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. kasey

    the only thing this law does is allow police to racially profile people and harass the people of this nation. are you ready for a police state? because that is exactly what this sounds like, there has to be a better way to determine if people are here legally or not. although i think people should stop being so selfish, we all came here on a boat at one time or another. the only people here "legally" are native americans. short memories, short attention spans.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jose

    30% of our prison population is made up of ILLEGAL immigrants. So....no....they don't all come here to "work"

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anthony

    So many of you need to take a civics course to re-familiarize yourselves with American law as it relates to citizen right's. So many of you should be embarrassed to openly display your ignorance.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. jblass667

    The President will probably go down as the most compassionate and level headed President we had sinse Kennedy. Misguided was Bush Jr. and the way he ran the country. Prsident Obama is just cleaning up his mess. Immergration was a problem with Bush & Chaney, I did not hear this huge cry for reform whe Bush was in charge. Let the Prsident run the country and stop trying discourage Progess.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Aida Davila

    The bottom line is we can never stop illegal aliens coming into the country. We had been trying from the crossing the border and the only result people getting hurt and even getting killed. It is easy for us to judge these people because we are not in their situation. Yeah, a lot of people will say who cares, then isn't that hypocritical? The US is known to help other countries while we have this big problem in our own country. The gist is that the government should think of another way of solving these problem with the illegal immigrant. Citizens and legal residents is so aware these illegal immigrants could make more money than us citizens and legal residents. If that is the case, what is wrong in this picture. obviously, we can never keep them from coming in and staying and get a job here. Then, why don't the government just require them to file taxes this way it will even help our government. Can you imagine how tax money the government can collect if they do it this way. They do this in
    Australia, why can't we do the same. It obviously works as they had been doing it.
    the saddest part is, the citizens who doesn't take the advantage of the opportunity they have given. On top of all the benefits, there's still a lot of citizens who didn't even finished high school. Once the kids turn 18, the parents can't do anything, can't impose nothing to these lost teenagers. Come to think of it these is the most fragile year of any kids. This is age where they need more guidance, but how can we when they know no one can tell them what to do. If there's 'Chld Abuse,' isn't it just fair to have also 'Parent's Abuse'? The kids are not as innocent as we all think they are. There exposure to a lot of things what they see like from televisions, their surroundings, there's no stopping what they can learn and adopt, that is why it is more imperative that parents should have control on their kids while they are on these very fragile age.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Renee

    Normally I support The President, but not on this issue. Phoenix has become thie kidnap capital of the U.S. This is directly related to the issue of illegal immigration and politicians should wise up to that fact. There is a very dark side to illegals, drugs, cartel violence and human smuggling are the citizens of Az just supposed to stand idly by while these things are going on their communities out of fear of being dubbed a racist? The realities of this have got to be addressed not to mention the national security issue of having countless people walking our streets with no way of identifying them, it's dangerous. Unfortunately heavy handed measures are going to have to taken because I don not want to see our cities transformed into the kind of third world crap fests you will find south of the border. And for anyone who takes issue with my last statement check yourself first how many people go into Mexico to behave in a gross and debauched way?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. John

    An an immigrant I fully support the AZ lawmakers. These illegal mexicans act like they are entitled to all the benefits that American citizens are entitled to. Kick them out. I came here and I worked hard and did everything the right way. It is a slap on our faces if these people get free amnesty when they have broken the law. It makes all of us who do things the legal and diffcult way look like fools. Good job Arizona! Kick these ilegals out. Also, the US must stop teh DV lottey system so taht trash do nto coem here throught a mere lottery system. That is foolishness on the part of congress to freely give away green cards to trash like giving candy. Many people who come under employment and family based immigration have to work hard and wait in line to coem here legally. Bring trash from Africa and Latin America will change the culture of this country and also help terrorists and american haters to come here easily. Please get rid of DV lottery. Many people that legally immigrate too are nto interested in assimilating. The USCIS must make sure that these people will assimilate and learn good English. The citizenship test should be longer and the feds must make sure that people are really interested in being American. Now it is onky 5 minutes and any fool can pass the citizenship exam. Wake up America and change yoru ways or else America will not be America anymore. I love America and also learned English and assimilated. Let people who are America lovers in not the other way around. Hope all the staes will follow Arizona.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cliff C

    Mr. President, you are simply wrong. Yes, the safety of the American people is paramount. With this in mind, how can you not see the benefit of strict immigration laws? I am simply stunned by the incompetence being displayed by our government.

    April 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. map

    I am sure glad all you people voted for our wonderful president, 'cus if I had, then I would feel bad about what he is doing now also. This is just what I expected. Everyone wanted change, well you have it, now how do you feel?

    April 23, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. TM

    Most of these postings are ignorant and dumb. Perhaps you should consider reading a textbook to enrich your mind. I am seriously getting sick and tired of hearing all these people complain that "Mexicans" (which by the way, not all illegal immigrants or all hispanics are Mexican) steal jobs from American citizens. Cry me river! Guess what? All those fat Americans collecting unemployment checks and doing nothing about finding a job complain that illegal are stealing their jobs. Well, there are plenty of jobs in the landscaping, restaurant, and construction business. Do not even blame the economic recession on these hard working people. They have been doing the same jobs since before the recession. Those are jobs that your fine little hands will not be able to take. Why aren't you going from restaurant to restaurant asking for dishwashing or busboy jobs? As a teenager, i used to work in the service industry and i NEVER saw an American stop by to ask for a job. Never. If you would have done what you were supposed to do: go to school and get an education, you would not be worrying about these people stealing jobs from you. If you are seriously fighting for jobs with these people, consider yourself to be a pathethic failure. America offers tons of opportunities for those that want it. It is very rare to find that it other countries. Mexico for sure, does not have things such as college loans or financial aid. It is time to take responsibility for your own inadequacies and failures.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mom from TJ

    I am from Tijuana. My family came to ths country, legally, and worked in the fruit and flower fields of San Diego. They always payed their taxes and encouraged us to get a good education. One time my parents were strugling economically due to illness and were forced to stand in line for food supplies at a food bank. To my parents surprise, they came across a great number of people from Tijuana (NOT legal residents of the US) standing in line at the food bank, ROBBING the poor people who legally deserve it. At the end, my parents went home empy handed because the supplies run out. True story! This is just a small example of the abuse conducted by illegals in this country. All I know is that Arizona is showing a great deal of guts leading the efforts stop the abuse and the crimes that comes along with it. I only hope California follows the example. It is sad to see this country become more like Mexico every day.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bobby

    I will be the poster child for this effort. I will gladly and proudly wear my US identification around my neck at all times. I am proud to be an American. I want everybody to know it. I love this country. Any cop, anywhere, anytime can stop me and check my ID and search my car, If they want to come in and search my house, I will fix them lunch or dinner while they are doing it. I respect the laws of this country and I think everyone else should. I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. I don't understand why any true Amerivan would. If true Americans would take this approach, guess what? We would shed the illegals. Our laws are built to allow anyone from any country to become a proud US citizen like me. Is that not great!!! Again, respect of the laws on the books of this country is something that we should have of ourselves as well as others.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maggie

    This law is racial profiling at its worse. It's not targeting illegal immigrants, it targeting anyone who looks like they maybe-possibly could have come from over the border. And whether you're a citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal, you will be arrested if you don't have the correct paperwork. Leaving your license at home used to result in a ticket – now you'll be thrown in the slammer. Someone in another post compared this to Hitler's policies. I hate to make that comparison because I think it diminishes what really happened in Germany, but it's the closet comparison I can think of. Not to mention the fact that politicians have misled the American people into believing most of the illegal immigrants are streaming over the US-Mexican border. Most come here legally on a visa, but then let it expire. If you want to fix the immigration problem, you should probably know what the problem actually is.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. biglio

    Ahhh, crass ignorance at its best, what Obama says is that there are already laws in place that are not enforced, start enforcing them! And please all those righwingers, stop being the usual hypocrites, you and most of the republican voters are the ones who would employ an illegal in a heartbeat without even thinking, if it made you save a dime over a Us citizen....please stop the BS. all the farm hands and ranch hands are mostly illegal, everybody knows but nonetheless rich fat owners, all republicans of course, don't give a damn and hire them under minimum wage......this is Capitalism baby! the law of the jungle! this is what republican America looks like, keep voting them!

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Anthony

    By the way, you white folks are the ORIGINAL illegal immigrant, However I suppose your ignorance of American law, relating to citizen rights is only surpassed by your ignorance of history.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
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