? You have to speak spanish to even talk with cooks. Arizona your doing a great JOB! I hope my state of Texas follows suit. Why when you go to the welfare office are the papers to fill out in spanish? People from other country's figure out that without learning english they will never get anywhere. Mexicans just can't put that together.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. shawn

    I wish the rest of our country would follow Arizona, keep the illegals out. The Feds should be controlling the borders. Why don't we go house to house and arrest these law breaking illegals. Our country is hurting right now, no jobs, no money, and starving families. Why are we allowing illegals to steal from us? WHy do we allow mulitple illegal families to live in one dwelling? They are not being counting in our Census, our over populated our economy. When are we going to get a real President that can see this as becoming a real problem for us, the hard working people. Pretty soon the USA is going to become Mexico unless we do something about it. I mean the Feds, the President, and the politicians. We all know how Mexico is, dirty and gross. They don't take care of their country and they certainly won't take care of our country. KEEP THEM OUT!!

    April 23, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    I think we should tear down the Statue of Liberty in honor of the people of Arizona.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Common Sense

    OK, all of you Right wing-nuts!! Time to set the record straight. I believe you had control of the White House for 8 YEARS and did nothing about this issue. The reason?- because "W" was in the pockets of his Texas corporate buddies who didn't want to pay liveable wages to Americans.

    Now that Obama is in Office, you want to blame the Dems for this problem. It's the same for every issue on the table. The previous administration sat on their hands and did nothing while Rome burned, and now that Obama is actually trying to claen up your mess, you all come out of the woodwork to complain. Get used to it, because at this rate, your boys won't see the Oval Office for quite a while.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Stanford

    Republican elites want cheap labor that’s why they keep a class of illegals. Not only will the individuals work for less money, but it also forces every worker to accept less money or be replaced. They use ignorance, racism and fear to keep the republican base motivated.

    I doubt very many people will be stopped and questioned because the police thought they were illegal Irish or Canadian immigrants. BTW, the country is already full of illegal Canadians working as US citizens. But we only care about the dark skinned illegals. Don’t look for this hummer law to ever be enforced, it is clearly unconstitutional.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    Obama said that the immigration legislation in Arizona is a direct response to the federal government's failure to act on this issue. He's right. As a resident of Arizona who lives within a stone's throw of the border, I'll make two observations: 1) Illegal immigration is a real problem here that is taxing local economy, law enforcement, government services, and environment; something must be done to stop it. 2) This new immigration law does little to target the business owners who make illegal immigration profitable and does a lot to target people of hispanic descent, many of whom are legal American citizens. The idea that someone who has brown skin can and will be randomly stopped by law enforcement and required to produce their papers is vile and unamerican.

    Make no mistake, we need to fix our broken borders, but not at the expense of the freedoms that make this country great. If the President is serious about fixing this problem, he can prove it by adequately funding border patrol and by moving against the employers who provide an economic incentive for others to come to this country illegally. Unfortunately this legislation doesn't do either.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mari

    I think many people from other states have been mislead about this law that is trying to pass in Arizona. The bill say that state and city officials have a suspicion of a person being illegal they can be charged. This means that if I am a legal US citizen with brown skin I will be taken to jail. So US citizen also have to jail because or state government does know how to properly write laws! I don't think so.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Not sure what history, heritage, and fairness the President is referring to but they are apparently different than the ones I know. The government should protect all U.S. citizens and that is what Arizona is trying to do.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. bw2004

    maybe thats why he doesnt swear in on the bible oh ya and doesnt do the flag salute doesnt protect americans jobs or lands and doent have proof he is american i see more proof he is not a god fearing man seeking our best intrest oh well i trust in god anyways he exalts one brings another down low i hope god will guide this nation right once again

    April 23, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
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